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I'm purchasing a new vibe a was wondering which tuning I should go with A440 or A442? Apparently the company (Malletech) is using A442 as standard. I'm in the US and currently don't have any travel plans for Europe of the east.



tonymiceli Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:32

this is a tricky thing. if you're in the u.s. then do 440. that's most jazz pianos. classical pianos are 442.

is it your first set? do you play a lot with piano? all these things matter. if you don't play a lot with piano then you could do 442.

you know i could go on and on. if you're in the u.s. and you play jazz on the instrument then i would do 440.

if you play in a group and the piano is 442 it might bother you especially if the whole band is playing. if you did a duo it might bother you.

i recorded in a GREAT studio and the vibes were 442 and the piano was 440. the owner said i was the first to complain, and it was used a lot. but i was playing some duo with the pianist.

i brought my bars and showed the owner the difference and he heard it.

but it might not matter. so u.s. 440. and you have to specify otherwise you'll get 440. btw if you mention that i and this site convinced you to buy the instrument the site gets a donation from malletech and we could use it!

Anecdote Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:53

In reply to by tonymiceli

Ordering a Omega through Steve Weiss and the invoice has A442 as Standard on it. Is Malletech considering A442 as standard as well? Called Malletech and waiting for a reply. Also I've been using a mid 70's M55 and I'm sure it's A440. And I do about 40% playing with piano.

John Keene Sun, 12/06/2015 - 05:51

My understanding is that the primary buyers of NEW mallet instruments are schools; gigging musicians will usually opt for pre-owned. So it stands to reason that the 'standard' is going to be geared towards new buyers. And school orchestras usually tune to 442, that has become the standard. My recommendation would be based along those lines, so if you're a gigging musician in the US, then 440 is the ticket.

Soundwise, it is my understanding that all resonators are tuned to 440, so 442 bars will sound deeper but 440 bars have more sustain. I think that either Leigh or Piper could clarify this.

BarryK Wed, 12/16/2015 - 20:44

In reply to by John Keene

Malletech resonators are tunable so regardless of the bar tuning, you will be able to trade off sustain for volume in the Malletech by adjusting the resonator tuning.


TinaTawdre Wed, 12/16/2015 - 02:11

I know you're buying a Malletech. Musser also uses A442 as standard.

According to a ProVibe parts sheet that you can download at they switched from A440 to A442 in 1994. You can still order a complete set of replacement bars from them in either tuning, but tres expensive at $2559 asking price at Cascio Intertsate onlineā€¦. I have occasionally seen a bar set for sale online, so check to be sure what you are getting if buying sight unseen/unheard (always risky, even if with pictures!!).

Interestingly, that parts sheet is dated 2/15/2007. Two topics suggested by that parts sheet (because my 40 year old M55 needs an overhaul), which should go in separate new threads if they're not covered in this forum somewhere, are: 1). the E3486 crossbar which will "work on models made after 1980,and earlier models with some modifications" and 2). how the E3645S motor and control assembly differs from the one on my M55 (my motor is, of course, dead).