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Hey guys, I'm going to talk more about this in the coming days. But the new official instrument of Vibes Workshop is the Omega vibes from Malletech. I'm truly in love with this instrument. I've been meeting and talking with Leigh Stevens for the past 2 years. We met yesterday and this time it's now official!

One thing vibe players always complain about is that we're not listened to. No one makes the instrument we want. They always make the instrument they think we want. The only instrument I could ever recommend for a student buying a first instrument was the M55. It was the only functional instrument for a student. They could move it easily, pack it up easily and just get it around.

Now there is an alternative and an amazing one. Simple, easy to move around and sounds great! And it took a marimba player to make it. It took a marimba player to listen to the vibe players and make a truly great instrument!

The thing about Leigh is not that he is one the greatest marimba players in the world, it's that he knows about instruments and since he is a GREAT musician he knows how to listen to us and he knows what sounds great.

And he built the Omega. Finally the first instrument I can recommend totally to a new student. No rattles, no noise, no noisy motor. It's not in a million pieces. It's a great instrument.

Photos and videos to come! They are just going into production. At the time of this post I have an Omega here, the prototype and we'll use it on the vibe hang this weekend.

If you're thinking about an instrument, then think Omega. You are really going to be happy! It's sturdy enough for a college and portable enough for a student. Isn't that perfect!

I wanted to announce this. More to come.


Steve Shapiro Thu, 09/12/2013 - 11:16

Yeah Tony. The lightweight frame construction is something I've been wanting for years. Looking to hear more about this and the new pickups. I talked to both Leigh and Joe a little... The Love Vibe doesn't have that much appeal. The vibrato innovations won't be heard much unless you are playing solo...but the Omega looks tight, bro!

pax Fri, 09/13/2013 - 07:59

In reply to by Steve Shapiro

I have been a vibraphone fan all my life so at age 60 I decided I was going to play vibes. I looked them up on the web, Musser, Deagan, and ran across a video of Liegh talking about the Love vibe and some mention of an improvement to the bar with butterflies, so i called Malletech, left message (no one was home) and the next day Liegh Stevens calls me on a saturday. A week later I ordered what I thought would a drive in a couple of months, I thinks that was May/June? Anyway, Changes, Improvements, modifications it should arrive mid October, It will arrive when it arrives & I will live through the experience. it will be worth the wait, Artists need time to make timely art! Thank you Mr. Stevens, I'm sure they'll be able to supply the needs of the vibe community and he's a marimba dude too!

tonymiceli Fri, 09/13/2013 - 13:24

In reply to by pax

righ on pax. it's buying being an early adopter! now every time we play it and make a recommendation, leigh thinks about it and adds. if you would have gotten one in may, you'd be pissed for other reasons now. that would be that leigh would be selling a different instrument.

anyway, i know this is the end. they are making parts now. so if i had a revolutionary idea, leigh would say save it for next year! he wouldn't want to hear it!!!!

he really knows a lot about the instruments. he's going to do a video on tuning the resonators. it's incredible.

pax Fri, 09/13/2013 - 15:12

In reply to by tonymiceli

Your right Tony. Art take time and there's a cool community thing happening. I have high regards for Leigh, Mallettech! PASIC should be interesting. Anyway, my cat's waiting for another place to sleep...;-)
I also inquired about bags for the Omega?

bob leatherbarrow Thu, 09/12/2013 - 23:29

Pretty exciting Tony - I've also been waiting for this instrument. Really cool vibrato system, tunable resonators, fully adjustable and easy to pack and move - I can't wait to play one of these. I'll check in to the vibe hang this weekend - cheers

ive heard alot about this .. ok im sold ... but havent heard anything on a price. and also are there any of these instruments out of the west coast for demo or does a fella have to fly to the east coast to try one out ...

BarryK Sat, 09/14/2013 - 16:23


In this video,
Leigh talks about adjusting the depth of the tremolo. See 0:43 and 1:52. He has to get under the instrument to adjust it. It doesn't sound like he had to replace the bars covering the resonators, as mentioned at the vibe hang today. Was that only for the prototype Omega?

Can you confirm that with Leigh?


BarryK Sun, 02/02/2014 - 10:28

In reply to by tonymiceli

I asked Leigh about this. He said that you need to replace the "wings" that cover the resonators. A larger size would give more depth to the tremolo. It wasn't clear if you could specify the size of the wings when ordering.

What I would like is the ability to control the depth without having to change the wing size. Maybe have the tremolo mechanism manually slide forwards or backwards to adjust the maximum amount of coverage of the resonators.


tonymiceli Mon, 02/03/2014 - 21:45

In reply to by BarryK

i think you got it barry. you yourself determine how much you cover with how far you put down the pedal. is that what you mean?

BarryK Tue, 02/04/2014 - 09:25

In reply to by tonymiceli

I think you are talking about the Love Vibe, which can control the depth via the pedal.

I would like the Omega to be able to have the ability to control depth (not in real-time, but e.g., per song), by the user sliding the tremolo mechanism forward or backward to set the maximum resonator coverage.


pax Mon, 09/16/2013 - 08:10

!) Did I hear a distinct click when you turned the motor on and off? Wouldn't be good during a performance?
2) Do you need a thermometer/hygrometer to properly set up the resonators?

piro Mon, 09/16/2013 - 15:09

It was so nice to hear this new instrument, and such nice playing. I think this instrument has a lot of thought and some really great developments in it. For example and for me the most important is that it fits Musser bars. This opens up the instrument to be a retrofit frame with all the advancements for a great old set of Musser bars. Totally killing. The tunable resonators are such a great idea and not because anyone is going to be nerding out tuning their resonators all the time (although a few might) but because tuning them makes such an aural difference that to be able as a player to dial in what you like and just leave it that way (for a specific set of bars) is a natural development that has been a long time coming. The lightweight CNC'd aluminum harp? Way. The well designed super light weight supports/stabilizers? Way. Elegent minimalist black design? Sharp. I don't really think I would go for the motor thing (although I like the idea of a REALLY subtle vibrato)
I thought it was interesting that the discussion of black bars being too dark came up...
I was in the midst of rebuilding my provibe frame, (I broke a rail recently and the bars dip a little on the accidentals) but this really changes my plans. This instrument seems to cover all the really important bases, looks really good, and fits my vintage musser bars, I'd say these cats have nailed it.

vibraman Sun, 02/02/2014 - 07:20

In reply to by piro

has anyone already tried if the musser bars fit on the new omega vibraphone?
if yes, how do the omega bars sound compared to the musser bars on the same frame...questions over questions...

BarryK Sun, 02/02/2014 - 08:14

In reply to by vibraman

I attended the vibes congress at the factory and that question was asked. Omega borrowed Musser specs. The size and sound should be very similar (compared to modern Musser bars). Tuning specs of the fundamental and partial overtones, might be tighter on the Omega.

At one of the hangs at Tony's they had a Musser, and an Omega with Musser bars playing duets. I couldn't hear significant difference except for some subtle differences due to using some older Musser bars which as I recall were a little warmer sounding than modern Musser bars.



What instruments does this pertain to?