Used Premier 751 Vibraphone: How much?

I´m considering buying a used model of the Premier 751 vibraphone (seen on this link: http://www.accent.com.sg/page-1158d1460000.ec).

The condition is OK- absolutely playable, but not great either.

How much would you approx. consider paying for such a model? I see it is offered as new for €4000,- in Germany.

Best,

Karl Ivar

HI Karl I am using the very same model I bought it new cost €4000 but how old is the one you are looking at have you a pic? they have a very warm sound the bars are not as big as Musser but I like it. I also have a field series set made by Premier they are more expensive around €6500 (I am a Premier endorsee now) a really big frame not the portable kind like the 751 let me know how old and a pic if possible

John

Hello John, I am totally new to this, someone recommended this website so I signed up to it.
I am a trumpet player, playing jazz, and I mess about on piano. I have become keen to learn to play vibes, and I am wondering about what to buy.
I'm considering spending money on a Premier 751, which I see you said (last year) you are using, and like.
The one advertised is 40 years old, said to have been well looked after.
I'll go and see it if I can, but it may not be possible.
Any idea on what it might be worth bidding?
Also, how much does it weigh do you think? I'm not incredibly strong - how many parts would it break down into, and what would each part weigh?
Sorry to take up your time, but your reply would be most helpful!
Thanks,
David

that's a great instrument. VERY easy to move around.

Thanks very much Tony. Possible to give any idea of value?
David

create a google alert: http://www.google.com/alerts

then maybe google will find some for sale and you can get an idea of the value.

Thank you Tony. I've done what you suggest - had never done that before - but so far it hasn't found a lot of stuff. Many thanks for your help.

David

My guess, depending on condition, In the US, it would be beween 600 and 1200. Non graduated bar instruments don't get much more than that regardless of brand.

Hello - thanks for your reply. I don't know a lot about this - yet - but according to this webpage http://www.accent.com.sg/page-1158d1460000.ec the Premier 751 does have graduated bars and resonators. Is this information correct do you think? And if so - how would that affect the value, do you think?

Many thanks for helping!
David

yes, the 751 has graduate bars, 701 uniform bars.
here in europe value for a 751 is inbetween 1000-2000 euros.
They are nice sounding instruments with the big advantage that the're relatively simple in construction.
That makes them somewhat easy to carry around.

The models do have some flaws:
- the height is pretty low, a bit too low for the average modern human
- the (brilliantly designed) frame is all aluminum with all connectings rivetted. The rivet holes wear out, causing ticks in the frame when pedalling
- all barpost are U-shaped. This makes it easy to remove the bars, but dampening is a bit less accurate
- barposts are completely made out of rubber. These dry out over the years and there are to my knowledge no replacements (we sometimes cast new ones)
- castors are the cheapest of the cheapest. You need to change these
- the cord runs thru plastic directing parts on the "endblocks". These parts break over the years. Again no replacements available.
- damperfelt is narrow and thin. Most likely you need to replace it
- damper system completely differs from any other brand. The smart wide pedal connects with two rods into plastic balls underneath the damperbar.
The thread in these balls can wear over time due to constant pulling of the pedal. Also this plastic deteriorates over time and will beak when you remove them from their housing when trying to add new thread.

Nevertheless despite these flaws, the 751 is a nice instrument. Don't let the above discourage you: every vibraphone in this world has their own specific flaws.

nico
vanderPlas Baileo
www.vanderplasbaileo.com

Hello Nico, thank you so much for taking the time to give me all that information. It's so helpful.

Well, I have been warned! It seems there are a lot of things that can go wrong, or be wrong... and the instrument I'm looking at is 40 years old. (I suppose that's the typical age for a 751?)

I don't even know where I could possibly get repairs done, if there are things wrong. I get the impression that Premier no longer make or support their vibraphones - is that right?

Since I've never even played the vibes, all this does seem a little crazy! However, I feel I would love to be playing them, so still want to pursue this.

Are there certain parts (like the barposts) that you might be able to supply if necessary?

Thanks also for the estimate of value. That's very helpful.

After all this advice, it's clear that I must go and look at the instrument before making an offer.

Thanks again for your help.

David

David,

for spare parts it is best to follow Johns lead.
Whenever we need premier spares, it is for instruments we get here in the workshop and we then make parts on the fly.

nico

Thanks Nico. One day, I may buy one of yours!

Thanks again for all your help.

David

Hi David,
Yes I am using one and its great in many ways, firstly its very portable, it breaks down easy, the main frame/resonators and pedal/bars, and packs into 3 bags. I did a video with Tony this year packing up and then setting up and did it in just over 3 min each time here is the link.

http://www.vibesworkshop.com/video/setting-and-packing-premier-751-vibra...

Weight in the bags are Main frame 20kgs Resonators and pedal 8kgs and bars 14kgs

As for cost it would all depend on condition but I reckon somewhere between $800 and $2000
Hope this helps.

John

Thank you so much John. Just found your message - it was hiding! The video is wonderful - so helpful and great fun.

You and Tony have been so helpful - I'm very grateful. Now all I have to do is go and see it, and buy it if I can.

I can't wait to start playing.

Many thanks, indeed.

David

Hi David,

All the comments here are issues with the 751 but as Nico says all makers have issues, the problems I had were fixable, firstly I had to sort dampening system because the spring system I felt was a bit weak so I put 2 coil springs in to give it more pressure to the bars, secondly the chord guides or bar posts are not completely rubber only covered with a rubber sleeve and these will be hard to source, they are riveted and one came loose on me but just re did it with a new rivet which was easy, as Nico pointed out the dampening rail could be a little wider but that's the way they made it and I can live with that. The only other thing is the balls the 2 rods from the dampening pedal screw into, they are prone to wear and I am working on that as we speak, hoping to get a more durable material that will not wear as fast.
I have had mine for 5 years and no problems with the motor system it is very smooth and quiet.
There is a guy called Paul Jefferies in the UK who is great for repairing all percussion instruments, Paul@orchestralpercussion.co.uk Hope this helps and good luck. BTW the 751 are graduated bars. Oh and check out the vid Tony put up recently when he was here in Ireland, they are my 75!'s he is playing and he really likes them. http://www.vibesworkshop.com/video/django-and-big-foot/tonymiceli/080411

John

Hi John, thank you so much for being so helpful. I think you guys on here are really great, the way you spend time helping others.

Also, you've given me encouragement that, if there are small problems, they can probably be fixed.

I've now spoken to the seller, and he tells me that he's ordered a new belt and 10 new bar posts, since some of these looked a bit perished. He says the motor/gearbox is ok, and so are the balls that the 2 rods from the dampening pedal screw into.

He says that the bars and tubes could do with polishing - he hasn't played the 751 for 10 years and they have become dull, I think. I don't know how one would do this polishing - do you?

No gig bags - a pity, but I suppose that doesn't matter too much.

It's good to know about Paul Jefferies - thanks for that.

Thanks for the link to the video - it's great.

So, many thanks again. It sounds ok I think, even if not in mint condition. Going to see it on Friday. Again, I really do appreciate your help.

David

Hi David

Polishing the bars is easy, I know Barry K on the site got a great polish so check with him, I think you will like the instrument it sounds great. so I hope you can do a deal. There is a company in UK www.jampercussion.com who do cases for this try them that's where I got mine. And the belts can be got from Paul or this place http://www.bearingstation.co.uk (they are listed as big O rings) but talk to the guys there they will sort you out Let me know how you get on.

John

Thanks so much, once again John.

Yes, of course I will let you know how I get on.

I am your biggest fan!

David

Fantastic! Thanks Barry
Regards,
David

Thank you John, and Tony and Nico and others, for all the help you gave me last week.

In the end, I went to see the instrument, and after some agonising I decided not to bid for it, because it wasn't in very good condition, and I wasn't sure I wanted to undertake the task of restoration right now.

The other reason was that I didn't find the vibes quite as easy to play as I had fondly imagined! So I didn't want to take on the double task of learning to play and restoring the instrument at the same time.

I'm going to try and get some lessons in playing, locally, if I can, before again looking for one to buy.

Anyway, many many thanks for all your help. I'm so impressed with this site and how helpful people are, here.

All the best

David.

Hi David,

That's a pity but I hope you do get a set eventually, was happy to help out, talk soon

John'

Hi I.need a belt urgently just seen.your post.. but its over a year old.. I called bearing stations but they have an abundance of belts.. what size belt do I need for my old premiere vibes. I think they r a 751?? If you can let me know asap I can purchase from bearing station if I know the size.. thanks you can call me as we'll 07941332098.

Bearing Station might know the answer to this as they have sold several of these,they are called O rings which are rubber seals and work great, if you have no luck here you can also contact

Paul Jeffries in UK
info@orchestralpercussion.com Ph. No. : +44 (0) 1634 255 200

Regards John

Because I got the vibes you are talking about. I just came on here to get a bit more info and I see that you have done I all for me.
My girlfriend wasn't best pleased when I announced the arrival of my new plaything, so you never know, it may need a new owner after its been restored.

Regards

Tony

Hi Tony - thanks, but don't feel bad... well at least, not *too* bad!

I think I saw you arrive on here just before the bidding for the vibes, and was I annoyed!

But I went to have a look, and after much deliberation, decided that I just didn't want the hassle of restoring them, as well as trying to learn the instrument at the same time.

So I'm sure it's gone to the better home.

Nice to hear from you. Where in the country are you? Keep in touch - my email is dhhurford@googlemail.com.

Isn't it a great site?

Regards

David H

Hello John - do you mind if I ask you another question?

I found on this website: http://thevibe.net/smf/index.php?topic=1581.0 some comments to the effect that: the motor-system on the Premier 751 was a "funny kind" and "often broke down"... and "the vibrato system ('gear box') on that motor is VERY complicated ... I spent countless hours trying to get that thing to work properly ... it always broke down again after a few hours playing". Also, "I had to be very careful packing it for transport, especially the predal [pedal?] system was a bit strange".
These comments are by someone called Arvid on that website.

Do you agree with any of this? Is there a problem with the motor and/or speed control mechanism (or whatever it is) on this Premier model, in your experience?

Are there any particular questions in this regard I should ask of the buyer?

Thanks for your help, I appreciate it very much.
David Hurford

I have another 2 cents worth. I run a small repair bussiness in Melbourne Australia, and deal with Premier instruments at times. I do have many Premier parts available, some for the vibes, but have sold out of some of the regular consumeables. Check out www.members.westnet.com.au/billv for anything that may be of assistance.
My experience with Premier has been that, as nice as their instruments may be, they are totally hopeless at providing parts backup. This has caused me to recommend virtually any other brand to my customers. If I want parts for the Japanese brands I send an email and I have them in a couple of weeks. I recently needed parts for a Premier Xylophone. Many enquiries later through the local importers and I was told that as the instrument had not been made for ten years parts were no longer available. Wonderful! The parts I also needed for the 751 vibe they had no excuse for, so have no reply to that one so far. Useless. My recommendation? Don't touch Premier!
Re motors and speed controllers etc, there is a stash of them here in Melbourne! I have also devised a 12 volt motor alternative that uses cheap and easily available components. I'd be interested in anyones comments.

I'd be interested in hearing about a motor alternative (not just for a Premier). Is it quiet? Is it variable speed?

Thanks,
Barry

i just know premiere from john daly and working in ireland. i know it's a beautiful sounding instrument.

you know musser is also not good for getting back to you and getting results but they make a great instrument. i guess maybe that's because these companies are small companies without enough personell to take care of business. i've tried to get musser and premiere and yamaha to be part of the site but i think they are all too busy.

Yeah, probably busy selling vibraphones to schools and universities and not caring about professional working people....oh crap, did I say that out loud!? Oh well, doesn't matter, I'm sure they won't see that....

say it behn! say it loud and clear!

I just joined the site and came across your reference to a 12v motor alternative. I recently purchased a no-name vibe that came with no motor, and am looking for an inexpensive motor. Your description contains the magic words "cheap" and "easily available." How about some details. Thanks.

now if you're a bigtv star why would you buy a no name set of vibes! why wouldn't you buy an expensive vanderPlas?? :-)

Now that was funny!...
Sorry Bigtvstar: welcome on vibesworkshop!! :o)
Marie

There's one reason why I'm not shopping for an expensive set of vibes. Divorce.

Bill a440
As I mentioned in another comment on this site, I have recently purchased a set of no-name vibes with no motor. I have searched in vain for an inexpensive motor replacement. I saw your reference from last December (2011) and wondered if you would share the secret of your 12v motor alternative.
I can be reached via email at bigtvstar@yahoo.com.

I'm selling my premier 701 vibraphone.. Does need some minor overhaul on it but still works as it should ...
My damper pedal has detached from bar!! How can I get it back on. Do I need a special Alan key to take plastic o ring off from damper pedal to put on to the bar ?? Please help ..You can call me on 07941332098 .
Thanks in advance .. Also I'm not sure how much to sell for so any guidance would be appreciated.