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

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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!

16 comments

  1. zach says:

    Which is more valuable a Wurlitzer 200 or a 200A?

    • mbrink says:

      The 200A has a slightly better amplifier design and additional shielding that makes it slightly more desirable but not enough to significantly impact the value of the instrument. The pianos themselves are practically identical although they did update a few minor things between the 200’s introduction and the last 200A. In the end, though, neither amplifier is worth writing home about…

  2. sam says:

    The speakers are blown on the one I own and the power cord is dangerously frayed. How easily can it be replaced?

  3. Sean says:

    I have a Wurlitzer 203. I don’t know the years it was in production but I am curious to know if it’s like the 200 vs 200A? what I’m asking is the 203 a earlier model of the 203W? The 203 is like a 200 or 200A on a console instead of legs, with two 8″ speakers. It’s got the beautiful Wurlitzer tone, and has all the crappy noise and vibrato hum too:)

    • mbrink says:

      The 203 has the 200 amplifier in it. They are great sounding pianos and from around 1970 give or take. There is a lot that can be done to remove noise and hum from the 200 amplifier.

  4. David says:

    I have a green Wurlitzer model 214. It is in great cosmetic shape. It has the vibrato function but mine is not working for some reason. Everything else is fine though so I’m not sure what the problem is. Is it a console version more similar to the 200a or model 200?

  5. Jorge says:

    HEllo,my wurli is pretty quiet but when I turn the vibrato on, in a 200A, the “hum” and a little the volume increases. IS that normal? How I can resolve that issue? Thanks so much for your help and sorry my english.

    • mbrink says:

      It sounds like the amp could use service. The 200A can be a very quiet amp and the vibrato should not increase the volume when the amplifier is dialed in and setup to perform at its best.

  6. BenSijo says:

    Hello,
    You wrote “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 “.
    Does 200A exists with the speakers mounted on the amplifier rail inside of the instrument?
    Thank you.

  7. Morgan Fisher says:

    I have a 200 in good shape except the covering on the sustain pedal cable is worn away just where it meets the pedal, so you can see the woven metal cable inside. Is there any way to replace the covering or the cable? Also for cosmetic reasons I’d like to replace some other parts that have gotten rusty (hinges, etc) – do you have any such parts for sale?

    Thanks.

  8. th says:

    I have wurlitzer 200B

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