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What is the difference between the Wurlitzer 200 & 200A?
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano model 200 was the first Wurlitzer Electric Piano to evolve from the Wooden Wurlitzer Electric Pianos of the 1960’s. It was introduced in 1968; this was the beginning of the Classic model years for Wurlitzer Electric Pianos. The Wurlitzer Electric Piano Model 200 was lighter and sleeker due to its new ABS plastic contoured top. It featured a new action design as well as two 4×8 speakers, an updated amplifier design which now implemented new Silicon Transistors as opposed to Germanium. The piano also offered chrome legs, new sustain pedal type and an auxiliary line-out for recording which was previously unavailable on earlier Wurlitzer Electric Pianos.
In 1975 Wurlitzer came out with the Wurlitzer Electric piano model 200A. Almost identical in appearance to the Wurlitzer Electric Piano model 200, the changes were subtle and mostly on the inside. For one, Wurlitzer updated the amplifier once again by placing the pre amp on top of the harp to reduce noise. They also used an LDR for the vibrato instead of modulating the pre amp gain with reactance modulation. A shielding kit was added for AC hum reduction and an extra shield on the pick ups for noise reduction. They removed alnico speakers from amp plate and installed ceramic 4×8 speakers onto the ABS plastic lid. A 1k variable gain aux out pot was introduced next to aux/headphone out as well as other minor changes.
People wonder about any sound differences between the two models and to the untrained ear the differences are almost undetectable. The 200A had a depth pot on the tremolo that could be made to sound stronger than that of the 200 model but at the same time it could also easily distort if up to high. The output signal of the 200A was greater and had less noise than that of the 200 model. Also the reeds in the later 200A model were of a thicker plate which made the tone fuller with a mellow overtone. The reeds on the early 200 model were thinner which added more harmonics to the sound. These reed differences can be disguised by custom voicing of the pick-ups making it near impossible to tell the difference between the two in a blind folded test.
In our opinion neither one is better, it all has to do with how it is set up as well as what kind of condition it is in. We have had plenty of so called “mint 200A models that sounded horrible and we have had many road worn 200 models that have blown us away sonically. Just remember all of the great songs and albums recorded on Wurlitzer’s prior the 200A.