Author Topic: Just found a 140B. (new guy)  (Read 4784 times)

Offline jbennett

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Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« on: August 11, 2015, 12:45:45 PM »
Hi. Just wanted to introduce myself. I think I'll be doing a lot of reading around here.
Just picked up a 140B (off craigslist, asking 300 bucks but I offered 200 when it wouldn't turn on for more than a second at a time when wiggling the power cable, and took it home expecting a project.) I could hear the keys were in tune the action was pretty good so that left me with a potential amp to trouble shoot.

Got home, cleaned out the power receptacle and it powers up just fine! It came with the legs, the cover, and the sustain pedal (totally disassembled in a paper bag, but all the parts were there. I've put it together and it works great!)

It has a little noise. There are a couple keys that are slow to return, but all the notes are in tune and sound nice. I'm super excited to finally have a "wurly".

Here it is. Spray painted black, but actually kind of good looking.



Many years ago, 1996 or 1997 I found a 200A in MINT condition. It was $350, but I was poor and came back the next day to see if I could talk the store owner down to $300 and he said "actually, sorry man, I'm going to hold on to this one myself and set it up in my kids playroom." ARGH! The one that got away. I have come close to owning another, a few years ago I bought a rough 200A with no legs, no pedal but tons of extra hum and crap action for $400, returned it the next day to a frustrated but understanding seller.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 12:47:17 PM by jbennett »

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 12:52:45 PM »
One question:
My cheek block has a different configuration than most that I've seen. Is this how any came out of the factory, or was mine rearranged at some point?


Offline alenhoff

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 07:13:52 PM »
That's not the configuration on my 140B, but I don't know whether they all originally were set up like mine.

Just wondering:  Did your piano come with a serial number plate?  Is it possible it's actually a 146, the student model of the 140B?  If so, it would have started its life with different controls on the cheek block, and might have been altered to 140B functionality.

Alan
1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73
1972 Rhodes Silver Sparkletop Piano Bass
1978 Hohner Clavinet D6
1968 Hohner Pianet N II
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
1967 Gibson G101 combo organ
1965 UK Vox Continental
1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H
1977 Fender Twin Reverb
Vox AD100VT Valvetronix modeling amp
(SEE THE COLLECTION: https://vintagerockkeyboards.wordpress.com/ )

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 07:38:09 PM »
Thanks Alan. The plate states it is a 140B. I'll post a photo soon with the SN.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 10:10:25 PM by jbennett »

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 10:07:56 PM »

Online cinnanon

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 05:37:52 AM »
The cheek block looks like it was just rearranged when taken apart to paint. The holes for the Vol pot, Vibrato Pot, and 1/4" jack are all the same size.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 07:43:34 AM »
That's what I figured. Thanks. I may rearrange it back. The headphone cable can be in the way as it is to adjusting the vib/vol on the fly. Man, this is a fun piano.

Side note: Watched the Wrecking Crew documentary last night and there are a few 140B sightings in the movie.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2015, 07:48:48 AM »
That is a great movie if anyone here hasn't seen it- I highly recommend it. Yes, it is a 140 or 145 in the movie. In the movie about Brian Wilson called " Love and Mercy" ( available on DVD and Blu Ray in September) they recreate The Wrecking crew and have a 140 or 145 in the studio as well. They used the actual studios that Brian used.

Congrats on your find and welcome to the forum!



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 alenhoff

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 08:25:04 AM »
You can also see the 140B in the Muscle Shoals documentary.

Alan
1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73
1972 Rhodes Silver Sparkletop Piano Bass
1978 Hohner Clavinet D6
1968 Hohner Pianet N II
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
1967 Gibson G101 combo organ
1965 UK Vox Continental
1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H
1977 Fender Twin Reverb
Vox AD100VT Valvetronix modeling amp
(SEE THE COLLECTION: https://vintagerockkeyboards.wordpress.com/ )

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 09:25:09 AM »
Yeah, I saw Muscle Shoals too. Great stuff. Thanks for the tip on Love and Mercy. Didn't know about that but it looks interesting.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 09:54:25 AM »
One question...
Why does the foot pedal fold in half? What is the idea behind the segmented platform? Is it supposed to fit inside the case cover on the keys? Is it supposed to double over and be shortened...mine has a replaced pin and doesn't double back but maybe that's just the hinge? Anyway, the whole pedal slides back on my wood floors regardless. Maybe it just needs to be cleaned to get it's grip back.

Online cinnanon

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 11:26:14 AM »
I'm not sure but I do know that 9 out of 10  140B pedals I see have the front part of the pedal missing. I'm am not sure if it can fit anywhere inside the piano. Maybe under the top cover behind the speaker??? But who wants to do that?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 11:28:45 AM by cinnamonrolli »

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 11:28:37 AM »
Yeah, there are dozen screws to open the top. Not practical. I've noticed modern replacements don't bother with the hinge. Only Rudolph knows.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2015, 07:24:16 PM »


Another question. What is that little trimmer on the amp? The one labeled LEVEL.
Anyone know what that does?

And, after playing for a few days my sticky keys have un stickied! I'll still lube things up, but it's much nicer.

Online cinnanon

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2015, 08:20:14 PM »
I believe that is the gain. The higher the volume the more it stresses the amp I think.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2015, 07:50:23 AM »
Interesting. I might give it a twist. See if its maxed out. Or just see what happens with a little turn in each direction. Thanks.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2015, 10:12:06 AM »
If you turn it all the way up you may get a little distortion. It may or may not be desirable
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 jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 09:45:27 AM »
I turned it up to the max. It is a bit louder now and isn't distorting too much, unless I play heavy handed.
Thanks.
Also, while the lid was off, I took out the cheek block. Just to look and I think a delicate wire to the pilot light is loose. BUT, when the light goes out the piano gets super quiet in a good way. A layer of hum disappears. I might just leave it off... maybe do an LED swap at a later date.

Online cinnanon

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2015, 10:44:55 AM »
The ground for the lamp shares the ground with the volume pot too. LED is the way to go. PM me and I can help you.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2015, 07:56:54 PM »
I'll be in touch. I re-instated the lamp. It seemed to add a TON of noise, but only when the lid was off. The moment the lid joins the grounding scheme it all quiets down beautifully. I'll do the LED swap sometime anyway.

There is some strange plastic stuffed in around all the cheek-block wiring that makes it hard to inspect. Is this standard? It looks like clear plastic mylar in the cavity, not glued down. Just kind of pushed in around the wiring around the edge. I'm guessing it's some kind of insulation. But maybe it's just some old 1970's snake oil?


Online cinnanon

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2015, 10:19:47 PM »
My 140B's had plastic over the pots. I dunno if it was for dust or to protect a short. It was clear plastic sheeting. My 700 has it too.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2015, 09:30:52 AM »
Interesting. I've never seen plastic sheeting like that on any electronics. Good to know it belongs there. Thanks.

Offline alenhoff

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2015, 09:40:16 AM »
Mine has that, too. I'm thinking the purpose was to make it "beer-proof."   ;)

Alan
1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73
1972 Rhodes Silver Sparkletop Piano Bass
1978 Hohner Clavinet D6
1968 Hohner Pianet N II
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
1967 Gibson G101 combo organ
1965 UK Vox Continental
1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H
1977 Fender Twin Reverb
Vox AD100VT Valvetronix modeling amp
(SEE THE COLLECTION: https://vintagerockkeyboards.wordpress.com/ )

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2015, 03:30:36 PM »
Yeah, I always thought is was to prevent shorts myself.
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 jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2015, 02:44:29 PM »
So, I've seen the vintage vibe video where he "voices" the reeds by moving the pickup tab up and down gently with a tool while the power is off. This brought quiet keys up to volume and quieted down hot keys.
Does the 140B work the same way? Or is the pickup setup different?
Here is the video I was watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBxZhqvFCCM


Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2015, 08:16:16 PM »
Okay, had a few minutes to open things up.
My second to last highest key was mute. It rang acoustically but didn't amplify.
That reed is held in by a standard bolt/washer BUT the washer is upside down. It's the only reed that is mute and it's the only upside down washer.
I can't get the washer off though. Tried to squeeze it in a vice and unscrew it. How did they get them on there. Did they thread them after putting on the washer to make it captive? anyway, it's a drag. I'll have to get a new bolt/washer.
I swapped bolts with the next key and it amplified. BUT it rang a half step higher. The proper washer direction adds to the mass I guess and rings as part of the note. Interesting.
I also lubed the key pins and the sticky keys are gone. Whew. Looking good, playing good.
Does home depot make a dish shaped washer that will work on the harp? Or must I go with a Vintage Vibe bolt?

Online cinnanon

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2015, 09:27:11 AM »
Adjusting the reedbar pickups is mainly for dialing in the tone. The volume is affected slightly, but more so by making sure the reed is centered in the pickup.  The actions are the same on a 140B and 200 series.

As for the washer, I don't know if Home Depot has them. I see you have an upside down screw-washer combo as well. It seriously affects pitch and sustain.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2015, 10:17:11 AM »
Not just seriously in my case. . . TERMINALLY.!  The key makes NO output when amplified. I swapped that bolt/washer with the next key and it was the same effect. At least I know it's the upside-down washer and the reed is alright.

Offline jbennett

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2015, 06:53:53 PM »
Got a package from Vintage Vibe. It included a handful of reed screws. Now my reed is properly bolted and I tuned it up with some solder and a file.
Didn't take too long. It sounds nice!
I also added a bit of dampening material under the hood and there is much less vibration now when it's all sealed up.
I think I'll stop messing with things for a while. Really enjoying the sound and feel of this piano now.

Offline DocWurly (formerly Paleophone)

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Re: Just found a 140B. (new guy)
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2015, 08:01:05 PM »
That's the latest number I've seen on a 140B!  Any indication of when it might have been produced?