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I bought a used Musser M7055G (An M55G mounted on a cart) and I'm very happy with my purchase. But I'm having a problem with the damper pedal. Dampening is not even. Left, middle and right sides do not damper the same way. The center is too muted while the left and right sides still have some ringing. I can't get it to have an even sound when pedal is not pressed.
The damper bar is perfectly straight, I have checked it multiple times. All posts are at the same height and have been checked with a straight long ruler. Can't find the cause or the way to solve the problem, I can't find any response in Google Search. Can anyone help me with this?


David Friedman Fri, 01/17/2014 - 07:24

I can't really understand how you can be happy with your purchase iif the dampening mechanism on your instrument is not functioning properly.
My advice to you is to contact the dealer from whom you bought the instrument and complain! It's their responsiblility to provide you with a decent instrument.
If you can locate the problem and fix it, fine. But you can't. I might add that this problem is not uncommon with Musser instruments.

armandoromeu Fri, 01/17/2014 - 13:49

In reply to by David Friedman

Thank you so much for your response Mr. Friedman, I'm a big fan of yours since many years and it's a great honor for me to receive your advice.
I bought this vibes on eBay as is, but to be sincere I'm happy with it because its condition, other than this problem (which is not too significant)is like new, like out of the box. Superb sound for less than half its price. Considering I can't afford to buy a new one this is a very good reason for me to be happy. I like to fix things and have always been battling against obsolescence. I'm a believer that anything can be fixed and I was just calling for help because the best advice I've had in troubleshooting is that "You're not the only one having the same problem, someone else might have already solved it and post it somewhere." And this is 100% true. Only that fixing a vibraphone is not something you find by just "asking Google" and that's why I'm relying in you guys. I'm a perfectionist and this problem wouldn't be so noticeable except for the fact that I can't express a phrase the same way in the center of the instrument as in the high notes.
Thank you so much for your time sir.

David Friedman Fri, 01/17/2014 - 18:02

In reply to by armandoromeu

Best of luck. Keep us posted. I'm curious how you solve this problem.

Vince H Fri, 01/17/2014 - 14:34

It sounds like the rails may be warped. If the rails curve down in the center (i.e., they are concave), the middle will dampen before the ends. The bar pins would still all be the same height off the top of the rail, so measuring them would not reveal this as the problem. The way to check for this is to hold a straight edge from one end to the other. It sounds like the rail is just a bit concave. So check for this kind of warping with a straight edge, and you might find about a 1/8" dip in the center. The effect would be happening on the inside rails, as this is where all the work is going on between the bars, the damper bar/pad, the spring (which must support 1/2 the 30 lbs of bars) and the pedal.

If that is the problem, solutions could vary.
-You could take the inner rails off and shave a touch off the contact between the rail and the side piece. Or you could heat and try to re-bend the the rails so they are once again straight. After doing this, you would probably want to add diagonals running from the center of the pedal to the cross brace for the legs. The reason these warp is because when you operate the pedal, you are creating intense pressure on the rails. This mechanical force should be redirected to the legs. Take a look at how the Yamaha is braced to see what I mean. The Musser design is mechanically inept. You could also add braces running from the center of the inner rails to the lower edge of the legs, which would transfer that force to the legs.

-You could raise the center bar pins so that the ends touch at the same time as the center bar pins

-You could order a silicone-filled damper pad from vanderplasbaileo. This should resolve the problem unless the warping is really severe and is the first solution. (The felt pad used on most commercial vibes is garbage.)Really, you should get one of these regardless. It may solve the problem without the mechanical fix described above (though it's still a good idea to fix this problem). It has most of the benefits of the Piper Vibe bladder-based pad.

-You could make your own liquid filled damper pad using a bicycle innertube. This provides a damper pad like the one used on the Musser Piper vibe. It enables excellent sound on notes played over the pad and, like a water bed, evens distribution of force on the bars while absorbing shock.

armandoromeu Sat, 01/18/2014 - 11:19

In reply to by Vince H

You are right Vince, your explanation makes a lot of sense and I'l get to action right now. I'll take the bars out once more and check the rails for any abnormal bending and make the necessary repair if needed. Will post the results briefly. The Vanderplas Baileo pad would be also great but my wife and I are both retired and I can't afford them for now. I have my own workaround for the damper pad though, I'll post it later with my findings in this matter. Thanks so much.

Vince H Sat, 01/18/2014 - 12:36

In reply to by armandoromeu

Hi Armand,
If you want me to walk you through making a liquid damper pad, I can do that--contact me via email and we can connect. I've been using one for 5-6 years now, gigging w/it 100+ times/year. It solves lots of problems and enables you to play directly over the damper bar with great sound.

armandoromeu Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:41

In reply to by Vince H

Oh Vince that'll be great! I've been trying to work around it so much but never get those results. How do I contact you? I don't have your email. Mine is you can write anything just to save your address and I'll respond you A.S.A.P. Definitely the rails are straight and the posts also. It has to be the damper felt, what I did with excellent sound results and no ringing was to wrap a thick black cotton cloth around the bar sealed with velcro at the bottom. But this only solved the ringing not the dampening problem. Thank you so much for your help, I'm looking forward to making my own right away. Thanks again!