Monday, January 16, 2012

Wurlitzer's first solid state models- the most versatile organs ever!

 The Wurlitzer 4500 was their first theater organ that wasn't pipes. It arrived  almost 10 years after Conn,Gulbransen, Thomas, Lowrey, and Allen had already marketed a theater model, and over 30 years after they built their last Wurlitzer pipe organ. In fact what's even more strange that a theater organ company would not be ahead of the game in the electronic theater market is that when they finally did offer their most excellent sounding theater model in 1964', they put it in a straight cabinet ( as opposed to the traditional horseshoe) and still did not call it a theater organ. In 1966 they  introduced the horseshoe shaped console with identical insides to the straight cabinet 4500 and at last introduced their first electronic theater organ- the 4520 Wurlitzer Theater organ. The Wurlitzer 4500 was so successful that for the first time Wurlitzer posed a real to the competition by building an organ that did it all! Maybe this was a very calculated move on Wurlitzer's part, to build  an organ that could be placed in a church, a home, a night club, or a small theater for that matter- that's what the 4500 is. The 4500,4520, and the more art deco look of the 4502 are all identical inside, are console- 61 keys on two manuals, and 25 pedals. The 4300 is the spinet version of the 4500 line, just less keys and pedals.

Below is a letter I wrote to someone who was trying to sell their Wurlitzer 4300.

   You have a Wurlitzer 4300 ( brochure refers to cabinet style as '  4300 Contemporary...in Sable Brown Mahogany ' )and you should at least mention it as:
' Wurlitzer 4300 Professional Spinet Organ - Fully Solid State Electronics ' in your ad.
Also mention ,if anything is not working on the organ, that Morelock's Wurlitzer Parts in Mississippi still carries ALL parts for this model and will rebuild each of the two amplifier/ Power Supply chassis' for $40 ea. + parts. These two chassis are the heart of the organ and contain the electrolytic capacitors that should be changed about every 20-25 years. Your organ is a 1965-1967' model and so it is long overdue. Not only is it completely worth the repairs invested because it will last another 25 years at least, but also because there is no other organ as versatile as the Wurlitzer 4300. It can perform every type of organ music from classical to jazz to rock, even hip-hop! Contrary to popular belief many modern day musicians go out of there way to play such realistic sounds, and a Wurlitzer organ can provide the entire scope of tone for such projects.

The 4300 also has a built in Spectratone- two counter balanced rotating speakers that are crossed over at just the right frequencies to provide the most shimmering sweet tone you'll ever here. Not only is the Wurlitzer the closest tone to the flute voice of a  Hammond tone wheel organ, but the Wurli provides string,kitura,horn,clarinet,mutated voicing,repeat percussion, reverb,chimes, and sustain. There is a headphone out which can be used as a line out as well. Along with the two 4" Spectratone speakers at two speeds are two stereo 6x9 speakers, and two 12" special design Jensens.

 I encourage you to include any part of this letter in the ad. I have a 4500 which is the larger console version of the 4300 and to be honest I get the exact same tone from my 4300 because side by side each organ has identical controls. The 4500 just has 25 pedals, but they only play one pedal at a time anyway and there is a 16' bass tone on the 4300 anyway. Perhaps in the church setting a 4500 would appear nicer and it might give just a shade more acoustic advantage due to the larger cabinet, but it is a huge organ! The 4300 is a perfect size spinet with no heavy vacuum tube transformers to weight it down. It comes in at 250 pounds- that's just 125 pounds per side and the fold out handle makes it easy to move ( I wish my Conn, Hammond,and Gulbransen organs had these handles, very smart! That's to be expected though. No organ has ever been built to the critical standards of Wurlitzer. They use the finest components money can buy, the woods are solid hardwoods and veneers, the keys have multiple adjustments including tension and height. Everything on a Wurlitzer is easy to access. They built there organs to last indefinitely. Morelocks Wurlitzer Parts has always served me well and they have enough inventory to service Wurlitzer organs for years to come far into the future.

 I've posted a record on Youtube of John La Duca playing a Wurlitzer 4500, or a 4300 ( either will get these sounds). The second song on side two sounds like a jazz guitar. Nope, that an expert playing his Wurlitzer with no other accompaniment whatsoever. This is what a Wurlitzer can sound like once you've double checked the capacitors and invested a little bit into making it solid again. There really is no better investment. I have 12 organs, 5 of them are Wurlitzer organs because I want the best. Hammond is great, don't get me wrong- if you want a second organ I recommend a Hammond M100 because it is generally easy to find and offers much more than some of the other ones they make, but are more in demand and cost more. If you play organ and you don't have a 4300, or 4500 you just don't know what you are missing.
-Paul J.


  1. I have a Wurlitzer Model 630T in excellent condition. Would like to know how to sell it. lechaude@gmail.com

  2. Is the model 630 tube or solid state