Skip to main content


Hi all,
Hope all is well.
I've been dreaming of a graduated bar Mallet Kat closely matching the playing surface of a vibraphone. *** So you can use the same ingrained mallet spread or spacing for both instruments ! A Mallet Kat is essentially an electronic mallet instrument that plays any sound you want. All the pads are the same size.
You plug it into any amp or sound system. We may add a built in, for practice, speaker.Kat's website;

( I am Jim Henkemeyer, they call me Henk, a pro Vibes and Kat player for many years. )

The new dimensions: approximately 56" long, 21' wide.
Imagine the outer and inner ends of the bars, cut off of a vibraphone, where you don't play.So the (bars or) pads will be shorter on the left side. 9" pads on the left, and graduated up to the right. The Playing surface of the vibes.
This makes the instrument narrower then the standard Musser Pro Vibes. (56'"x 30")
Also much lighter in weight for easy transport. The Vibes seem heavier each day, w/the bars on, loading for travel.
And it is MIDI, for vibes, marimba, piano, Hammond, violin, sax, synth, etc. sounds.
Unlimited sounds available. more info below
And for the Kicker, we add a low E note pad. Low E, up 3 octaves to high F. Nice ! For playing music with guitar players. How many have put off getting a Kat because it does not have graduated bars ?
I've spoken with Mario at Alternate Mode, who makes the Mallet Kat and more.
We would like to find several players (about 10) that would possibly pay a partial of the price in advance for the new instrument, to cover start up tooling expenses and to get the first several made. He thinks close to 10 Grand. $$
That would also mean you getting this new instrument at a lower cost. You would get a lower price for early partial payment, to be determined, after we get a count of interested players that would want to buy one of the first several made.
At this time, that would be the only way to get this done.
(unless we find an investor to cover start up expenses. Know anyone ? )
A 3 octave Mallet Kat now costs $2378, including a 'preset' sound module. (an e-box you plug into) ***No programming if desired. Plug and play.
(or; $1799 w/o sounds, and you must add a midi keyboard or sound module or computer w/ software sounds.)
We are working on cost details, and the new 'Grad Kat' would later sell in that ballpark,
or a bit more. You would pay less.
If we get say 8 or 10 buyers, it would bring 'your' cost down.

If at all interested, please spread the word and contact me, then we can talk to discuss more details.
No one pays any money until we have the details, cost and delivery date determined.
(probably a few months) I am not expecting to make any money on this. Doing this for the music.
Thanks much,

We 'know' that the Kat works and plays well. Many pros play it. We want the graduated bars for playing Jazz, and the more challenging playing.This will work and play well also, using the same proven technology. The Kat feels pretty good playing, just needs graduated bars for us vibe and marimba players.
We will take your suggestions if you have thoughts to improve this plan in the making.
Expander octaves for more notes, may be in the cards, and will be discussed.I may get my drawing of the GradKat up soon.
*** You can just play it out of the box with the many wanted preset sounds. Or use any sound modules or online software for a potentially unlimited sound library of your choosing.
And / or, use the optional extensive programming available on the current Mallet Kat, including layered sounds, split keyboard, velocity change of sound,
(ie. play soft = vibes, play harder = marimba), many more options at their site. I've played many
I'm a long time pro player from Minnesota. Traveled much of the US and some abroad playing vibes, e-vibes, singing and drumming. I played Vibes, Kat, the K&K Midi Vibe setup, and now have a Mallet Station.
I and Mario are the e-vibe guys to help make this happen with your help. Please order one if interested. Thanks again
My website; (needs update of course) They even messed my picture up, but tunes and info still there.
Thanks again

jazzbo Wed, 03/17/2021 - 08:28

A friend has built me a bespoke set of midi vibes which I am now starting to configure the bars using the MegaDrum trigger module. We started with
* a few pieces of real wood flooring which became the bars
* a second-hand keyboard case for housing them
We cut up the flooring into the bars - the original plan was to make it 3 octaves but due to bar spacing, it's just short of that, weirdly going from F-D
He connected two piezo drum sensors on to each bar and mounted the bars on foam rubber.
Photos of the process etc can be seen here

More updates as I go but a few questions
1. I'm a bit confused as regards the lowest F on a set of regular vibes - some confusion as to whether it is F2 or F3 in midi terms -
2. does anyone have any useful links for programming velocity curves

Thanks in anticipation