Monday, July 02, 2007

Indoor project

When a 1959 all-tube Wurlitzer organ presents itself on the List of Craig for merely $100, one must respond. One must throw out one's own back, and two of thine friends backs in the process.

Actually, I had no idea that it was all tube, or 1959. We picked it up, and it is a HEAVY sumbitch, let me tell you. Got it back home, doodled around with it (it actually sounds pretty dang nice), then I googled the model number - 1959! Hey, cool.

That night, I opened up the back to reveal the glory you see here. You see, I have a fetish for vacuum tubes. I thought my 3-tube guitar amp was pretty cool. I just about soiled my pants when I took the cover off. The label proclaiming "28 12FQ8 Tubes". The fact that those are all individual tube oscillators to produce the tones. The rows of ganged capacitors. The 6L6 power amp tubes. The fact that the stop switches just have a few tubes thrown in for good measure.

And in a global economy that provides us with so much for so little, the isolationist protectionist in me wept a little bit inside, to read, on each and every tube, "Made in the USA for Wurlitzer by General Electric".

...What so proudly we hailed, in the twilight's last gleaming...


Paul said...

I was wondering what the next project would be. It was not a long wait. Can't wait to hear it.

Iestyn Lewis said...

Yeah, although it doesn't seem to be turning into a project! I squirted some contact cleaner on the preamp tube sockets, which cleared up most of the scratchiness, and gave the inside a bit of a dusting, and it seems to be working fine.

A couple of the pedals are dead, but I can't play them anyway! I'm trying to track down a service manual so if something does break horribly I can fix it.

Once in a while something will scratch, or a key will suddenly stop playing some of the voices, but then it comes back - so I'm just going to leave that as part of the charm unless it gets worse.

Ceridwen said...

You could let the girls run loose near it with mini sledge hammers and then have to fix it.

David said...

Wow! 28 12FQ8 Tubes! Remember (before you were born) when Radio Shack had that big machine that you could test your tubes with? For FREE!

Back then the advertisers called semiconductor devices "Solid State" to distinguish them from devices using vacuum tubes.

That object you've acquired from the List of Craig is no less than a TIME MACHINE. Can it make mp3 files??

Keath said...

Patriotism stirs in the heart of the American Bear.

That's quite a fine organ you've got there. Aside from the fact that it's functional, the fact that it's in your possession and not mine makes it far more valuable than the Made in China organ your sister and I "saved" from the trash back in New Hampshire. It just looks like it will sound better!

By the way, you need to stop using phrases that need to be on t-shirts or I'm going to open Latest product: "I have a fetish for vacuum tubes."