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MMD > Archives > July 1997 > 1997.07.29 > 08Prev  Next

Wurlitzer Organ Specifications
By Matthew Caulfield

Since no one else replied, I'll throw out what I know in answer to the
request for Wurlitzer band organ specs.

The hole spacing for all band organ rolls (and for many other Wurlitzer
rolls; notable exception: the harp roll) is the awkward one of .1227
inches on center.  That translates to no precise metric equivalent.  I
used to think it would boil down to a nice simple thing like 'xx'
millimeters, but no.  Wurlitzer wanted to keep their customers captive.

Wurlitzer made its tracker bar holes rectangular, about 3/32" wide and
about 5/64" high.  I don't think hole size is critical, as long as the
size is slightly larger than the paper perforation size.  And hole shape
certainly isn't critical: round tracker bar holes work just fine.

In the factory-made tracker bars for the Wurlitzers which played the
Style 165 music roll, the bass drum, snare drum, and castanet holes were
bored round, about 7/64" inch.  And they were offset vertically from the
other holes so that the bottom of the hole, even allowing for its larger
size was, slightly above the bottom of the other holes, by (I would
estimate) about 1/64" or 3/128".  I doubt this is critical either.  The
Glen Echo organ uses old Caliola tracker bars which have offsets on the
entirely wrong holes, and my ear can't tell the difference.

The pipes are blown at about 8 or 9 inches water pressure.  I can't find
right now the water height for the vacuum.  It is higher, I know than 9
inches.  In any case you probably need the measure in pounds, not in
inches of water.

There are people who can make parts for you, not cheaply.  Mike Kitner
for instance.  Steve Lanick used to make excellent square-hole brass
tracker bars and also complete dual-tracker frames--but they weren't
cheap, though very trouble-free.

I hear nothing but good things about the machine work done by Robert
Streicher in Pond Eddy, N.Y., from whom I buy my hole punches.  Doyle
Lane has some odd and ends of Wurlitzer parts left from the original
Wurlitzer stock he bought.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Tue 29 Jul 1997, 20:09:54 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Organ, Specifications, Wurlitzer

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