M-48

What's with the m-48. I hung with vibist Tom Beckham last night and I couldn't believe he had the same experience as me. When I play my m-48 I have to move it around my floor to get it into a spot where the dampening will work. He does the same thing. I love the sound of the instrument. The bars are beautiful, but it's such a drag to play.

Any ways anyone know of to fix it?

www.JohnMarkPiper.com

Buy something really heavy that doesn't have folding rails.

like a weight? so it stays at the bottom of the ocean?

s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com

www.JohnMarkPiper.com

Piper Vibe comes to mind....

Of course! What else?!! ;o)

Actually there are a couple of things you can do. It's not easy but your instrument can be made better.

1. Add Nico's damper pad and learn how to adjust to it and use it.
2. Add "Mbraces" of some kind.
3. Change to "shock absorbing bar mounts" by Musser (my patent).
NOTE: Your particular instrument (Tony) needs something to brace the middle rails from the middle (similar to Malletech's "Mbraces" are) and the shock absorbing bar mounts would help you a lot because you use the ends of the bars a lot and play a lot of accents on them. This is where a lot of your instrument's noise problems occur.
4. (most important) Learn how your instrument works and where the weak spots are. Get a stethoscope and listen to your instrument inside and out. Find out where the squeaks and rattles are and learn to fix them. All the major manufacturers' instruments are pretty good but they all have their deficiencies. There's not that much to it but making them better takes an effort on your part.

i like getting the weight and sending it to the bottom of the delaware. that i'm technically savy enough to handle.

s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com

www.JohnMarkPiper.com

I know the feeling.

Piper will have to clarify if this is a practical solution of not, but I'll throw this in for consideration. Before I sold my Provibe last June, I was thinking about buying a motor cart like this one:

http://www.1800usaband.com/htmls/itementryview.asp?itementryid=9664

Although I bought, used, and loved the Piper M-braces, I thought this might be something worth considering. I could keep the original frame for practicing, and have the motor cart frame as a gigging setup keeping the same bars and resonators.

One problem I foresee with the M-48 is that it breaks apart in the middle, so this motor cart may not work for that model. What I do like about this motor cart is that it's not an all-terrain cart made to roll the vibes over grass or a football field, so it's better looking in that regard (at least in the picture).

I thought the price was right as well.

that would be great if it worked with the m-48. just get a new frame.

what does the big vibe maker think? john? your 2 cents please!!!!

s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com

www.JohnMarkPiper.com

This tank was really set up and made to protect and retrofit the M55 and similar counter part models for marching. It does nothing for improving the actual mechanisms because it's intended for the marching field. It is also not intended to fold or break down easily. So, it basically takes the standard downfalls of the M55 and protects them from football fields. And I think it weighs more than the standard M58(Piper vibe) or close to it.

I run the dryer and washing machine while i practice.

two things get accomplished, clean clothes and the crazy sounds from the axe are drowned out by the machines.

so when you buy an m-48 which i think has a beautiful sound, also buy a washer and dryer.

s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com

This is an interesting comment and I didn't comment on it back in '08. When you use things like washer and dryer or "drummer and bass player" (or audience) to drown out those bad sounds that are inherent in the "traditional" vibraphone like the M48 or M55, you also lose (within that extraneous noise addition) 85 percent of your sustain, note-to-note phrasing and all other subtle nuances that allow the vibe to express music. This turns vibe playing into button pushing that consists of only the attack (very boring) that can actually be replaced by programmed music. That's what really bugged me about the instrument when I started working on improving it. You have to be able to hear all parts of the note (ACOUSTICALLY - attack, sustain and end) in order for the vibe to have its own full expressiveness that other instruments have.

I got a new M48 a few weeks ago and love it, but the locking parts on the 3 part cross bar are very stiff, making it difficult to disassemble. Do these loosen up over time, or has anyone else encountered this?

my 48 is being rebuilt but i remember locking parts. maybe they're making it differently now?

The cross bar is has 2 connecting braces the screw into the center peice. When assembled these braces are facing the floor.

mine turn easily and come undone. no locking parts. (as i remember, my instrument is away for the moment!)

Sounds like you're talking about the metal braces that are about 1/4" inch in diameter (about 6mm). They basically brace the rails together. They will loosen up and the challenge is that if they get too loose the vibe may wobble a more. I would avoid doing any filing or other types of mods if you can avoid it. The M48 is more similar to an M-75 than it is to an M55, (for what it's worth)

Here's a couple things to try:
1) A good technique to removing those braces is to stick your thumb on top of the block of wood that the brace goes into Wrap the rest of your fingers around the brace. (My right thumb is on the left side of the brace) Then push down and squeeze up with your hand. (It makes more sense if you are looking at the vibe). Make sure you get the correct side that comes apart :)

2) The order you remove the rails can matter. Find the easiest one to remove first and go from there.

3) With the rails off of the vibe gently hook up the braces on two rails and move them from side to side 10 or 15 times.

4) Look for a warped rail. I don't think a little warping is a huge deal, but it may be contributing to the difficulty of removal, but it also may make your vibe more solid. Always a trade-off!