Distortion from Wurlitzer EP200A

Tech Questions regarded the Wurlitzer Electric Piano

Distortion from Wurlitzer EP200A

Postby funkster on Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:45 pm

I am having serious distortion problems from a Wurlitzer EP200A that I purchased from Vintagevibe in 2004, and had shipped here in London.

I get distortion on all played notes, from the attack. It is a variable and intermittent problem, ranging from a little, but noticeable and unacceptable distortion/noise, to a lot. It can go away completely at times, but at present seems to have become permanent and completely pre-dominant.

Having taken off the cover, I think it seems to be connected to three small cables passing up underneath an aluminum cover above the keys, from the main area of electronic-components to a small area of components above the keys, located centrally. When I wiggle these slightly, or press on them, the distortion can sometimes disappear, but then returns later. This seems to point to a bad connection somewhere.

Actually, this problem has been present for a long time, even years, but used to disappear completely, so I never bothered to fix it. It also seems to be related to the vibrato sometimes disappearing. I say this because when this occasionally (and annoyingly) happens, I can also wiggle or press on the three wires to remedy this. This is something that happened first soon after I bought the piano, and Vintagevibe advised me to do this, by telephone.

However, the distortion currently makes the piano completely unplayable and I am looking for any ideas. I would take it to a repairer here, but maybe if it is very simple loose connection, maybe I can do something myself.

I would add there is sometimes currently a high pitched and varying whining sound from the piano, which seems connected to the distortion, but is only very occasional. Also a couple of notes (roughly G2, Ab2) have a kind of distortion on the decay, but maybe that is a separate problem.

Other than that, it's a great piano!
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:30 pm

Re: Distortion from Wurlitzer EP200A

Postby funkster on Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:23 am

Well, with a bit of perseverance, I seem to have managed to correct my problem myself.

After watching a vintagevibe video about fitting a new pre-amplifier, which seemed to be the item that might be causing trouble, (since, as mentioned, wiggling the cables connected to that seemed to have an effect on the distortion), I thought I would try detaching this to see if it had any loose connections, bad solders or looked in any way as if it needed attention.

I needed to get a quarter-inch nut-driver for this, to release fixings, which presented a slight problem, as they don't seem too common here in the UK, but I managed to get one from an on-line pinball-machine company.

I took the pre-amp off, and was initially a little perturbed that, now, I got no sound at all from the Wurly.

I then reattached the pre-amp, making sure the nuts were tight, and what do you know, clean sound again with no distortion!

My guess would be the pre-amp must depend on a connection to the frame to work, (possibly to do with grounding?) and either distortion or no sound at all will occur if this is deficient.

I am so pleased, as a local repair-company had quoted £200+ for a three-hour repair to the amp for this!

So well done me! (a bit vintagevibe for the video)

Hope this may be of some use to someone else.
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:30 pm

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