Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My apologies to the fine people of Corinth, Mississippi

Well, it was bound to happen. After buying that Wurlitzer tube organ, I cleaned it up, played with it for a couple of months, and then... it sat, disused and lonely. Lonely and heavy, like a convenience store clerk in rural Georgia at 3 am.

Uh... anyway. Since I've been playing a lot more guitar lately, I thought I might see if I could get a guitar amp out of it. It has a pretty sizeable tube power amp and speakers, and I thought I'd build a case out of all the nicely veneered wood. This of course entailed taking it all apart. As I did so I discovered just how much work had gone into the electronics of this thing. There is one printed circuit board. The rest is hand-wired, point-to-point. The tone generator (the huge rack of tubes on that original picture) wiring is a marvel. I can't imagine how long it must have taken.

There are numerous places where there are rollers or switches that contact dozens of finely sprung wires all at once. It's a bizarre combination of mechanical and electrical functionality that held up for 50 years until a doofus with a screwdriver showed up. (Actually, two doofi - Abby was quite helpful with her own little screwdriver and wrench). So, sorry if anyone who was at the Corinth factory in 1959 is reading. At least it makes the rest of them more valuable!

The organ had some kind of intrinsic heaviness to it - no matter how many parts I removed and carried away, it didn't seem to get any lighter. The last chunk I carried outside was still heavy.

So anyway, I guess I'll make a wall hanging out of the guts (unless someone wants a crapload of vintage caps and resistors, desoldering not included), and the amp and speakers are well on their way to becoming a bitchin' guitar amp. Now that I have my garage back, there should be more project goodness coming your way, including the Resurrection of the Pipe Organ.


gashcrumb said...

Good suffering jaysus that's a whole lot of 'dem wires. I'm all for turning the guts into an interesting wall hanging.

Iestyn Lewis said...

Yeah, you should post some pictures of the entire art gallery you got out of your organ.. eh hehheh.

Sara said...

This, by itself, is worthy of a Booker prize: "Lonely and heavy, like a convenience store clerk in rural Georgia at 3 am. "

And I'm glad Abby is learning how to be a doofus along side her dad -- a girl with a screw driver and wrench is one with substatial self confidence and competence.

Sara said...

Oh, and I want to see the wall hanging when it's done.