Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Worth it Wurlies?


Joe Muscara

Recommended Posts

Looking thru "area" Craigslist postings, I've come across two (three actually, but I'm not interested in the third) Wurlitzer 200-series Electric Pianos in the Austin CL (none in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, nor College Station :( ).

 

I know we're basing on what little is written here, but I was wondering what expert opinions on each of these are. I could make a trip to Austin if I was sure these would be worthwhile. I even know some keyboard players out there, maybe if they were feeling generous they could check them out without buying them out from under me!

 

Here they are. The first was listed a few weeks ago and I guess relisted yesterday. I don't recall if the price was different but the text of the listing is the same.

 

http://austin.craigslist.org/msg/1533651348.html

 

The second is a console and I'd have to figure out how to transport it, but maybe it's worth the price.

 

http://austin.craigslist.org/msg/1534343538.html

 

(The third one is an instructor console model.

 

http://austin.craigslist.org/msg/1532927011.html )

 

Thanks for any thoughts you might have.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 43
  • Created
  • Last Reply

My mom had that console model in her basement for years. It was a great practice instrument and sounded even louder and fuller than a 200, but I wouldn't want to gig with it.

 

I don't know what's involved in modifying the case to remove the speaker cab, but you would then have to at least chase down some legs and a sustain pedal.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 206 is a good cheaper option. You could talk him down on the price too. I would try to anyway. Probably shoot an offer of $450 and see what he says. You'll get the same great tone as the 200 model, but in a slightly bulkier package, and they can be modified to 200/200A specs fairly easily. I believe the 206s (not 206A) even already contain the tremolo circuitry. You just need to make a minor adjustment to enable it. If not, adding a vibrato kit isn't all that expensive. You could do it yourself if you're handy.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, I guess I should have mentioned my intent. I would like to have it available for gigs, but I suspect I would primarily keep it at home for playing and recording. When I mentioned transporting the console model, I mainly meant fitting it in my car for the drive home from Austin. But like I said, I'd like to be able to bring it to the occasional gig if that was possible. You know, instead of the Electro, maybe some gigs I'd just use the Wurly.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I thought the RED one had a great Wurlitzer program or two.

 

Why would you want to take your money out of the bank?

 

Nostalgia is fine, but money in the bank is potential future opportunity.

 

Do you plan to retire one day, Joe?

 

:snax:

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know what you call a retired musician Tom?

 

A corpse.

 

The Electro does have great Wurlies. But it's still not quite the same. It's just like clonewheels and DPs. Since I don't have space for a tonewheel nor a grand piano, I thought I might shoot for a Wurlie. It's also much less money than either of those.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The third one is almost identical to the Wurlies we used at college when I studied (late 80s). A few years earlier they would have been considered archaic, but were just starting to become cool again. The keyboard tutor loved them, as we all did, but they were pretty immobile. Plus the built-in speaker would distort like hell, but that was part of the appeal.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a 206 that had been "chopped". It was just like the 200A except I had to modify the hole that the 200A damper pedal fit into. A brother in law who is good at wood working did it for me. So depending on the price & if you can get the middle E tine replaced & tuned, I'd go for the 206. As the ad says, the console speaker mic's would have an awesome sound.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know what you call a retired musician Tom?

 

A corpse.

 

The Electro does have great Wurlies. But it's still not quite the same. It's just like clonewheels and DPs. Since I don't have space for a tonewheel nor a grand piano, I thought I might shoot for a Wurlie. It's also much less money than either of those.

 

You're right, Joe. I was really talking to myself; not you.

 

My apologies.

 

TLH

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Electro does have great Wurlies. But it's still not quite the same. It's just like clonewheels and DPs. Since I don't have space for a tonewheel nor a grand piano, I thought I might shoot for a Wurlie. It's also much less money than either of those.

The money may be inconsquential. I would advise thinking about how long you will enjoy playing the real deal before the nostalgia wears off.

 

I certainly understand the differences between the Electro and a Wurly. Still, it is worth considering the time spent between purchase and selling it. ;):cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The second is a console and I'd have to figure out how to transport it, but maybe it's worth the price.

 

http://austin.craigslist.org/msg/1534343538.html

 

Weird. I was just measuring about two hours ago a 720 spinet model to see how to pop the tube amp into the upper part of the cabinet to do a chop.

 

I can't see the post above, as it says it's been deleted or something -- but assuming it's a similar model, or maybe a 206x I like my funky console better than the 200A I sold off for a few hundred (!) locally. The best tone I've come across personally.

 

If you grab it and decide to chop, I'd like to get into some kind of chopping thread -- I don't know shit about woodworking and nothing on the web seems to be of much help for chopping the particular model I've got.

 

In general, though (I've had a 200A, a 720, and an old 120), you should be careful to make sure the instrument you're going to buy is pretty good -- they are *awful* to repair, tune, regulate, the whole shmear. For a few hundred bucks, though, it could be fun if you have all the reeds and the space to have one set up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The student models are the most cost-effective route. They can usually be hard for very cheap (got mine for free). It is relatively simple to remove the base. You just have to re-route the AC after getting the base off.

 

Some of the student models do have the electronics on the circuit board for the tremolo, they are just not connected. Others do not; mine did not, but Vintage Vibe sells a kit to retrofit the tremolo to the student models.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plus, you could give a fancy red coat like B3-er got if you got one of the plastic-cased ones.

 

Looks pretty slick to me -- unfortunately, my 200A was such a dog that I just sold it off to some rube for an astonishing two hundred bucks a few years ago. Not even remotely was it worth that much, at least to me. It just sounded *bad* even when played pretty good.

 

j lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 200A, but to be honest it rarely makes an appearance out of the case since I got an Electro. It's just not worth it. The Nord sounds so good, and it's so light and easy to set up I can honestly say I may never use the Wurly on a gig again. And I really do like mine.

 

I remember when I had my first one (1976) it seemed so light in comparison to my Rhodes. Compared to a Rhodes, it still is light! But we are so spoiled now with modern keys that truly are lightweight. The Wurly is a total hassle in terms of practicality on a gig. They are always a little buzzy, the have a fairly low gain, the only real case options are a road case (which I have-argh). Unless you've got a road crew, I say stick with the Electro. For home use, different story. Cool to have if you have space to set it up. Otherwise, I say pass......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it ironic that 35 years ago I bought a 200A because it was the best imitation of an acoustic piano I could afford and still pack around. The overdrive drove me crazy and I never used the tremolo. Now I'm using Wurly sounds in my Rompler and editing the sound to get it to reproduce the EP sound as possible including the tremolo and overdrive.
We play for free. We get paid to set up and tear down.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mention that one reed is broken. What most people don't realize is that it's likely that many of the reeds in a piano this old should be replaced. Just because they aren't snapped in half doesn't mean that they sing/sustain like they should. And they may be just a few strokes from breaking.

Just something else to consider in the vintage vs clone debates.

JP

1935 Mason & Hamlin Model A

Korg Kronos 2 73

Nord Electro 6D 61

Yam S90ES

Rhodes Stage 73 (1972)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sold my Wurlitzer without the slightest remorse. (Actually, I've owned two, of which the first one was stolen)

I was very happy to upgrade to a Rhodes. Today, the Rhodes is gone too, and I rely on (good) samples without feeling guilty at all. :)

Here's an example. Honestly, can you tell the difference, at least until it morphs into a synth?

Asteroidi

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a certain dirtiness / lo-fi / barkiness to the Wurli which is missing from every emulation I've heard. For live use, the various digital options are just dandy. But I love having mine back. I stupidly sold it 8 years ago because I needed the bread but bought it back 2 years ago and I'll never sell it again. I love it.

 

Check out a track I did with it just tonight, farting around:

 

http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=53601

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got a 200A and the Scarbee samples. The samples come very close, but like any clone, the playing experience is not the same. I take my real Wurly out on occasion for gigs, when the setting warrants it, and the hassle factor is minimal.

 

I just had it tuned, and I've got an intermittent pop in it that I have to get dealt with. So it takes a little more effort to keep, but for me, it's worth it.

Custom Music, Audio Post Production, Location Audio

www.gmma.biz

https://www.facebook.com/gmmamusic/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sold my Wurlitzer without the slightest remorse. (Actually, I've owned two, of which the first one was stolen)

I was very happy to upgrade to a Rhodes. Today, the Rhodes is gone too, and I rely on (good) samples without feeling guilty at all. :)

Here's an example. Honestly, can you tell the difference, at least until it morphs into a synth?

Asteroidi

 

 

I also sold my Wurlitzer many years ago and never regretted it. I also do not miss the Rhodes I used to play.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also sold my Wurlitzer many years ago and never regretted it. I also do not miss the Rhodes I used to play.
That's probably because you only played diatonic music on them when you had them, Dave. ;)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a certain dirtiness / lo-fi / barkiness to the Wurli which is missing from every emulation I've heard.
Yeah, I'm always happy with my Electro Wurly until I do a session on a 200, and then there's just no comparison. In many ways, I think the Wurly's harder to really seriously nail than the Rhodes.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I didn't want to start a new thread for this.

 

This post showed up on my local CL. What bu!!$#!^. Hacks me off that this is what someone posts as an ad.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joe barely knows how to play his own instrument from what he has told me in a half dozen emails back months ago. Only a couple of the wurlies are even worth having, and you have to know what you're doing to put in a tremolo unit. They aren't like porting a cab. If you have the tremolocircuitry the rest is simple. I wouldn't pay more than $400 for it. Those boards were always played hard for the distortion, playing hard isn't how you get it though some think it is.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joe barely knows how to play his own instrument from what he has told me in a half dozen emails back months ago.

Tell me you didn't just post that.

 

That is not what I said to you, and it's quite rude and distorted of you to say that. It's rude to take what we may have discussed privately and post it on a public forum without my consent. You were rude to me in the private emails and now you've stepped it up to be rude to me publicly.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joe barely knows how to play his own instrument from what he has told me in a half dozen emails back months ago.

Tell me you didn't just post that.

 

That is not what I said to you, and it's quite rude and distorted of you to say that. It's rude to take what we may have discussed privately and post it on a public forum without my consent. You were rude to me in the private emails and now you've stepped it up to be rude to me publicly.

 

Yeah, seriously JymB. That comment was completely uncalled for, and extremely discourteous.

 

From what I've read of Joe's contributions to this forum over the years, he certainly knows how to play his own instrument.

 

Don't worry, Joe, we got your back :thu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...