Vibraphone inherited - can someone help me out?

Hi!

I've inherited an old vibraphone (at least 20 years).
It made by Premier, but thats pretty much all I know.
It's not in playable condition, but i'm thinking of getting it work again.

Heres some pictures, tell me what u know. http://www.flickr.com/photos/74100590@N04/

i can help you!!! donate it to me!!!!

just kidding. one of the european guys will probably help you!

john daly will help you out. he has that same one. and doesn't marie noelle?

Thanks!
How do I get in toutch with him?
I'm wondering about its age, model, value and if it's a bad idea to try and fix it on my own.

Hi Germer, had a look at your vibes, they are Premier model 701 non graduated bars, I have the later model 751 which are graduated. How bad are they? you should take some more close up pics of the problems and I will see if there is something we can do to help but I have to tell you they are older than 20yrs I would think. There is a member here who plays this model, Richard Szaniszlo so send him a message http://www.szaniszlo.com/, he might have some contacts as well for parts. There is also a guy in UK called Paul Jeffries who repaires these vibes so contact him at paul@orchestralpercussion.co.uk

Hope this helps

Cheers John

I think John said it all! :o) We both play in a 751. So I guess it depends on the condition of your set. But yes, I agree from the frame et other details: it's surely older than 20! :o)
Hope you can get help from both Richard and Paul!
Best of luck!
- Marie

Okay! Thank you all!
Actually, i've disassembled it to make it fit into my garage.
I'm no vibes player. I play the trumpet, so I probably wont use it very much for playing.

It has some dings and scratches, but nothing too bad i think. Don't know if the tremolo is working.
The big problem is that the string holding the bars is broken. Can I replace it with any kind of string that works?

Do u have any clue of what its worth if i/a repairman restores it to playable condition?

I'm from sweden; what does graduated bars mean? :o)

-Alex

I've added more pics now.
By the way, I have not seen this kind of sustain pedal on any other vibraphone.

I haven't either! Your instrument looks quite old I believe. Mine is already at least 30 yo.
You can see it's restoration process on my Face Book profile:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1609170914211.2080728.138436592...

Haha, you seem to have done the same work that I will have to do. Good job!
How does it work with vibes?
Do the instrument lose value if you for example paint it? Or is it fine as long as it's playable?
I mean, you wouldn't repaint a 18th century Stradivairius :)

And again, the value is quite interesting to me!

Cheers for the support

If you look at the bars of your 701, all of them have the same width.

Vibes said "with graduated bars" have bars of different widths, larger on lower notes.
For instance on this Yamaha model: http://www.woodbrass.com/yamaha-kyv-2700-p1373.html

It allows the sound to be more balanced and each note to have the same volume. It's said to be an advantage, but non graduated bars are still manufactured and sold today (even if a bit cheaper).

So? It might also be a question of taste as non graduated instruments generally have a brighter sound than graduated ones...

As for your bar string, I would say that any string of the right length and diameter would fit: parachute cord? ;-)

Any other advice guys?

Good luck!

- Marie

Alex,

Most vibes use nylon string.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Xylophone-Vibraphone-Replacement-Bar-Cord-22...

Some folks prefer the sound using cotton wrapped string.
http://www.vibesworkshop.com/image/cool-features-should-be-every-vibe-ma...

If you want to overhaul the parts that wear out, you may want to replace the damper pad, bar isolators, in addition to the string, and belt if needed.
www.ebay.com/itm/Vibraphone-Repair-Kit-Felt-Cord-Belts-Rubber-Posts-/290...

I have had a good experience with the above dealer. I don't know if they ship internationally though.

I have also had a good experience getting parts from http://www.centurymallet.com/

I wasn't able to see from your pictures if there were springs at the ends of your strings. If you need to replace them, contact centurymallet. They should look something like this:
http://www.vibesworkshop.com/sites/vibesworkshop.com/files/SpringSetupFr...
or
http://www.vibesworkshop.com/sites/vibesworkshop.com/files/P1120897.JPG

There are more pictures in my blog fixing up my vibes:
http://www.vibesworkshop.com/blog/replacing-bar-posts/barryk/090911

Changing the strings and other parts is a do-it-yourself project. By the looks of your pictures, the vibes look to be in pretty good shape. Hopefully, that is all you need. If your bars need tuning, you would need to send them out. Getting a new motor or fixing it up could be a bigger project though.

You should take up the vibes! :-) Do some vibes/trumpet duets with yourself. I was just listening to some recently with Chet Baker:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N5XOH0
www.amazon.com/Artists-Favor/dp/B003N5ZSWO/
http://www.amazon.com/All-Blues/dp/B0011Y6MTM/

Good luck!

Barry

Thank you very much!! That's useful info.
Actually I'm also starting a Indy pop band with my friends. This thing could come in handy! :)

Hi,

thanks for all those informations.

I have just purchase an old premier, which look like that one :
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Premier-Vibraphone-/261652470704?nma=t...
but in a pretty bad condition.

I will have to clean and refurbish a part of it. So I think I will come back for further questions.