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1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
#2986340 05/31/20 07:49 PM
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Hi. Was looking for opinion. Due to moving, relative is downsizing their home and have offered, for free, a 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet. As a piece of furniture, it is very nice. Really looks like it is well cared for. As a piano, I am unsure. It is definitely out of tune and has at least 1 sticky key (C3). Short time playing determined many keys way out of tune and very light action. Soundboard looks ok, but I think it is laminated (I think) and on bottom there is a small 4-5 in ridge (not a crack) where I think the lamination has begun to separate. So, posting here for some opinions:

Is it tunable? Is it worth it? I would hate to lug this thing or have it moved 2 hours just for it to become an unplayable paperweight in my house. If repairs are needed is it worth it? I realize that someone is going to say have a qualified piano tech look at it, but is that cost even worth it?

We have beginning piano student at home who uses a Roland f-140r right now. No real urgent need for an acoustic piano except for sentimental if this could be brought to some level of respectable sounding piano.

I will try and share some pictures of the piano I took. Thanks for any assistance/opinions

[img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/0Cd3tnosZwbyVxsxXAhADL4VA#Warrington[/img]

[img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/0_RsgyfFjHbtaEjOQbxdmM5jA#Warrington[/img]

[img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/01IEhcrQvX8gLyIDoL1zhPWkw#Warrington[/img]

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Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
dham340 #2986358 05/31/20 08:48 PM
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Well, it is not the worst piano that Wurlitzer made. I am not certain whether it has a drop action or not. If not, it is a small console, and might serve as a beginning piano, but even spinets get played.


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Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
dham340 #2986362 05/31/20 08:54 PM
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There are some things that cannot be done on the internet and this is one. The only valid source of actionable information for you is to have a knowledgeable and competent technician put hands and eyeballs on your particular instrument. Certainly, you wouldn't even think of asking an auto mechanics forum whether a particular 1963 Ford Fairlane was worth getting or not.

Your photos are no more useful than sending photos of the exterior of a car and the engine compartment to an auto mechanic.

As a general observation, Wurlitzer was in the more promotional price levels. Not great instruments but functional. This could be a workable instrument for you although no concert grand by any means.

The issues you describe could describe something that is fatally expensive or merely incidental. Again, only a real person on site can tell. If you don't want to pay for valid information, then you will make your decision in an informational vacuum.

One source of generally reliable and competent technicians is found at www.ptg.org -- the Piano Technicians Guild website.

You can expect a few hundred dollars of "accumulated routine maintenance" catch-up to get the instrument functional.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
dham340 #2986364 05/31/20 09:01 PM
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Can you be more specific when you say "many keys way out of tune"? Does one note sound like 3 notes? That could be a sign of loose tuning pins. Do octaves not sound like octaves? How sentimentally attached are you to the piano? If not too emotionally attached, you'll be able to find another piano. There are loads of them out there.


Eric Gloo
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Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
dham340 #2986368 05/31/20 09:13 PM
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Hi,
the best way to know if a piano is tuneable is to tune it.
A key that sounds WAY out of tune by itself usually indicates that the tuning pin doesn't hold tension anymore.
I'd say some of the answers to your questions depend on how much money and time you are willing to invest in this.
Be aware that these short piano will just never have the bass notes sound anywhere similar to a tall upright.
This being said, if I want to play for my pleasure, I'll take a well tuned spinet over any digital piano without hesitating. This is very personal, others would say the opposite.
Hopefully someone who has an opinion on this particular model will chime in.
Good luck!


Musician / tuner
Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
kpembrook #2986375 05/31/20 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
There are some things that cannot be done on the internet and this is one. The only valid source of actionable information for you is to have a knowledgeable and competent technician put hands and eyeballs on your particular instrument. Certainly, you wouldn't even think of asking an auto mechanics forum whether a particular 1963 Ford Fairlane was worth getting or not.

Your photos are no more useful than sending photos of the exterior of a car and the engine compartment to an auto mechanic.

As a general observation, Wurlitzer was in the more promotional price levels. Not great instruments but functional. This could be a workable instrument for you although no concert grand by any means.

The issues you describe could describe something that is fatally expensive or merely incidental. Again, only a real person on site can tell. If you don't want to pay for valid information, then you will make your decision in an informational vacuum.

One source of generally reliable and competent technicians is found at www.ptg.org -- the Piano Technicians Guild website.

You can expect a few hundred dollars of "accumulated routine maintenance" catch-up to get the instrument functional.


Understood. I was really just asking to see if I would get a “1962 Wurlitzer spinets are junk, I’ve never seen one repaired for less than the cost of a new entry level upright”. Or, “don’t waste the inspection Fee unless you are prepared to spend $1500 plus to fix it”

Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
Eric Gloo #2986376 05/31/20 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Can you be more specific when you say "many keys way out of tune"? Does one note sound like 3 notes? That could be a sign of loose tuning pins. Do octaves not sound like octaves? How sentimentally attached are you to the piano? If not too emotionally attached, you'll be able to find another piano. There are loads of them out there.


Not that I noticed, octaves sounded like octaves, some were in tune, others barely out, others really out. As I said, not going to keep it for sentimental reasons and not willing to spend thousands to get it up to par.

Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
dham340 #2986541 06/01/20 09:28 AM
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It IS a nice looking piano, and I believe it is a console, not a spinet. I notice also that the bottom two notes above the tenor break have two, rather than three pins. This means those two notes have wound strings which indicates a better scaling. I also notice that there is little wear on the hammers. If you are comfortable with the cost or effort for moving the piano, and you have a tuner that treats pinblocks with CA glue (just in case... OK, more than likely) I'd say go for it. You can always sell it for the same free price. wink

Some may insist that a bigger piano is better, but they also take up more wall space and are more difficult to move.

Last edited by UnrightTooner; 06/01/20 09:30 AM.

Jeff Deutschle
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Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: 1960-65 Wurlitzer spinet
dham340 #2992968 06/19/20 12:32 PM
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Not that I think anyone cares, but I did have a certified piano tech come today. The piano was a full 1/2 step out of tune. But, besides a few sticky keys it looks like it can be brought back up to standard tuning over time. So, over the next several months he will come back and slowly bring it back. But sounds much better after the first tuning. It’s in tune with itself.


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