Brand new to the site, and hopefully a first-time vibe owner soon. I'm considering purchase of a 1954-56 M75 in pretty nice shape. This will be my first vibe (first large keyboard perc. instrument), and the start of my journey to learn jazz improv. I hold a percussion degree, but have had a dream of becoming a jazz vibist for a very long time. My mallet teacher is now retired, has sold her 4 marimbas, and is offering me the vibe. But she didn't set a price, rather asking me to come up with an offer.
So, wondering if anyone would like to help get me in the correct ballpark. I have some general idea of what these are worth in good condition, and I definitely don't want to lowball this seller since they are personal friends of mine.
I have photos and even a couple MP3's at this link:
As you can see, it's in pretty nice shape overall. There are a few cosmetic things and the refinishing job done on the bars a few years back wasn't stellar. You can see some uneven lacquer and even some pooling in places.
The white keys fan makes a bit of a knocking noise at times, not a huge deal since I will likely not use the vibrato much, but it's still nice to know it's available if needed.
The one issue that I wonder the most about is that the lowest C bar seems just somewhat less resonant than the rest. When I first got the instrument in my possession and was playing around on it I noticed a bit of a deadness to that bar. Not totally dead or anything, but it just seems to have a slightly different timbre, and it definitely fades away more quickly than the other bars. For instance, striking a cord or even just two notes together, the C is gone in 8-12 seconds while the other notes hang on for close to 30 with the damper down.
To my eyes there are no obvious visible signs of damage to the C bar. Could it be a resonator issue? If it is actually a bar issue, can something like that be fixed? I understand an instrument of this vintage used a different alloy than is used now, so I wonder what could be done, if anything.
Would love to hear anyone's insight, advice, and most of all, suggestions on this instrument's value so I can make a wise offer.
Cases are included. Vulcanized fiber, old cases, which I have not seen except for the case for the bars. I have been told one has a tear in it. And the straps are not affixed to the cases anymore, though they are all there.
Thanks in advance.