This came into my collection in December 2013 in a very unlikely way: It was listed on Craigslist at a location 200 miles from my house. The piano was mis-identified as a Wurlitzer 112. And the seller was asking $3,000 for it. But a few days later, after a long drive, it was mine for a reasonable price.
This was the last Wurlitzer electric piano before the company decided to save money — and weight — by building the plastic-topped 200 series. The 140B is, in my opinion, a high-water point for the Wurlitzer electric piano: The best action and tone of any Wurli I’ve played, and optically controlled vibrato that will bring tears to your eyes. There are nuances in the sound that I don’t hear with the thicker reeds on my 200A, and hitting the keys a little harder rewards you with a very cool bark. I like the way it looks, too.
And this was a very special one: Virtually flawless cosmetically. Complete with lid, pedal, music stand, legs and matching bench. And the seller even had a copy of the original schematics and a Wurlitzer warranty envelope with the the owner’s manual and, believe it or not, the original hang tag. Cool!
The downside of this model is that it is the heaviest portable Wurli EP ever built (not an issue for me, since I won’t be gigging with it). Its early solid state amp is also known for being noisy — and mine had some significant hum. But that’s gone since I re-built the amp (replacing the electrolytic caps, the high-value resistors, and subbing low-noise transistors for the originals).
This model does not have a line-level output jack to use with an external amp. There are mods that can be done to add one, but I did not want to alter the piano. So, I got one of these Radial ProRMP reamp boxes.
I now take the output from the headphone jack on the piano to the box, and out to my Twin Reverb. This works beautifully. (You can also use the Reamp box to take the signal off the speaker output on the back of the 140B’s built-in amp. This gives you a mix of the internal amp/speaker and your external amp.) The internal amp and speaker have a beautiful mellow sound, like you hear on some vintage R&B songs. But running it through the Twin Reverb gives it a nasty, metallic sound — and adds a lot of bark. It’s almost like having two different electric pianos. I like both sound options.
After owning this piano for eight years, I finally decided to give it the complete “beauty treatment:” I got some Protek CLP piano lube, and lubricated all the hinged joints in the action and the key rail pins. And then I used a capstan wrench to regulate the lost motion and the let-off. This turned out to be a lot of work (in part because I had never regulated a Wurli before), but it was well worth it. (Details of regulating the piano are contained in the 140B’s service manual.) I also dealt with a handful of keys whose volume was too loud or too soft, or didn’t sustain properly. Now, every key sounds consistent. The piano was playing very nicely before I did this, but now it’s really outstanding. It now has an excellent dynamic range, and is set up to have a nice “bark” when you push it a little.
The 140B had a near-twin, the 145B, which is identical except that it has a tube-type amp. Normally, you’d think a tube amp would be preferable, but those who have played both instruments tend to prefer the solid state amp. It’s one AMAZING piano!
Hear the sounds of the Wurlitzer electronic piano
32 thoughts on “1966 Wurlitzer 140B electronic piano”
This is FANTASTIC. Perfect piece!!!!!
Alan, I am maintaining a page that documents every model of Wurli, and the early 60’s Wurlies are especially hard to pinpoint in terms of production. Since we know yours is from 1966, knowing its serial number could be incredibly helpful in terms of figuring out how many of these were produced each year. Can you help me? I put the link to the page in the details I filled out below, but you can also google “paleophone” and “a list” and it will come up.
Glad to add to your list. Mine is #34399.
Thank you! Check my page for additional info on accurately ID’ing the manufacturing dates of your Wurlies. There’s a stamp code. http://paleophone.net/?page_id=923
Sweet, this is a really cool piece. I have #37848
They are all very special!
I also have an old Wurlitzer – Model 140B. Serial number is #37184. I always thought it was from around 1974 – but it could be older than that. Thanks!
They stopped making the 140B in the late 1960s. My best guess based on your serial number is that it was built in about 1967. (A “Summer of Love” piano?) 😉
Thanks for getting back to me on that Alan. I “inherited” it from my mom way back then. I’m sure that your guess is better than mine – and yes, the summer of love!
Really nice! Thanks for your great pages. I’m in the market for a 140B or 145B now. If your music room is filling up & you see one that’s not an upgrade from your stuff, I’d love to hear about it. Thanks, PG
I’ll let you know if I see one. Great pianos!
One of those magic and everlastingly remembered day today !
Got a Wurlitzer 140 , serial number 25399 , bought from a musician in Paris.
Well cleaned and fixed by another man 5 to…? years ago.
Superb condition but a minor slight problem with the earphones exit plug. The sound just comes to one ear. But I know a professional in electronics to take a look at it soon !
Otherwise, super sound, super speaker…..Super Piano !
I am very happy, very lucky…And very grateful !!!…Even the sustain pedal , original one, functions perfectly ! What a piano !!!!!!!!!!
Thanks everyone ! Thanks Wurlitzer !
Congratulations! Enjoy your new piano!
It’s likely nothing is wrong with your piano’s headphone jack. The piano was built with a mono jack. If you plug in stereo headphones, the jack will only send a signal to one side of the headphones. There are three ways I can think of to fix this: 1) Your electronics pro could replace the jack in the piano with a stereo jack, and solder the mono output to both sides of the jack; 2) You could try to find some mono headphones; or 3) Buy an adapter like this: http://www.showmecables.com/product/1-4-IN-Stereo-Jack-to-Mono-Plug-Adapter.aspx?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=963&gclid=Cj0KEQiAt9vEBRDQmPSow-q5gs8BEiQAaWSEDsU9M-2y71KAtuqqf6pIuLNZDCNHsE7DsueRiCaZKmEaAn1c8P8HAQ
#3 is quick, easy and cheap — and would be my suggestion.
Thanks Alan !
Thanks very much for what you are doing with referencing those wonderful instruments !
I was asking myself the same question ! 🙂
Thank you for the advices ! It seems the #3 definitely will be tried , as I prefer to touch the inside of the piano as less as possible , as long as it is not absolutely needed !
Anyway, feeling like entering in a family, I let you enjoy as I am going to !
Let’s keep in contact !
I have a 140B……is the amp solid state or tube ?
It’s solid state.
Are you Spooner Oldham????
Likely solid state
For the record, all the 140Bs had solid state amps. The identical piano with a tube amp was identified as a model 145B. But over 50 years, it’s always possible that someone swapped an amp from another piano.
Sure, I agree.
And, when a guy named Spooner is asking Wurly questions, I’m gonna tread lightly and leave some room for things I might not know about.
I have Wurlitzer 140 b like the one pictured above that I’d like to sell. Do you know of anyone who might be interested?
Yes, I know several people who might be interested. Price? Location? Condition? Do you have accessories? (Legs? Bench? Pedal? Transport cover? ) Contact me by email: alan.lenhoff AT G Mail DOT COM. Photos would help, too, including one of the serial number plate.
Hello. I have a wurli 140b in exellent condition. I would like to sell it. If anyone interested you can contact me. Thanks
Where are you located? Price?
I have a 140 b Wurlitzer electric piano with bench for sale. The reverb petal
Is missing. This piano was owned by one previous owner and played very little. Unsure about cost of shipping. Located in northern Minnesota.i hate to see
This little delight go ,But I have a TBI as a result from a car accident and cannot play so I am raising funds to help with the costs of a brain injury treatment center.
I can be contacted at email@example.com
Any reasonable offer considered.
Beautiful find! Will you have any Wurly 145’s for sale? Thank you!
No, I only own this 140B, and it is not for sale.
I still have a Wurlitzer 140B as well. Serial number 37184.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look quite as good as the one you had pictured. but it still plays very well!
The painted finishes certainly weren’t very durable, but they are great-playing and great-sounding instruments. (The best of the Wurlis, in my opinion.) I got very lucky: I think mine was used briefly as a child’s first piano, and then stored for many years.
Serial no. 28037 140B is the one I got..im only guessing maybe 1964? From Richmond, Indiana .loovve it..and not selling but do need to know how to find the best replacement amp I can get for it. It has been refurbished to natural wood and gold top, gold knobs …long awesome story for another time… I want to play it…please advise me on a great amp or rebuild person for the original amp…I am on a mission to have this set to record soon. Thanks, Kent
You have a very early one, probably one of the first 600. ’64 sounds right. I re-built my amp, and it’s fine for my home/hobbyist uses. But a new amp would be great if you’re planning to record, and need it to be very quiet. I’d recommend you consider the Warneck Research replacement amp, available from Tim Warneck’s Retrolinear.com. Tim is an amazing tech, with two electrical engineering degrees. He could do a great re-build for you, too, if you decide to follow that path. If you want a tech to handle everything, Max Brink at Chicago Electric Piano Co. is also first-rate, and maybe close enough for you to drive to. Max also sells the Warneck amps.
I came across this post looking to find the value of my Wurlitzer 140B electronic piano. I have had it for years and did not know it’s value,
The serial number is 34472 and was purchased in Wichita, KS for $400 in 1966. My parents had purchased two pianos, but they gave one away a very long time ago. I have all of the original paperwork, hang tags and service manual.
I am interested in selling it. I am missing the cover, one of the knobs and the bench seat legs. The outside has some cosmetic damage and I do not have the original cord (I modified an extension cord to power the unit). The piano still works, although I sure that it needs a thorough cleaning.
This item has been sold!