Archive for Wurlitzer

FOR SALE: Red Wurlitzer 200 Eletric Piano

Just in time for Thanksgiving! Here’s the latest from our custom shop:

img_4613

We restored this stunning vintage instrument with with our “Rebirth” level of restoration services including a number of custom shop upgrades. The red finish is a custom paint job which is a perfect match to the original Red Wurlitzer 200’s. It and the base were re-painted to capture the original look of on of the coolest Wurlitzer finishes ever produced. In addition, we re-capped the white and black keys with new tops adding to the new mint finish. Along with the new set of chrome legs this thing looks like brand new–and it plays like it is too!

Internally, the instrument was restored with our full detailed restoration services. The key bed was completely leveled with all the sharps set to the proper height. And all action assembly springs and felts were replaced before regulation in order to get this thing playing at full dynamic potential.

The original alnico speakers are in great condition giving classic warmth to the instrument’s internal voice. The amplifier was upgraded with the Warneck Research EP200 amplifier and variable vibrato, which have excellent tone and an amazing noise floor for recording and professional performance. –As you’ve come to expect from our custom restorations, this piano sounds and plays as good as it looks! 

Sound samples coming soon and are available on request. Feel free to message us with any questions.

img_4612

img_4615

img_4616

img_4623

img_4620

img_4622

img_4624

img_4625

img_4626

img_4627

img_4613

 

Custom Shop: Baby Blue Wurlitzer 206A

Here’s the latest custom Wurlitzer from our workshop: The Baby Blue Wurli 206A!

IMG_1433

Here’s the latest Custom Shop Wurlitzer restoration from our workshop. This Wurlitzer was restored from a very mint Classroom 206A set and finished in baby blue with white accents.

One of the subtle details for this restoration was using a 203W speaker baffle that allowed us to remove the 206A’s shelf. The 203W’s speaker baffle also gave a nice accent across the bottom of the speaker base. The aluminum pedal and feet were also polished and buffed to give this beauty as much shine as possible.

As you have come to expect from our restorations this beauty sounds and plays as good as it looks! We completely leveled the key bed, replaced all springs and action felts, regulated the action and key travel, and dialed in the amplifier to bring out the best of the classic Wurlitzer tone that we all know and love!

If you are interested in a piece like this we have more Wurlitzer 206A’s that are in need of a good home or studio. These models are usually picked up in near-mint condition since they spend most of their life in a University or school. Many of them come out of storage spaces where they have sat untouched for decades. They may be more cumbersome than a 200A for gigging, but in the studio or for home use the speaker base a 206A blows the internal speakers of a 200A out of the water!

–Please contact max@chicagoelectricpiano.com or (312)476-9528 for inventory availability and customization options.

IMG_1456

IMG_1461

IMG_1483

IMG_1476

IMG_1504

IMG_1470

IMG_1520

IMG_1527

IMG_1524

IMG_1508

IMG_1490

IMG_1506

IMG_1542

 

…Don’t to check out our Custom “Blue Sky” Sparkle Rhodes that is currently for sale! They made a hell of a pair at the workshop–along with a custom baby blue Fender Jazz Bass by our friends at Chicago Fret Works!

IMG_1563

IMG_1568

IMG_1589

IMG_1580

FOR SALE: Custom White Wurlitzer 214A

Here’s the latest from our Custom Shop: The White Wurlitzer 214A–upgraded to eleven!

img_20161011_124121

Here’s the latest stunning White Wurlitzer with our complete Custom Shop and “Rebirth” restoration services. This Custom White Wurlitzer is based off of the cosmetic design that was chosen by Jeff Tweedy for his custom 206A at the Wilco Loft. The design received such a great response that we decided to repeat it with this 214A along with a few other cosmetic and electronic upgrades.

Video of the piano via Reverb.com:

As you’ve come to expect from our custom restorations, this piano sounds and plays even better than it looks! The key bed was completely leveled with all the sharps set to the proper height. And all action assembly springs and felts were replaced before regulation in order to get this thing playing at full dynamic potential!

We also upgraded the electronics in this piano with a Retro Linear EP200A amplifier and its deep variable vibrato. These amplifiers really bring out the best of the Wurlitzer’s tone with a lower noise floor and much more clarity in the lows and mids. The lows sound tremendous through the 214A speaker base! –And you are going to love the deep range of the tremolo along with speed control on the third knob! (Sound samples coming soon)

New key tops always look stunning on a cosmetic restoration and especially when you’re working with white. In order to make the white really pop on this custom restoration we replaced all of the white key tops and sharps. You can see a preview of the before-and-after here:

2013-01-26 11.33.08

 

Sound samples coming soon! Until then have a closer look at this stunning restoration:

img_4192

img_4195

img_4196

img_4200

img_4201

img_4202

img_4203

img_4207

img_4205

img_4204

img_4209

img_4211

img_4210

img_4191

$4,999 plus shipping. Worldwide shipping is available. Please contact max@chicagoelectricpiano.com for ordering information.

Custom Shop: White Wurltizer 200A*

I’m Dreaming of a White (Wurli) Christmas…

2015-12-14 17.56.36

Here’s the latest custom Wurlitzer from our custom shop: The White Wurlitzer 200A.

This Wurlitzer 200A was a conversion from a Classroom Wurlitzer 206A piano set that we acquired earlier this year. The classroom pianos make great candidates for customization because they are usually in excellent condition internally due to lighter use (although that may not always be the case). We added the classic 200A vibrato circuitry and a reproduction 200A face plate to finish it all off. Have a look here:

2015-12-14 17.57.17

2015-12-14 18.01.52

2015-12-14 18.03.26

2015-12-14 18.06.07

2015-12-14 18.02.29

2015-12-14 18.01.32

2015-12-14 18.05.03

2015-12-14 18.07.06

2015-12-14 17.59.49

 

2015-12-14 17.56.49

 

 

For Sale: Wurlitzer 206A Restored to Order

ROTATED 206A Photo

Here comes another set of Wurlitzer student models through our workshop for restoration! We recently acquired a full classroom set of Wurlitzer 206A pianos from a local music school that no longer had room for the electro-mechanical instruments. If you are not familiar with the model 206A it is an identical instrument to the 200A with a larger speaker bass. They are ideal models for recording studios or they can be easily converted to 200A specifications with reproduction legs and sustain pedals.

For a complete list of our inventory of pianos currently being restored click here.

IMG_1606

2014-12-02 15.01.25

2014-12-02 15.01.17

IMG_1605

We understand that the tan or beige finish doesn’t immediately seem very rock and roll but in fact these pianos look great under colorful stage lighting. They are also ideal candidates for custom cosmetics and we have used 206A for the custom White Wilco Loft Wurlitzer and Kesha’s Psychedlic Wurlitzer.

WILCO-White-Wurli-206

2014-06-17 10.48.18

Base Price: $2,799

Base Price Includes:

  • Complete Key Bed Leveling Including Setting Black Key Height
  • Regulation of Key Travel Distance
  • Replaced Fly Springs and Fly Felts in Action Assembly
  • Complete Regulation of the Action Assembly
  • Re-cap of the Amplifier Electrolytic Capacitors
  • 200A style vibrato is installed (unless otherwise requested)
  • Low Noise Preamp Transistors and Output Amp Transistors
  • Complete Tuning and Voicing Setup

Common Upgrades: (Contact for Quote)

  • Warneck Research EP200A Amplifier
  • Speaker Upgrades (Alnico is common upgrade for warmth in mids and bass)
  • Custom Cosmetics (painted lid/tolex & grill cloth)
  • Conversion to 200A “Chop”

If you check back in frequently with our blog then you may find these pianos familiar from a previous posting following our first round of service with the pianos. We kept these pianos in great tuning and regulation for the past several years so we can say with confidence that they are ideal candidates for restoration. You can see their debut post here.

Wurlitzer 110 Manual and Schematic

–Gotta love that 1950’s space-age Wurlitzer atomic logo!

Here is a rare look at the original Wurlitzer manual for the near-prototype 110! Until now we were only aware of the 112 service manual and assumed that the 110 probably didn’t have a manual since it was only produced for such a limited lifespan. We’re happy to have it in our collection of original artifacts and we would like to share a copy of the .pdf with anyone else who will benefit from having it. A copy of the 110 schematic is also available as a .jpeg.

Click the cover image below to open a .pdf copy of the manual.

Wurlitzer 110_Service manual Cover

Click image to open the .pdf of the manual.

Wurlitzer Model 110 Amplifier Schematic

Wurlitzer 214A Classroom Pianos for Sale

You don’t see too many classrooms like this one anymore! Here’s a classroom of Wurlitzer 214A pianos, their flagship classroom piano, in a high school in Michigan:

2014-12-12 13.44.24

The school updated their classroom setup with modern digital pianos so that they wouldn’t need to concern themselves with maintenance costs of the vintage mechanical pianos. These 214A high school dropouts are now waiting restoration by The Chicago Electric Piano Company as they are released out into the world to live the rock and roll dream.

Wurlitzer’s 214A electric piano was their flagship classroom piano and featured what I believe is their best built-in speaker compliment to any of their models. The two most common models of student piano are the black 214A (although sometimes it’s green) and the tan 206 or 206A. The main advantages to the 214A is that it has the classic vibrato built into the circuitry, casters so that it can be wheeled around for recording or performing, and the speaker base is larger than the 206 since it does not have a built in shelf or cubby area for headphones. (Click here for our previous 206 Classroom post).

Another huge advantage of classroom model Wurlitzers is that they have seen less moving and handling and are usually kept in temperature controlled classrooms, practice rooms or storage closets. With this foundation they are ideal candidates for restoration and along with the Hammond M3 probably one of the most undervalued instruments that you can pick up on the used market. These are identical pianos mechanically to what you find in the 200A pianos and can even be converted with chrome legs to make them just as gig-worthy. If you don’t need to haul them to a gig, however, these speaker bases sound great and the style is pretty cool too. These are really the ideal Wurlitzer piano for home use or a professional recording studio.

For Sale

*For ordering information please contact Max Brink at (312)476-9528.

The first of the dozen pianos that will be restored is “Lucky No. 7” (nicknamed for the “7” stenciled onto the back of the piano) which was selected for being in the best condition of the group. It is in near mint condition and we have restored it from the key bed up in order to give it our full seal of approval. In this case, we fitted with the Warneck Preamp developed by Tim Warneck of Retro Linear. These amplifiers have an incredibly low noise floor and Tim spent a great deal of time getting the EQ and attach of the amplifier to bring out everything that we know and love about the Wurlitzer’s tone. It features a third knob for the speed control of the vibrato which has a great musical charm with no distortion at slow or fast speeds. These amplifiers are a must have for the studio or professional musician.

2014-12-15 23.16.54

You can find “Lucky No. 7” listed on Reverb.com or you can request any of the other 11 Wurlitzers to be restored to order by contacting Max Brink at (312)476-9528 or max@chicagoelectricpiano.com.

2014-12-15 23.18.18

2014-12-15 23.18.51

2014-12-15 23.17.50

2014-12-15 23.17.13

2014-12-15 23.17.24

Custom Shop: The Wurlitzer 106P

Check out this little orange beauty from the Wilco Loft! This is the 44 note Wurlitzer 106P Student Piano. Have a look:

Wurlitzer 106 Orange Front Faceplate

 

The 106P’s were produced around the same time as the 200 era pianos and were sold to classrooms in a set of eight pianos mounted onto a single folding frame that allowed them to be stored without taking up too much floor space. All of the controls were mounted in the middle of the folding frame where a single “mother” amplifier that distributed the power and other controls for the individual pianos. On their own, the pianos cannot be simply removed from the set without expert modification to make them work properly.

Wurlitzer 106P Full Set

 

Once unfolded the pianos only sit a few feet off of the ground and must have been intended for elementary school use.

A side mounted panel the instructor can control various basic functions of the classroom set.

Wurlitzer 106 Instructor Controls

 

Under the orange hood of the 106 the action assembly is nearly identical to the 200 series pianos with a few minor differences due to the 44 note reed bar that is unique to the 106. And not just because it is the only Wurlitzer model without 64 notes. Each of the reeds are mounted to a single reed bar that spans the entire piano which is also much lighter than any other Wurlitzer reed bar. The 200 series, and the previous 140/145 series, pianos have two 32 note reed bars split down the middle which severely limits the resonance transferred from one sustaining reed to another located on the other on the other reed bar. Having all of the reeds mounted on the same reed bar allows for more harmonics to be transferred between sustained notes which is one of the most wonderful sonic aspects of this instrument.

Wurlitzer 106 Reed Bar Angle

 

The other difference is that without serious modification these pianos have no sustain pedal function, which if implemented would only enhance the harmonic characteristics of the reed bar! Because of this, we designed a custom shop sustain pedal that allows this 106 piano to be played with a 200 series sustain pedal to bring the instrument to its absolute fullest musical potential.

Wurlitzer 106P Full Orange

 

In addition to our custom sustain pedal design the piano needed a replacement amplifier to power its internal speaker which is normally powered by the power supply mounted in the original folding frame… So here is a sneak peek of our soon to be released custom Wurlitzer tube amplifier: 

Wurlitzer Custom Tube Amplifier

 

There are a few replacement amplifiers currently available for the Wurlitzer and ours is designed to be a breed of its own. Instead of simply trying to improve upon the original Wurlitzer design, which has already been attempted with various degrees of success, we set out to design an amplifier from scratch and emphasize the characteristics that are normally desired from classic vintage amplifiers. This meant designing an amp with tubes, grit, vintage vibrato, and just that certain color and charm. Our goal was to design an amplifier with the inspirational qualities that guitar players find when playing classic vintage amps like a ’50’s Fender Deluxe or early Princetons or bass guitarists plugging into a vintage SVT or Motown’s B-15N.

So began the quest for the cosmic Wurlitzer amp.

106 Wurlitzer Switches

106 Wurlitzer Amp Knobs Variable Vibrato

 

One of the other unique aspects of our amplifier was that it supplies the reed bar with nearly 300V instead of the typical 75-150V supplied by the other stock and other replacement Wurlitzer amplifiers available. The result is more responsiveness in the reed bar which also delivers higher fidelity.

Wurlitzer Reed Bar Voltage

 

After experimenting over a year with various circuits implementing different tubes including working with 12AT7’s and 12AU7’s in the preamplifier before the finally fine tuning the 12AX7 to give just the right range of control over the grit and sparkle of the amplifier’s output. And boy does this amplifier have grit and sparkle! It brings the internal Wurlitzer speakers alive in ways that you have never heard! –Truly an inspiration!

The vibrato circuit also uses a 12AX7 and is modeled after the classic Fender Brown Face tremolo circuit. Unlike the original Wurlitzer amplifiers, this gives the tremolo both intensity and speed controls. We also added a tremolo foot-switch on/off switch which allows you to turn the effect on and off without the need to raise a hand or sweep down the intensity control.

…Stay tuned for sound samples and a special offer on our limited addition first run of our new amplifier…

 

In addition to the Custom Shop work we also restored the piano from the key bed up and voiced each individual note of the piano to bring this electric piano to better than new condition. And ‘amplified’ by the fact that our new tube amp does not have the muddy EQ found in most Wurlitzer amplifiers, which covers up the irregular noises and voicing irregularities, we also spent a considerable amount of our expertise getting the reed’s solder shape just right to avoid any unwanted ghost notes, hissing, or irregular wave forms.

Wurlitzer Reed Pyramid Shape Voicing 200, 106, 145

 

The importance of forming the proper shape to the solder tip of the Wurlitzer reed is an art form that cannot be overstated. The smallest irregularity, solder tab, or asymmetric imbalance can cause the reed to produce tones that are severely unpleasant. Even from the factory–particularly in the later years of 200A production, but also a commonly overlooked issue with throughout all production years–the quality control of the solder pyramid is not up to par with what is required of a Wurlitzer that is intended for live performance or studio use.

This Wurlitzer was refurbished with the proper craftsmanship and love to bring it to better-than-new condition. In addition to voicing each of the 44 individual reeds, every individual felt and spring was replaced with felts of the perfect thickness to ensure that the instrument can be regulated properly for a buttery-smooth feel and reliable dynamic play. You will have to play one for yourself to believe just how good our Wurlitzers sound and feel!

Wurlitzer Whip Fly Felts

Wurlitzer 106 Whip Fly Felts

 

The key bed was completely leveled while lowering the black keys and regulated for a uniform 13/32″ across every black and white key.

Wurlitzer Key Bed Shims

Wurlitzer Key Bed

Wurlitzer 106 Key Bed

Wurlitzer 106 Key Bed with Keys Only

Wurlitzer Lost Motion

Wurlitzer Keys and Reed Bar

Wurlitzer Leveled Key Bed 106

Wurlitzer White Key Dip 106

Wurlitzer Black Key Height

Wurlitzer 106 Key Dip

 

From this foundation, once we built up, leveled, and regulated the key bed from scratch we can begin to perform the same tasks on the action assembly. After carefully selecting the proper thickness felts and springs to refurbish the aging action components we then regulate it for lost motion and let-off to insure that the instrument plays with a reliable and expressive dynamic range.

2013-07-30 10.23.29

2013-07-30 10.24.36

Wurlitzer let off regulation lost motion

 

This is as close as you can get to a brand new Wurlitzer in 2013. In fact we have taken the craft to a level on this piano where we can confidently say that this Wurlitzer is in better condition than the day that it was born right here in Dekalb, IL in November 1972.

Wurlitzer 106 Date Stamp 1972

Wurlitzer 106P Serial Plate

Wurlitzer 106 Front Orange

Wurlitzer 106 Full Angle View

 

This one already turned a lot of heads at the warehouse and it will hopefully catch more attention now that it is back home at Wilco’s Loft along with good company. Hopefully we will be hearing from this one again soon!

…One down, seven more to go!

A Rare Breed Indeed: The Wurlitzer 214A

Forgive us for the shameless self promotion but we are currently selling one of our favorite Wurlitzers that has come through our shop in some time. It’s not too often that you come across the Wurlitzer 214A and perhaps it could use a re-introduction. Here she is, the Wurlitzer 214A, a rare breed indeed:

Main Shot

 

The Wurlitzer 214A is one of the flagship pianos of the 200A family. Like other members of the 200 family it has an action assembly that can be setup and maintained to perform like a sports car. There’s no excuse for poor action in a Wurli!

Like the Student Model 206A the 214A was marketed to a classroom setting and likely has not seen the abuse that many 200A’s have experienced ‘living the rock and roll dream.’ For decades, many of the 203, 206, 207, and 214 pianos have been preserving themselves as time capsules in rehearsal rooms and classrooms for future generations to bring back to life. This makes them some of the most valuable instruments to pick up used.

The distinguishing characteristic to the 206A would be that it has four 8″ speakers, rather than two, and the 214 also has the signature Wurlitzer vibrato circuitry. On the 214A there are two sets of 8″ speakers are mounted on each side similar to the Rhodes suitcase piano which gives it a rich, full sound within the room. Another added feature from the 206 is the casters that allow you to easily transport the piano.

And this one in no exception! As always, we promise you she sounds even better than she looks!

Wurlitzer 214

back2

Knobs

leveled keys

white key dip copy

Black key heigh

black key dip

Outputs2

As always, we have rebuilt this Wurlitzer from the key bed up for most expressive action possible. It comes with our 2 year parts warranty (under reasonable use) and a free tuneup within two years. –You won’t find a better 214A or service like ours anywhere else in the world! 

What is the difference between a Wurlitzer 200 and 200A?

Is my Wurlitzer a 200 or a 200A?

Because of their identical cosmetic design, it is common for people to mistake a 200 for a 200A and vise versa. Even when taking a close look under the hood, you will find that their action assemblies and the reeds that produce their sound are perfectly identical, leaving only a few distinguishing characteristics to look and listen for.

Side Note: Actually, the cosmetics of each instrument can be differentiated from one another in some cases. There were a few color options that were only available on the 200 (red, forest green, and beige) that were not available on the 200A. Another distinguishing cosmetic note is that the Wurlitzer emblem on the back of the keyboard from the player was only on the last few years of the 200A.

When the 200 was first introduced in 1968 its amplifier was an early transistor circuit with a straightforward design. Over the next four years, the amplifier would be redesigned a few times with a couple of minor improvements that marginally improved both the power amp and the clarity of the preamp. These four years are also characterize by the 200’s 4×8″ speakers driven by alnico magnets that were mounted on the amplifier rail inside of the instrument.

200 Amplifier

200 Amplifier

2013-02-21 12.48.09

200A Amplifier

Wurlitzer discontinued the 200 in 1972 when they began the production of the 200A. The new 200A was nearly perfectly identical to the 200 with the exceptions of a newly designed amplifier additional shielding against interference that subtly improved the Wurlitzer Electric Piano. After a year or so of 200A production the alnico driven speakers were now driven by ceramic magnets and were mounted directly on the vinyl lid of the Wurlitzer rather than the amplifier. The mounting pins on the lid of the Wurlitzer are one of the fastest ways to identify most 200A’s.

 

Mounting Pins of the 200A

Mounting Pins for the 200A’s Speakers

The most notable improvement of the 200A is that it is naturally less susceptible to noise and interference the former 200 amplifier due to three new factors. First, the distance between the preamp and the amplifier reduced much of the noise caused by the amplifier’s electromagnetic field. Next, Wurlitzer added an additional pickup shield that helped protect the pickups from picking up radio frequencies and other external interference. Last, the AC wiring from the power source to the transformer was placed within a strip aluminum tubing that shielded the amplifier from the electromagnetic field produced by the AC current running to the power transformer behind the amplifier. (We can’t figure out why they didn’t just simply put the AC receptical on the other side of the instrument and avoid this design flaw all together!)

Aside from the noise reducing measures made by the 200A, the differences between the two amplifiers are negligible. Both have a vibrato (–tremolo) circuit, and a static equalizer curve set by their amplifier’s design that limits the players control over the tone of the instrument without additional external amplification. In the end, both incorporate one of the best action assemblies of any electric piano and deliver that classic Wurlitzer tone that we just can’t get enough of.

…It is also common that players will complain about their amplifier being “muddy” or “dull” when in fact the amplifier is perfectly fine. This is due to the fact that most Wurlitzers have not been regulated properly over the years and therefore their hammers do not produce the proper strike of the instrument. Bring your Wurlitzer in for a free estimate and we can show you how to instantly get more clarity and dynamics from your instrument!

Choosing the Best Amplifier for a Rhodes or Wurlitzer

There are many opinions floating around on the best way to amplify an electric piano. Most of which can inevitably be summed up by our favorite sound engineering cliche — “It all depends on the tone your are looking for!” While this is invariably true, here are some more concrete guidelines for choosing the right amp for your Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric piano.

Solid State v. Tube –

This is an ongoing argument that we could write paragraphs about. Perhaps here is where your personal sonic preferences will come most into play. To be concise, The Chicago Electric Piano Company fully endorses tube amplification  The saturation of vacuum tubes really enhances the harmonic overtones created by the reeds/tines in these instruments. The warmth and depth of tube amplification brings out the best tones from your electric piano. Read more

The Amtrak Rhodes and The Boeing Lounge Piano

We received a lot of interesting input from our first post that shared our first time being introduced to the Amtrak Rhodes piano but we still haven’t learned too much concrete information about their lifetimes spent on the Amtrak lounge cars.

Since then, thanks to a friend of the workshop we have been given a photo of an Amtrak lounge car with a Rhodes piano:

SuperlinerPiano

 Amtrak Rhodes With Lid

However, we are still seeking any additional information that anyone may have regarding this piano so please feel free to let us know via the comments below or via our facebook page.

In addition to this photo, our friend Tim also introduced us to a model of Wurlitzer electric piano that was used on the Boeing 747 lounge cars. And according to one picture these were in coach! Check it out:

Wurlitzer Boeing

1970s-boeing-747-wurlitzer-piano_865

1970s-boeing-747-wurlitzer-piano_866

Wurlitzer Boeing 2

So here we go again! Once again this raises more questions than it answers and given what little information we have been able to find so far we are reaching out to you to help us tell more about the story of these two pianos. If anyone has any information at all about Wurlitzer’s Boeing 747 Lounge Piano or Amtrak’s Rhodes piano please contact us at info@chicagoelectricpiano.com.

Stretch Tuning vs. Equal Temperament Tuning

Stretch Tuning vs. Equal Temperament Tuning: The Proper Way to Tune Your Rhodes, Wurlitzer or Clavinet.

 

What is the difference between Stretch Tuning and Equal Temperament Tuning? And why can’t you tune a piano with a guitar tuner?

 

If you took a high school or university physics class that had a unit on the physics of sound, you may recall learning that notes an octave apart have a frequency ratio of 2:1. These are the place holders for the two ends of a scale. Taking this basic knowledge, it may seem reasonable to take the twelve notes of the scale and divide the octave into even portions. If this were the case, over the course of several octaves as on a piano’s keyboard manual, the harmonies would begin to sound dissonent. But why? In the most simplified terms, this is because as intervals move further apart, the human ear finds the beats generated by the two or more frequencies unpleasant. Luckily, there are alternate methods of tuning that produce more appealing harmonies.

When two intervals are played together, the combination of the two or more frequencies produce beats. The rate of the beats is a function of the differences in frequency of the two pitches, which is one of the components of how the human ear interprets harmonies. In order to produce the most appealing harmonies in a piano or ensemble, a number of tuning philosophies exist that create more pleasant beats, and can even account for inharmonicity within the instrument (more on inharmonicity in a later post). The philosophies typically use more pure major thirds, minor thirds, fourths, fifths—you name itRead more