even more thrift shop joy!

but what is it?

I found a “combo organ” that had been recovered in teal vynil, orginal color was a black covering, it has a “wurlitzer” thing on it - did they ever make frequency divider combo organs? Anyway, it sounded awful at first, but it just needed to be tuned, and it tunes by using an allen wrench inside these little metal canisters - variable capacitors? Anyway, it has most of the features of a vox contiental: 1/4 inch plug on the back, 4 levers for 16’, 8’, two other organ stops, buttons for strings, brass, vibrato on and off only…in fact the more I look at the continental, the more this looks like a rip off of it, but instead of drawbars it uses levers - wonder if wulri did that? Any idea what it is exactly?

AHAH - found it:

From the website:




Controls: On/Off Switch, Volume knob, Levers: 16’, 8’, 4’, IV, M. Buttons: Vibrato, Brass, Strings, Reed, Solo

The sound and function of the levers correspond almost identically to the Vox Continental. The Foundation tone (the “sine-wave” drawbar on the Vox) comes when you pull out any of the first four levers, unlike the Vox which has a separate drawbar for this tone. The “M” tone is controlled by the lever, just like on the Vox.

Here’s a pretty good description from the owner of one:

“This Wurlitzer Model 7300 60’s combo organ is very similar to a Vox Continental in styling and tone, but lighter (about 32 lbs.) and more compact (36” long x 14" wide x 5" deep) due to its integrated circuits. It is all black with Wurlitzer printed across the front, has 49 keys, preset pushbuttons (vibrato, brass, strings, reed, solo) similar to a Vox Jaguar or Farfisa Mini, and drawbar type stick controls like a Continental. The presets/drawbars can be used separately or “layered”. The “reed” preset when boosted by the “solo” button gives a somewhat Hammond type percussion effect. Tone is fuller and richer, more like an English than Italian Vox Continental in my opinion."

What a great website, and what a great thing the web is! :D


Dude, you got it bad…seriously. I thought I was bad with old console modules and microphones, but…really…

Hey, Diogenes picked you up in your other thrift shop thread on those tuning things. My Lowery LSO tube organ uses a similar device. Do yourself a favor (if you haven’t already) and find or make a plastic or wood doohickey to tune those things. Maybe by the time that organ was made they had a more better technology, but the old ones? The thing works by changing the amount of metal core that’s inside a coil…sticking metal in the coil to change the core length can have adverse effects. Not at all permanent, but it sure can make an organ sound odd…

On a related note, since you posted that groovy combo organ link:

If you EVER see a Rheem Mk VII electic piano BUY IT! I can’t stress that enough.


“bass boost” just makes the bass notes louder, in case you wanted to know. Mine works just fine, and I wouldn’t sell it for the world. We had a great garage punk band in the studio in the spring, led by the keyboard player. He played the Rheem and our Hammond L-110 during the whole session, often at the same time. Like a punk version of ? and the Mysterians…

You can find those plastic tools clava mentioned online at Newark, Digi-Key, Mouser, MCM or the like. That is exactly correct though. The metal mass of an allen wrench will affect your adjustments. Depends on how ferrous the metal is. Plastic or wood is the ticket.


PS You might find 'em at Rodeo Shellac but if yours are like the one in my town… “You got questions? They are CLUELESS!” :D

Good advice, guys. The first thing that happened when I stuck the allen wrench in was it changed the pitch! :D So I just tweaked it, then pulled out the wrench, then checked the tuning, then tweaked it, and eventually got it right. Glad to hear that won’t cause permanent damage - since I didn’t even consider that! And it never occurred to me that there might be such a beast as a plastic allen wrench. That’s why I ask you guys, and then realize I should have waited for your advice first! :) Well, no harm done. The thing sounds fabulous. Just like a Continental. Stupid thing was, this was my mostly free week to play, since the wife and kids are all in other states and/or countries, and because we had to have some serious work done on our bathroom, well, I have had NO TIME AT ALL to play with any of these things. So, clava, the way I see it, I can merely use the guilt factor to justify the purchase. Anyway, it was dirt cheap. And now I have a safe and comfortable place to retreat to from the evil messed up world, my basement, where I am surrounded by my good friends, instruments that make interesting noises. :)

Clava, if I saw one of those, I’d buy it just for looks. What a cool looking thing. OK, that’s my next goal, a Rheem mk IV. I’m going to turn my karma toward attracting one of those to the local goodwill store. :)

Here it is, clothed mostly in teal vinyl (sorry the picture is a tad largish, gotta figure out how to reduce while still keeping it clear):

Two more largish pictures, of my “whine box” silvertone amp: :)

No one will ever accuse me of being good with tools.

Very cool, Tom!

Those canisters have coils in them (mainly used in radio tuners). Your moving the slug in an out of the coil and that’s why you need the plastic or nylon hex wrench (yes, I know you know that already). That’s EXACTLY the same way the Freeman is tuned. You can do some very interesting tuning (and detuning) effects with those kinds of instruments.

(Vacation is almost over…just in case anyone wondered where I was)

Nice work on that Silvertone amp, Tom. A real crate amp. Perfect look for the way I’m sure it sounds. Great little tube circuit to study too…very simple. Yours has a solid state rectifier. I think mine’s got a 5Y3 tube…

Hey phoo! Indeed, we had been wondering! Sorry to hear vacation is nearly over! :(

While I was tuning it with the metal hex wrench, it occurred to me that oen could use the pitch bend that results from the extra metal as a…pitch bend effect. Could have an organ that plays blue notes properly.

Clava - thanks! “Nice” is probably too much of a compliment. How about “uh, interesting”? :D

How did you get the solid state rectifier from the picture? I haven’t looked at the circuit really. I haven’t been able to find the exact schematic - it’s clearly an altered version of one of the amps used in their guitar amps, but which one I haven’t really bothered to figure out. But I would have sworn it was all tube. (shows you what I know! :) )

I didn’t include the picture I took of the side of the crate, where it says something like “Bordeaux 1966” BTW. :) And no one commented on the Little Lanilei on top of it in the first picture. That little thing screams.


How did you get the solid state rectifier from the picture?

I see 4 bottles. The 2 little ones are a preamp dual triode and a phase inverter dual triode. The 2 big ‘uns are the power tubes. No rectifier tube. You know that the tubes need DC to power the plates, and no big ol’ rectifier tube means there’s a diode bridge in there. I changed the power supply caps in mine. That big aluminum can holds 3 of them. I left the can in place but disconnected it, and put in new electrolytics. Mine had a 60 cycle hum something fierce 'cause the caps were leaking. Much better now…

Say… that Rheem does look cool! I thought they made water heaters and heat pumps and such crap… I’ll keep my eyes peeled too although I seldom see stuff like that around here. When I was a kid a distant cousin of mine had a early 60’s Strat. He said it was a '63. Anyway it was like brand new in a tweed case which also looked fabulous. He wanted 300 bucks for it. It might as well have been 3 million. I was just a kid and the old man did not want any part of no “lectric geetars”. Some lucky SOB got 'em a collectors item for peanuts…


Excellent info, Clava. thanks! :)