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Amp for Wurly

Started by shmulik, July 19, 2007, 10:06:37 AM

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Hi all
I am looking for a new amp to use for keyboards, primarily a Wurlitzer and an analog synth. I've been using a Peavey keyboard amp and I'm frustrated by two things: (1) the amp gets the instruments loud, but the tone isn't that great and doesn't have any particular color... just bland; (2) the buzz when I amp the Wurlitzer is awful.

I've been thinking about trying a guitar or bass amp instead, feeling like there are so many more options, especially when it comes to the chance of finding something cool used. But I'm also interested in keeping the tone somewhat clean.

Also I'd like to minimize the line buzz coming out of the Wurlitzer with whatever amp I have, but I know that's been a problem with other amps besides my current one. Which raises another question - are all Wurlitzers like this? I've heard they all have the buzz problem, but I had another one before this and I don't think that one was SO bad.

Any recommendations on amps? Anyone have any experience cleaning up or minimizing line buzz on a Wurly?


I don't know if your question is still open, but if it is... 8)

I also have some buzz on the lineout but not really nasty, I don't know what it's like with a guitar amp, though, because that might multiply the buzz.
However, my amp should have been at least checked by an electronics specialist recently, so this is probably / hopefully as quiet as it normally gets.
I don't know if it helps, but if you want, I can send you an mp3 with my Wurly taken directly to my interface.
Tuning instruments makes the band sound thin!


A good quality DI may eliminate most of the hum in your system. Check out the Wurli sound through a DI before assuming it is too "sterile" and needs coloring through an amp and speaker, instead of direct to a PA.  It was a revelation to me to hear it this way.


You're right - I was really surprised how good the direct signal sounds. The very same day I found that out I ordered a passive DI.
Going direct has many advantages :)
Tuning instruments makes the band sound thin!


Here's a tip I got from a recording engineer about using a DI with the Wurli: turn the Wurli preamp volume full on, and turn the trim pot for the AUX output jack all the way on (I have a 200A).  I tried various settings of these, and found that he was right: this gives you the maximum tonal and dynamic range out of the Wurli itself, at least with a passive DI, which usually has lots of headroom. Of course, you need to cut out the internal power amp and speakers with a dummy plug in the Phone jack, or whatever is the appropriate way for the particular model. Among the few sound  engineers I contacted when I was trying to figure out my preferred sound, the consensus seemed to be to run Wurli's direct, but to record/mix Rhodes with a blend of direct and miked speaker, either from Suitcase or a "character" guitar amp.


Hm. That doesn't work with the earlier 200, right?
However, my idea is somewhat similar: Turn the preamp on as much as you can get without too much distortion and let the FOH preamp do the rest. It just seems like there's no way to disconnect the internal speakers on the 200  - unless you use the headphone jack.
Tuning instruments makes the band sound thin!


don't the internal speakers cut out as soon as you plug something into the output jack? at least that's what my 200A did when i had one in the 70's. i now have a 145b and in spite of the earlier model & the tube amp inside there is little buzz. I'm using a general kitchen extension cord that fits it perfectly and if i get buzzing i simply turn the plug around. you are right about the DI box. i think the DI box turns the signal into low impedance and you get a much cleaner sound. the 145b, unlike the 200A,  has outputs on the back. 1)external speaker--2) record player or tape recorder. along with the output jack on the front, i have many output possibilities. the old dog has a better bark that the newer model also. i'm looking for a music rack for this model if anybody knows of one for sale.


Oh right, you probably just need an extra phone plug. Thanks for that idea!
Tuning instruments makes the band sound thin!