Registered Piano Technician

1960’s Wurlitzer Studio Piano

Posted on by tuner

Back in March 2013 I was servicing a public school piano made in 1969. Wurlitzer made those older studio pianos to last.  I could have just tuned the piano, but I looked at the hammers and saw all that wear.  The hammers had obviously never been reshaped. I saw that the prior tuners had signed their name on the back of the keys. The first tuner wrote that it was new in 1969 so I didn’t have to look it up.  I try to imagine the sound improvement after filing the hammers.   I decided to do some filing.  I started out just filing the treble hammers and wow what a difference.  There is brighteness now and not just a dull uneven tone.  Decided to proceed with the mid octaves as well.   I needed to do more needling of the felt in that section especially where the tenor transitions to the bass.  The tone is much nicer and mellower in this case.  Then I listen to the tone in the bass and think this is not pleasant and certainly not even.  The bass strings have lost some of their power over time, but it can be made better by working on the hammers.  I wonder if the teacher will notice it.  He said that they weren’t using it much, but did want it tuned.  He has an electronic keyboard up in front of the class.  Sure that one doesn’t need tuning, but will it still be around in 44 years like the Wurlitzer?  No way.  I go ahead and file the bass hammers and do some more needling.  I had also removed lost motion from the keys before the voicing.  After trying the piano, the music teacher may be thinking “that tuning sure made a difference”.  It is nice to be able to make such a difference in that short a time. I hope that this piano will be at the front of the class next time rather than the electronic one.

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Yonley's Piano Tuning and Repair
1201 Eastside Dr.
Mesquite , Tx , 75149