M46, M48 or M55?

Hey all,

I'm in the market for a new vibraphone and I've narrowed it down to three instruments, all Musser: the M46 One Nighter, M48 Pro Traveler and M55 Pro. I drive a Ford Explorer so having space in my car is not a big issue (I'm able to fit a 5 octave Yamaha marimba in my car). I'm about to start my junior year of college and I'm looking for an instrument that will serve me well as a professional musician but won't break the bank so I can afford grad school without taking out some crazy loans.

Considering the paragraph above does anyone have any insight into what I should look into? I'd love to be able to get one sooner than later so I can start practicing/gigging!

Thanks in advance!

Hi waxpoetic ! Good question !
I own a Musser M48 for about three months now and I'm very happy with it. Great sound, great dynamic range, great homogeneity, great tuning. I like it a lot.
This is the model than Gary's contributed to conceive with Musser company and than he's playing in concerts.
I'm never fed up to practice and play on it.
Go check my vids at patrice guillon channel on YouTube, to make better opinion.

;o )

If you plan to live in a city where you can easily get about by car, and you don't mind ALWAYS owning a station wagon, minivan, hatchback, or SUV style vehicle, get the One Niter or the ProVibe. The Traveller breaks down into many pieces, which makes it easier to fit into small spaces (Cab, compact sedan, aircraft, etc). But that is its ONLY advantage and it comes with the drawbacks of taking longer to set up and having more potential noise and structural wear issues over the time.

If you don't want to break the bank, look for a decent used Musser Pro or recent One Niter (wide bar version). Before buying, inspect carefully and teach yourself about the potential structural issues in any of these instruments so you know how to fix or avoid them. I've seen used Pros anywhere from $750 to $4200, with the lower range a freak accident and the upper being far too much...you can find them around $1800-3000 more realistically.

that's in the US. don't know where you are...

Hi, Since you have a roomy SUV, go with the M55. It's got the professional, full-size keyboard, is easiest to set up and take down, and there are more of them around then any other model. So finding a decent used one should be easier. And the price range of $1500-$3,00 sounds about right. Consider also the tuning. Older instruments were tuned to A=440. Instruments made in the last 20 years are normally tuned to A=442, unless the buyer specially order 440 tuning (which USA players should definitely seek out). You'll discover when playing with pianists that mismatched tuning becomes a distraction. Unless you expect to be playing mostly in Europe or other foreign location, try for 440 bars. Good luck! Gary B.

Thanks for helping me out guys! I totally forgot that I had posted this; it's nice to know that people are watching out for me!

I had seen some pictures of people being able to break down a Century into manageable pieces and fitting them into a case. Has anyone had any experience with this?