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:
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 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.