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Repairing Wurlitzer vs Rhodes Digital & Stage Pianos
Old 18th May 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Repairing Wurlitzer vs Rhodes

I want to buy a Whurlie and there are some good deals for some with broken reeds or other things. I repaired a Rhodes MKII without any issues a few years ago - soldered all new pickups, some keys, tuned it etc.

Is the Wurlitzer more complicated? Are the electronics more advanced? Can all the parts be easily sourced?
Old 18th May 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I've recently rehabbed one. I relied heavily on the Vintagevibe.com online videos, and they have almost all the parts you'll need. I say almost because most people reroute and shield the AC wiring to cut down on hum, and they use copper foil tape to do it, which is readily available but not from VV.

All in all it went well for me. If I did it again I'd probably try rerouting the AC line around the lower back of the case in mu-metal conduit.

The least fun part for me was routing out the case (really hard maple) to replace the cheater cord socket with an IEC, but if you have the original power cord you can skip that.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
What about the electronics? On the Rhodes the soldering and circuitry was super simple. Do you need to have more electronics know-how for the Whurlie?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Head
 

I have a Rhodes and a '69 Wurlitzer 200 - and have worked extensively on both.
The Wurlitzer is a lot more complex electronically and in terms of the action.
It has an electrostatic pickup system running at 170 volts.
They can be fiddly, but it's doable with all the resources available on the internet, and practically everything you need to keep them going can now be found online.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

I am in the middle of fixing my 200A. I got some reeds and I was missing a leg and also the music stand so I got that as well.

The pickup voltage is actually +150vdc. My power supply board was gone so I am making a battery pack with 9v batteries in series for the voltages. Only using the small preamp which sits on the centre of the reed bar.

It actually sounds much better than the stock amp and is also noiseless. However you loose the vibrato. No biggie and easily added with a pedal.

Next step would be to replace the main board with a Vintage Vibe one or even better the one from www.kenrichsounds.com

I've had my 200A for many years sitting there because fixing it was not an easy task but now there are many solutions available.

It is not cheap but these instruments (Like a hammond as well are worth bringing back to a healthy life).

Cheers

Jim
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