Would Your Wurlitzer Benefit From Servicing?


Some vintage keyboard are in a state of total dilapidation, and will obviously need a lot of work before they can be played. But others are in better condition. They turn on, sound comes out, all or most of the keys work. Is this enough? When can servicing a keyboard that “works” make it perform much better?

A Wurlitzer is a vintage instrument, so you should expect a little idiosyncrasy. For instance, hearing a small amount of low-level amp hum is normal. And because the mechanical action has been simplified, it doesn’t play with the same smoothness as a high-end acoustic piano. This is particularly true for early models, such as the Wurlitzer 112 and 120, which tend to have a clunkier feel even at the best of times.

However, you shouldn’t have low expectations for your vintage Wurlitzer just because it’s old. If the keys feel inconsistent, if the amp has high levels of hum, or if it has any issue that prevents you from just playing normally, you should consider getting your Wurlitzer serviced. A thorough servicing will allow you to get the most out of your vintage keyboard.

Your Wurlitzer will benefit from servicing if:

  • Keys stick all or some of the time, or return very slowly

  • Keys display a lot of sideways motion

  • You hear occasional popping or crackling

  • Notes sustain even when the pedal is not engaged

  • Some notes are much louder or softer than others

  • The Wurlitzer is out tune

  • The amp has a loud hum, buzz, or hiss, either all the time or when using certain features

A Wurlitzer that is in good, functional condition has a low noise floor, a responsive action, and keys that play consistently across the keyboard. If your Wurlitzer falls short of this standard, you’re definitely missing out on some of its magic. Every Wurlitzer should be serviced periodically so that it can be played to its full potential.

Further Reading

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