Posts tagged restoration
In Restoration: Rhodes Mk I

A customer brought this Rhodes in for restoration. It had been in storage for some time, and he asked us to bring it back to optimal playing condition.

The instrument was out of tune, missing most of its tolex, and suffered from a sloppy, unresponsive action. It had clearly been well-used for a while, and then at some point it had been put away and not used at all. Overall, though, it was in good shape, because all of its fundamental parts were present and more or less functional. That is, the wood parts weren’t warped, the plastic parts hadn’t deteriorated, and nearly every pickup worked. It was a great candidate for restoration.

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From the Archives: Wurlitzer 206 Student Electronic Pianos

These photos are from a batch of four student model Wurlitzers that we recently picked up. All arrived in amazing condition, with very few rips or scuffs and immaculately clean interiors. With just a little restoration, they became excellent and highly playable examples of early 200 Wurlitzers. Only one is still available.

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From the Archives: Wurlitzer 214

This Wurlitzer 214 that we once had is a classic example of 214 glory. The Avocado green top was in excellent condition and the tolex was all there without any tears. The wooden keybed has some “chair” nicks and the grill cloth had some stains, but no tears! Perhaps the most amazing feature of the 214 is that it is a complete 200 set on top of a console which houses four 8” round speakers. The four speakers - two in front and two in the back - project the Wurlitzer’s awesome tone in all directions!

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From the Archives: Wurlitzer 720a

When we walked into the room where the original owner had this keyboard, the seller mentioned they had it switched on for us ready to try out. We thought, oh then it must not be making sound because we heard nothing - not even the usual idle hum. We played a A-7 chord, and a wall of rich tube sound blasted out of the massive 12” alnico speaker. Needless to say, we were floored.

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From the Archives: Wurlitzer 112a

This is a classic example of a Wurlitzer 112a that we once had. We photographed it in our main studio live room. A serviced Wurlitzer 112a electronic piano is a powerful music making tool in any studio! The effective alnico speaker is mounted on the rear of the instrument so it can be easily mic’d without picking up much (or any) mechanical key or finger noise from the players’ hands.

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In Restoration: Removing Duct Tape from the Wurlitzer 140a

This Wurlitzer 140a belonged to a producer for many years, and arrived at our shop in well-used condition. By that, we mean that it was pretty banged up and showed evidence of previous repairs. Also, because multiple latches were missing, the lid didn’t attach very well. At some point, it had obviously once been held in place with duct tape.

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How to Convert a Wurlitzer 206 into a Wurlitzer 200

The Wurlitzer 206 is the student version of the Wurlitzer 200. It is equivalent to the 200 in every day, but it is mounted on a cabinet instead of legs and some features of the amplifier are disabled. However, all of the components that are in a 200 are also present on the circuit board of the 206. Enabling vibrato and the aux output is therefore as simple as adding some wires and a 10k potentiometer. Here is how we do it.

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Does My Wurlitzer Need New Key Bushing Felts?

If you flip a Wurlitzer key upside down, you’ll see two holes underneath. These holes line up with the two metal pins in the keybed that guide the key’s vertical travel. They’re called the key bushings, and they’re lined with felt. As the keyboard is played, this felt becomes compressed over time and the keys no longer fit snugly around the key pin. Or, if these felts become damaged, they could prevent the key’s smooth travel and the touch-responsiveness of the keyboard becomes compromised.

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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?

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From the Archives: Wurlitzer 200a

This is a classic example of a Wurlitzer 200a that we once had. We photographed it in front of a wall at the studio - actually, in the control room. (The “signal” stencil is a holdover from the building’s time as a Metro-North Railroad switching station.) The floor is very slanted so we got to use an underrated feature that all portable 200 models have: adjustable feet.

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A Short Guide to Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Sustain Problems

The most common sustain problem on a Wurlitzer 200a (or earlier) keyboard is too much sustain: the note continues to ring out, even when the pedal is not depressed. This is almost always caused by damper felts that are excessively compressed or otherwise deteriorated. In other cases, the Wurlitzer’s sustain pedal doesn’t do anything when depressed, and the piano never has sustain. This is usually because the pedal is not making the proper interior connection. This guide will help you address both problems.

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From the Archives: Wurlitzer 200

We have a soft spot for the 200, because it was our first Wurlitzer electronic piano. Our favorite Wurlitzer model changes from minute to minute, but the 200 always has a strong case. It’s the final iteration, sleek and stripped-down - not an inch of wasted space - with features that have been arguably perfected from the previous versions. Electronically, though, it’s still ancient technology. It’s rough around the edges. The 200a was a necessary upgrade - but that doesn’t mean that we have to like it better.

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