Author Topic: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?  (Read 3509 times)

Offline coloradobenedic

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200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« on: December 09, 2013, 07:22:11 PM »
Hey dudes and dudettes!   8)

I'm writing to ask the Wurlitzer powers that be on this forum for a bit of expertise and assistance in my potential purchase of a vintage 200a.  I've got a fellow in my hometown that is selling this piano, and I'll be heading back there in about 10 days for Christmas, so he's holding it for me to check out.  In the meantime, I asked him to shoot a video of the piano for me to consider (and to show my tech friend) to try and estimate what sort of work needs to be put into it...

Here's the video he sent - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30ADmEInjg4&authuser=0

From what I can tell (and I don't know a ton about Wurlys) it's in solid shape, but definitely needs a tuning.  And as you can see, about 5 lower register notes he singles out at the end of the video have something funky going on... but, in my naivete, I'm not sure if that's the sound of bad reeds, or just a funky action that's not quite striking properly.

Can anyone offer some advice?  He's asking in the neighborhood of $600-700 for it, but I get the feeling that between tuning and possible reed/action work, I'm looking at $100-200 worth of parts and labor as well. 

Do you concur?  Thanks so much for any help!!!!
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 11:56:18 PM by coloradobenedic »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 06:57:16 PM »
Other than tuning ( a real pain, especially for novices) it sounds like the let off is badly out of adjustment. It is letting off waaaay too soon. Fortunately, there's a guy that sells the tool for this on ebay.... ;)

I would snap the piano up.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 11:15:05 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline coloradobenedic

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 08:07:51 PM »
Thanks yet again to you SteveO! 

There's a fellow locally that is a good piano tech/tuner, though he deals mostly with grands, uprights, etc., and I've contacted him showing him the same video, and he agrees that it seems to just need a tuning and action adjustment.  He's also handy with electronics and a soldering gun, and said after doing a bit of reading he didn't think tuning it for me would be too much of a problem.

I guess my biggest fear is just diving into a piano that's going to end up being a money pit to get playing correctly.  As you may remember from my other, related thread, I'm also a fan of the Korg SV-1 and if I passed on this 200a, I could probably afford an SV-1 over the Kurzweil SP-4 that we were discussing in that other thread...




Offline timpotent

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 01:01:05 AM »
@Steveo :  Where's that ebay link ? ;-)

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 04:12:45 PM »
I don't know how to add links.

Just look for Wurlitzer tool on eBay.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 11:14:36 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2013, 03:10:38 AM »
Here's Steve's link:

Fits all models in the 140 series,(140-146) the 200 series,including the 270, and the upright model 720:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wurlitzer-electric-piano-let-off-tool-fits-140-All-200-series-720-/221334748888?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3388943ed8
Bristol Electric Piano
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Offline coloradobenedic

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 03:55:49 PM »
Hey guys, just stopping back by to say thanks again.  Steve, I'll check out that tool if I end up picking up the piano... going to look at it in the next couple of days here.  So what exactly is the letoff?  It's just not ringing truly, or?

At this point I'm not sure what I'll do... really depends how it feels/sounds in person.  I'd love to own one but am not excited to dive into vintage piano repairs again (traded away my Rhodes 88 for that very reason) so... we shall see!


Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2013, 06:16:25 PM »
Letoff is similar to, but not exactly the same as escapement in a Rhodes. It has nothing to do with ringing dampers. It means the hammer is letting off ( falling away from the reed) too soon in the cycle.

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline timpotent

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 12:26:39 PM »
Steveo, are you "pianotuner0707" ?

Seller wants to contact him first if you're an International buyer.  I am ;-)

But when you click the 'contact' button : "Unfortunately, this seller is not able to respond to your question. We suggest reviewing the item again to see if your answer is in the seller's listing."

It's pretty dumb :-D

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 02:36:18 PM »
Hmmm... I have no idea why it does that. Yes I am pt0707.

I am not 100% sure how to properly calculate postage to other countries. Every time I use the USPS calculator, I end up losing money .....
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline gilded

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 03:50:19 PM »
Steveo, timpotent,

I have a good friend who sells Electric Guitar and Guitar Amp parts all over the world. Before that, he shipped jet engine parts all over the world. He lives about 30 minutes from me and we're overdue to have a Major Barbecue Lunch this holiday season!

If you guys will PM me timpotent's shipping address  and the size and weight of the package and declared value of the package, I'll see if he can help me figure out the correct cost and best way to ship it, possible import penalties, tariffs, duties, etc.

Or Steveo, if you're leery of the whole thing, I'll just buy one and ship it to timpotent, providing my friend says he'll ship the thing for me.

As to why I would do this? Well, I'm a new guy here and I really, really appreciate all the free knowledge I've been getting since signing up, so it's sort of a way of saying 'thanks' to the forum community at large. You guys work it out and let me know something.

By the way, Steveo, when you say the tool works for 200 series instruments, would that include the 206a model?

Harry in Texas

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 07:55:02 PM »
Yes, it fits the 206a. It fits ALL 200 series and 140/145/720.

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline coloradobenedic

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 02:24:43 PM »
Glad this thread has sparked some healthy results!  Cheers all - and I'm also especially glad to say that I picked up the 200a!  It was in better shape than I expected and should only need minor tuning/action adjustment to be tip-top!  Very tickled.  Unfortunately it's still back home and Im waiting on a friend to drive out to Colorado to actually get it to my house. hopefully in a week or two....

If not, anyone have experience shipping a Wurly?  I'd really like to avoid this, but if it's the only way, so it goes...

Also, Steveo I would love to have purchased one of your tools but in fact, the piano actually came with what looks to be a let off tool of a slightly more straight design... But I'd assume the curve in yours is there for a reason?  If the included one doesn't work, I will be in touch!

Here's a photo too!

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 04:16:20 PM »
The tools come in different lengths, straight, or bent. I like the one I sell the best, and it can be gently bent if needed ( Straightened)
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline cinnanon

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Re: 200a Purchase Advise Needed! Bad reeds, or bad action? Good buy?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2014, 10:03:09 PM »
Sweet legs!