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In 1985 I bought a "Premier 751" from an auction of lost container and played it in a student big band, using piezzo picups to be loud enough.
Because of job and children this instrument was unused in the cellar for nearly 20 years.
Last year a friend asked me, if I could make some music with him.
But after a few times I played the vibe, both springs broke and some of the bar holders made from rubber turned to dust.
Trying to get the instrument into a jazz club with spiral stair, I received a herniated disk.

So I startet a study projekt for mechanical engineering students of the second year to design a new vibe frame under those topics:
* easy to setup
* easy transportation
* two bar-frames with fixed pic-up connetion of the bars and one base-frame
* pedal length about 2/3 of the instruments length
* no motor installation, but possibility to add later

The frame shown in the video is build as a summary of the best student ideas.…

All recording is done by mobile phone.
The first seconds of the blues-theme (beginning 0:40) is "stolen" from this wonderful youtube-video by Tony Miceli.
I hope that's ok, otherwise I will delete my video.

The rest of the blues I try to play a little bit like Ed Saindon in his great video.
Sorry for the bad covering, but I thought there should be some vibe sound on the video.

The next steps will be:
* create new folding tubes…
* create a less sophisticated pedal (asymmetric position)…
* create folding bar-frames…
* perhaps try to create own bars…

May be there are some further ideas how to continue or improve the frame?


tonymiceli Sun, 01/18/2015 - 21:35

holy %*&$%*$ *$*%&$ - I love smart people! that's incredible. you just did and build your own frame.

years ago i would go to germany and all these vibe players would come with home made frames. you guys are amazing!

great great great great job! I'm very impressed!

KeithScott Mon, 01/19/2015 - 00:27

In reply to by Vince H

Vince, try and then navigate to subsequent jpegs and mp4. Interesting frame design - combination of Deagan 145 harp designs (separate assemblies for naturals and accidentals) coupled with a accordion type frame - used on Deagan King George Marimba. Nico also had a one-off prototype that folded up the same way except that it didn't have the top support bar extending between the 2 leg assemblies and had only one foldable cross support for the pedal (had however adjustable height in leg assemblies. On his old website, he had a picture of vanderplas products demoed at the messe music conference and this was a concept design implemented. It's most stimulating to see, designs implemented using extruded aluminum - ala piper, early vanderplas and no doubt others. The premier 751's frame was extremely light in weight, with the added features of being compact, this frame still carries some weight - however it's a work in progress.

wyndorps Mon, 01/19/2015 - 15:15

In reply to by KeithScott

Hello and thank you for your friendly comments.

Something seems to be changed in this thread appearence?
I think, there has been a question wether it is possible to buy the drawings and wether these would fit for a provibe.

I will try to answer all questions.

* I don't have any commercial interest, so the existing drawings could be given free of charge. But I haven't yet added all changes to the 3d-design and I haven't done all drawings.
* I only know my premier vibe, but I have seen on pictures that there are vibes with different bar dimensions. So this would change the design of the top frames. The design has been done as a 3D-parametric design so it could be adapted to different bars. But this would need some detailed dimension information and cause some time to implement this.
* The height could be individually defined. Otherwise it would be no problem, to create adjustable height legs, for me that was not necessary.
* The design is based on european dimensions (mm), using extruded aluminium system profils from here…. But I think there will be similar systems in the US.
* I will try to weigh the new base frame and the old 751 frame during the next days, but it is much easier to get the new frame donwstairs or into a car, than the original one.
* The top support bar could be omitted, but then the bar frames are need to stabilize the base frame. It is much easier to set up the bar-frames having the top bar, because the base frame has the correct position.

Please note, that the aluminium profils are pretty expensive. A wooden frame is much cheaper!
Sorry for my 35 years unused shool-english.

best regards

piro Mon, 01/19/2015 - 15:56

In reply to by wyndorps

If you or your students could punch in the numbers for the measurements of a Musser Provibe, I'd be really grateful. There are so many old Musser's around with tired and beat up frames ...and I think people like me who'd enjoy building it ourselves. Your design looks perfect for the type of gigging that I do....transport by car...and versetile enough that if for example one wanted to put a wooden harp on top of that leg set it would be easy enough. I know that T slot aluminum is expensive but your design looks really stellar. Thanks again for putting it out there.

piro Tue, 01/20/2015 - 13:25

In reply to by piro

Ya know I watched that video a cuppla times and the way those legs fold up is way cool. Fast. I hate showing up to a gig in a nice suit and getting down on my knees and futzing with wing nuts. The T slot stuff is kinda ugly (nothing a little judicious anodizing couldn't put a dent in) but there are things I really like about it like the fact that any part can be swapped out or replaced or adjusted (although with T slot there are a lot of places an errant rattle could hide) I really dig the way the Mallettch harp is made out of minimal aluminum...I wish they would sell the frame because the truth is I love my old bars and I will never end up buying a whole Omega just to get the frame. But this new solution has so many possibilities. I know that Piper has designed a lighter weight T slot legset as an alternative to his heavy studio Piper Vibe and he has it on his personal set and it looks really well designed (as usual with him) but I really like the idea here of the legs that fold up and roll by themselves, somehow that just makes a lot of sense to me.
Really great way to deal with the pickup issue too. I dont use them but there seem to be new pickup systems out there that may gain some popularity and taking the bars off with pickups is just not practical (they are so fragile and so many)
SO please keep up the good work Paul and tell your students thanks for applying their creative juices to such an niche project.
...BTW how did you make the bar posts? I can see that they T slot in there but were they custom machined?
Oh and one other thing....That first effort one off prototype is rock solid. Check it out, nothing moves except what is supposed to, and just a quick minute to set up....(maybe figure out a spring load to avoid the awkwardness when folding and unfolding) But just stellar over all and it looks pretty light when you pick it up....I want one....

....looking at your video further, I dont see why a Musser M55 frame couldn't be made with just the smallest of adjustments: the bar space (Which can be adjusted on the spot) and the other is the width of the rails (at the nodes where the string passes thru)....and mounting the resonators but as far as I can see its done...
How do I get one?


IndianaGlen Fri, 01/23/2015 - 14:16

In reply to by piro

We played Email tag a while back, do you still want to have a skype session? I can show you my frame and the angles on the M5 harp etc.
If you are good, that's great too. I just hate leaving people hanging.


wyndorps Sun, 01/25/2015 - 12:54

In reply to by piro

As promised I have collected the data that are necessary to define a frame for different sound bar sizes.
It is not that easy, as piro wrote, because changing the position of the bar holders would change the angel of the cords. I think this could effekt on the sound.

So I have done a drawing (2 pages) with - I hope - all dimensions needed. I have included the dimensions of my premier prototype frame.…

So if anyone can give me the data of a pro vibe, I can start the next steps to design the frame.
But I only have free time to continue on the weekends.

Further you will find two solutions for bar holders.…

I am very proud, that Steve Shapiro would like to have my frame design.
I would like to play the vibe a little like he does :) !

piro Mon, 01/26/2015 - 00:58

In reply to by wyndorps

Hi Paul,
Thanks so much. I am sure it is not as easy as my pea brain would have it, but I really appreciate your efforts. John Piper designed some ingenious T slot versions of the bar holders from his M58 Vibraphone redo, but i think he had to have them made at great expense. If enough people wanted to make a provibe frame with these parts I wonder if a bulk fabrication would tame the price a little...If you send me your email I'll ask around and see if the info is available and if not I'll measure it myself.
Again many thanks
What kind of pickup system are you using on your Premier?

Steve Shapiro Mon, 01/26/2015 - 22:33

In reply to by wyndorps

You are very kind indeed!

Your frame design is really wonderful, and I enjoyed your playing as well. Sorry I directed my first comment to Tony, but I had been discussing this type of design with him and Leigh Howard Stevens of Malletech earlier this month...just as you showed, with flight cases, etc. Leaving the bars on for transport is something I have long wanted to see, especially for those of us using pickups. Maybe you should contact Leigh and show him some of these ideas?? He is in the business of manufacturing frames.

All best,

wyndorps Tue, 01/27/2015 - 03:09

In reply to by Steve Shapiro

Hi Steve,

thank you very much. Your so friendly to me!
I think, that my ideas are not so unusual, that no frame manufacture would not have thought about that itself. I think the biggest problem is the small market for such a special product.

My advantage is, that I did create a frame for my own use and I don't need to earn enough money by building frames to live from that. So I can create frame designs for reconstruction of old vibes as mine.

Nevertheless Leigh Howard Stevens may contact me at any time. If You are in contact to Leigh Howard Stevens, you may deliver my email to him (I don't want to post it, but you will get it from Tony). I am open for all discussions. If a company like Malletech would use this kind of frame design, it would become cheaper than using standard t-nut-profiles as I do.

Best regards

KeithScott Mon, 01/26/2015 - 22:48

In reply to by wyndorps


Thanks for your contribution , in most cases the value add of a vibraphone lies in it's bars, so kudos to you and your team in reviving this wide bar instrument to a state of playability. Upon viewing your input.pdf, I noticed that you have omitted the high F6 , therefore the value of L VR=170mm would be correct with this addition (without it L VR= 180mm for E6). B_2H=39, should start on F#4 and go to F6, the current drawing doesn't show the transition from B_1=45 to B_2 =39 in naturals or B_1H =45 to B_2H=39 in sharps. I bring this up in light of understanding the Deagan bar geometry of which the Premier shares - (3) graduations of bar widths (2", 1 3/4" and 1 1/2") ,while Musser has (4) graduations of bar widths (2 1/4", 2", 1 3/4" and 1 1/2") - this difference in bar widths and the corresponding bar width break points contributes to the overall sound, along with alloy etc. Some prefer the Musser sound others the Deagan.

Looking at your bar post, I see that the distance between bottom of plate (washer) and the middle of eyelet (where cord travels) should be consistent from post to post to insure bar height uniformity. How does your designs allow for rotational alignment and at the same time fixing the post position on the T-slot rail (all while maintaining the earlier mentioned height dimension) ? It seems that the lower nut (inside extruded aluminum channel governs the necessary height , while the top nut secures the post to a position along the rail (is this accurate?)

Now, take your post design and add the feature of shock absorbing - this would push the envelop - however each bar would ring unimpeded by it's mounting features.

Best Regards


wyndorps Tue, 01/27/2015 - 02:55

In reply to by KeithScott

Thanks for your contribution , in most cases the value add of a vibraphone lies in it's bars, so kudos to you and your team in reviving this wide bar instrument to a state of playability. Upon viewing your input.pdf, I noticed that you have omitted the high F6 , therefore the value of L "VR=170mm would be correct with this addition (without it L VR= 180mm for E6). B_2H=39, should start on F#4 and go to F6, the current drawing doesn't show the transition from B_1=45 to B_2 =39 in naturals or B_1H =45 to B_2H=39 in sharps.
You are right. I have missed one bar in my drawing!
I will correct this as soon as possible.

I bring this up in light of understanding the Deagan bar geometry of which the Premier shares - (3) graduations of bar widths (2", 1 3/4" and 1 1/2") ,while Musser has (4) graduations of bar widths (2 1/4", 2", 1 3/4" and 1 1/2") - this difference in bar widths and the corresponding bar width break points contributes to the overall sound, along with alloy etc. Some prefer the Musser sound others the Deagan.
That is what I didn't know. So I will have to create the input possibility of 4 bar dimensions to my CAD-model.

Looking at your bar post, I see that the distance between bottom of plate (washer) and the middle of eyelet (where cord travels) should be consistent from post to post to insure bar height uniformity. How does your designs allow for rotational alignment and at the same time fixing the post position on the T-slot rail (all while maintaining the earlier mentioned height dimension) ? It seems that the lower nut (inside extruded aluminum channel governs the necessary height , while the top nut secures the post to a position along the rail (is this accurate?)

Thank You very much for Your support!

Best regards

KeithScott Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:34

In reply to by wyndorps


For reference the bar width transitions on a Musser vibe are as follows:

F3 - C4 (2 1/4" wide)
C#4 - F4 (2" wide)
F#4 - F5 (1 3/4" wide)
F#5 - F6 (1 1/2" wide)

These dimensions should cover : Musser/Yamaha/Saito/ and prehaps others adopting the 4 bar width transitions, please note that the bar length may very slightly for manufacturer to manufacturer, thereby shifting the bar mounting holes and consequent rail angles.


KeithScott Mon, 01/19/2015 - 22:26

In reply to by wyndorps

If you able to access the US patent site:, check out patent # 2021080. This illustrates a patent for a foldable frame as implemented on the Deagan King George Marimba. This frame design even implements the foldable bar frames which you have mentioned as a next step in your frame development. To see the actual instrument, view : under My King George Marimba 1934, quite a monster - however incorporates interesting features. The bar dimensions on your existing harp (Premier 751), should match the Deagan bar geometry (8 lowest bars) 2" width- (F3 - C4) , (5 mid bars) 1 3/4" width - (C#4 - F4) and (22 mid to high bars) 1 1/2" width - (F4# - F6). As in any industrial endeavor the bar mounting holes may vary due to tolerance and human intervention - if you can secure a set of wide bar Deagan bars - you can check to see the applicability of you current dimensions - bar width may be the same, however bar length may very slightly. For Musser/Yamaha/Vanderplas Bars the dimensions vary from 2 1/4" - 1 1/2" quite different than Deagan. To those folks interested in this frame design - please be aware of the cost - just for instance the hinges which allow the frame to collapse are extremely expensive and (12) are needed in current design. As in most design efforts - the current implementation is a first pass effort and no doubt can be reduced cost wise , with the substitution of functionally the same elements but cheaper. This is a good effort of what can be achieved and should be viewed in that light.


wyndorps Mon, 02/02/2015 - 10:59

In reply to by KeithScott


as promised I have continued to create the alternative frame design on weekend.
But there are still some dimensions from my Premier that do not fit to the width of the Musser bars as I think. So I need some more details.

You can see the actual design (there are some changes to my prototype) and the dimensions needed here.…

Best regards

piro Mon, 02/02/2015 - 20:04

In reply to by wyndorps

Hey Paul,
Thank you so much for spending your time on the weekend doing this. I, personally, really appreciate your efforts. I play acoustic bass as my main giging instrument and my bass is 150 years old and still in beautiful playing condition because the players who owned it before me took care of it and fixed it when it was in need of repair. Vibraphones seem more utilitarian then precious instruments, yet like you I have an old instrument (1953 Musser Century) whose bars and resonators together make really beautiful music yet whose frame has not been able to withstand the years of abuse. Updating it to a frame that offers both the rigidity (for quiet operation) and flexibility (for transportation) has been something I've been interested in for a long time. So I really appreciate your efforts in making these designs available and your working during your off hours.

With your permission, I'd like to pass on the video and plan to Parker industries, a T slot manufacturer here in the US. To see if they have all the pieces. I have not been able to find the 4 way hinges that are called for in their catalogue and I know that their designers are happy to put together a parts list for individual projects like this ....I don't know if T slot is a standard like say, Midi, that different manufacturers adhere to or T slot is different from company to company?
Thanks again,

wyndorps Tue, 02/03/2015 - 02:21

In reply to by piro

Hi Piro,

I have been looking to the website of parker industries.
All parts needed seem to be available in the same dimensions (profiles 30x30, fastener, hinges, ...) as I used them. So if I get the missing dimensions, I can start to create the bill of material and drawings.

best regards

piro Sat, 02/14/2015 - 16:48

In reply to by wyndorps

Hi Paul,
I thought I posted this already but
here are the Inches
L_VL 14.5in
X-Ol 3in
X_IL 11.75in
Delta_ .5 in
X_OR 1.5 in
X_IR 5.25 in
Frame - 53 in

again many thanks for your work. I have every intension of building this frame.

wyndorps Tue, 01/20/2015 - 05:24

In reply to by wyndorps

@KeithScott: Thanks for the patent nubmer from 1934! I think I won't get troubel creating my frame after that time! But this patent only shows a foldable bar frame for a marimba without damping. I am thinking about solutions for a (my) vibraphon!
Tanks also for the pictures. It is really a monster.

@piro: My frame has been done only for my personal use and my old bars. So there is some work to do, do get a standard design for different bar sizes. If I find the time, I will do that and then I will post the results.


piro Sat, 01/24/2015 - 12:12

In reply to by wyndorps

Hi Paul
I am still thinking a lot about that leg set and how wonderful the design is....I had a thought . One thing that would be really great as an add on and something that would be of great benefit (at least to people like me who mic their vibes) would be to figure out a way that 2 or 3 mic shock mounts could be mounted under the frame using the T slots. If they were decent big shock mounts (with elastics) then it would isolate the mics from any frame noise (something like this while also isolating them from bleed. The T slot system has such potential...Anyway thanks so much for your efforts again...

wyndorps Sun, 01/24/2016 - 13:08

In reply to by dimitris

Hi dimitri,

it is possible to buy such a frame.

There are two ways:
1. I could build a frame for you, but as this is not my main job, it will take some time. And I don't know about shipping and duty costs. So if you are in Germany near Stuttgart at anytime, I could give you the frame.

2. You can build your frame yourself (or by any machine shop near by you) acoording to my CAD-data. All important parts you can get from any laser-cutting-company. I have choosen the first one from google and I am happy with them. T-slot-material according to ISO-Standard (mm instead of inch) is for example available by company ITEM in US too.


dimitris Mon, 01/25/2016 - 07:24

In reply to by wyndorps

I do not care if it will take some time but I was wondering if this frame is also good for the musser keyboard.

dimitris Mon, 02/01/2016 - 16:04

In reply to by wyndorps

I live in greece right now. Can you please tell me how much would cost for you to build this frame? Could you send it to Greece?

wyndorps Tue, 02/02/2016 - 14:42

In reply to by dimitris

Hi dimitris,

I think you would not want to pay my hourly rate for things that anybody can do.
I have prepared all so far, that it should be no problem to do it by yourself.

If you want, I can try to find a student to do the job. But I currently I don't know about the stundents costs and the shipping.

dimitris Wed, 02/03/2016 - 09:55

In reply to by wyndorps

Let me think about it. Do you have email of FB page so that I can contact you directly?

dimitris Fri, 02/05/2016 - 06:38

In reply to by wyndorps

I will do that. The world needs a lighter and easier to carry vibraphone.

IndianaGlen Tue, 01/20/2015 - 11:39

Per Piro's comments if you could create a frame for a musser M55, you may have a niche market. I love the way the legs fold up, and the bars and rails coming off together, is a great idea as well. Heck I even like your shoes.

Here's a couple thoughts off the top of my head.
-- Include a couple metal D rings as part of the damper belt. Those plastic connectors can break and if it had D rings, a shoelace or a hunk of string could get you through a gig. Either that or make a large connection loop in the belt so the same thing can be done.

-- I have parts from a VERY old musser century. The resonators fold similar to your drawing, and they also have the tremolo butterflies in them, which fold along with the tube.

-- The Musser M48 rather than a hinge on the resonators has a socket/bar arrangement. It works well and is very solid. It may be worth looking at before you try a hinge.

-- Motor and pulsators will add an additional challenge, but the M48 may be a good reference for that as well.

-- The frame would look great if it was gold anodized.

-- Create some kind of way that the folded legs could be used as a "dolly" to roll other parts. -- similar to the rock-n-roller

Steve Shapiro Sat, 01/24/2015 - 16:01

This is the exact frame idea I mentioned to you and Leigh at the Vibe Congress!

I want one!


wyndorps Tue, 02/17/2015 - 13:29


the 1st edition of the trvael frame design is done an written as a description.
The content is posted here:…

I just asked Tony Miceli by mail if he could define a new topic, because "New frame fror a premier 751" doesn't fit anymore for the Musser travel frame.

Please let me know, if there are mistakes or further ideas.
And may be you can post some photos of frames you have bilt.

Best regards
Paul Wyndorps

piro Wed, 02/18/2015 - 10:45

In reply to by wyndorps

Paul Thank you so much for all this hard work. you have made a practical and ingenious frame and provided it for free, that is a beautiful thing to do and I really appreciate it.It looks great and seems to address very important areas of design. Many many Thanks for all the hard work. I will send the parts list to our T slot company and see what the cost is.


wyndorps Sat, 01/16/2016 - 12:54

Update Januar 2016
Here you can find a new design of my frame (currently only in German language, but pictures are mostly international). The design can easily be adapted to any vibraphon.…

The basic concept is still the same, based on bar frames to keep the bars and posts fixed for transport (important if you use pickups) in a keyboard case and a small but very stabel foldable base frame.

By using laser cutting sheet parts for all main technology parts I was able to reduce the costs to 2/3 of the first published design. The total costs of the frame shown were less than 1000 Euro.
Laser cutting sheet parts can usually be ordered online based on data exchange format (DXF-files) all over the world.
I can generate the DXF-files needed based on given input data (mainly bar data) on demand, but currently only for metric T-slot-profiles.
Here you find an overview about all laser cutting sheet parts:…

To manufacture a frame only sawing (profils), drilling, filing and thread cutting are needed. It is not necessary to be a trained mechanic.
The distance parts to arrange the bar posts are designed as simple break off parts, to keep them in orientation and order. By the way this reduces costs extremly, because all distance parts are together only one part that means only one time machine setup and so on.
Here you find a short video, how to handle the break off parts and plug them together with the bar posts into the t-slot-bar.…

KeithScott Mon, 01/18/2016 - 20:57

In reply to by wyndorps


Kudos to you and your students in regards to the cost reduction exercise. You seemed to have retained the functional essence without the elaborate extras. Upon viewing your 0000021901_Gesamt.pdf file, page 4, the exploded sections on the bottom (Naturals), show the bar posts on rail #1 as being angled - yet the mating post on rail #2 is parallel to your end blocks (as it should be). Is this an oversight? - The Accidentals seem to be aligned properly. Does this method of spacing/aligning post create noise in the aluminum extrusion ? You call out a bar spacing of 12.7mm, is this measured from the original premier 751 frame - seems like quite a lot of slack (maybe due to nodal holes in original bars), which dictate bar post placement.


wyndorps Tue, 01/19/2016 - 02:47

In reply to by KeithScott

Hi Keith,
this is a bug of the used CAD-system. There is a known problem in orientation of parts assembled by datum points and datum planes in combination with patterns. The posts are in reality all parallel to the bars. You can see the distance parts 0000021619 have only the two angels (inner and outer rows).

The last distance parts for each row are designed 3mm longer. So these 3mm are available for pressing the posts. There is absolut no noise in the frame.

You are right, the bar spacing of 12.7mm is measured on my Premier 751. For measurement I moved two bars to their left post und measured the distance between their left edges. The distance I take is this value minus the bar width. The dimensions shown are input and improvement data. If you have diffrent values, I can take this values for the design.

I don't know about Musser vibes, but I have access to a Saito vibe. The posts are 3mm thick and there are additional 2mm rubber to each side. The measured bar distance as explained is about 12.5 mm. Because all other dimensions of the Saito are in inch, I think that this dimension should original be about 12.7 mm. So the maximum space for bar moving is about 5mm to 6mm. This is correct on my Premier and Saito.

Israel Tue, 01/19/2016 - 07:10

Wow! Congratulations! This is a great thing man! How many times vibes players have talking about that? but people like you go one step ahead and do it real! Wonderful!

wyndorps Mon, 01/25/2016 - 08:28

Each frame I create is according to special order and dimensions.
You have to tell me about your bar sizes, distance between bar, the height you wish to have and so on. You can choose what type of bar posts you want to have (totally closed, one side open, above open) and what orientation (all the same or alternating front / rear open, or something else). Further I need information about how your resonators are mounted (if you want to keep them). I do not install motors, but it is normaly no problem to do that later by yourself.

Currently I am creating own travel resonators without fans from beautiful black plastic tubes with metallic structure. They are looking great, are light, cheap and nearly unbreakable. It is even possible to tune the resonator pipes.

You could install a motor for each row or a central motor to your traditional fans. Mostly it is very simple to integrate that motors into the frame. On my first frame I have mounted a motor at each resonator row. Only the controll unit is mounted on the frame. It works pretty well. Modern stepper motors are so powerful and much smaler than the former vibraphon motors including gears.
Control unit, motor(s) and resonators are not within the 1000,-€ material costs.
I hope, I will finsh my new frame, before leaving to the spring vibe in Wuppertal.