Vintage Musser and Damper Question

Hi Everybody,

I picked up a vintage Musser Model 45 serial# 3558 from craigslist. Is there any way to know what year it was made? I've emailed several shops and no one has had anything specific to say. Cannot find a number for Musser anywhere? My guess is that it's pre-'65 since the serial number plate does not say Ludwig on it, and I saw a Model 45 on eBay that had a different looking serial number tag that said Musser by Ludwig? Also the belt cover says "Hampton Model", not "One Nighter" like the others I've seen, if that is any clue? The wiring is all cloth insulation so it seems 60's or earlier

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Any guess on value?

It sounds awesome, but the damper needs help, there are individual adjusters for each bar/key? Someone told me this was not the original design? I think that I will remove them and just replace them with one long felt strip.

Is there something special about the felt? I found industrial 1 1/2" wide felt for quite cheap compared with the replacement strips sold at music supply places. They sell it up to 1" thick, was thing 1/2" would be ok? http://www.buyfeltonline.com/product/f-13-grey-felt-1-12-wide Any thoughts? There are lots of different industrial felt grades, thought softest would be best?

thank in advance for any info, joel-

I think the felt at Century Mallet works the best, I am sure there's others just as good, however, the time and effort to mess with it just isn't worth it to me. I'd rather get it right once and move on.

Cutting wide felt straight and clean is a challenge, at least it is for me. The M45 did not have adjustments for individual bars (unless it was some kind of prototype or something).

You can buy industrial felt in 1.5" wide strips (1/2" thick) with adhesive backing (only need to cut to length), A 6 foot section of F13 grade is <$5 at Grainger. Cutting it to length should only take ~20 seconds with a sharp razor blade. 20 seconds is worth the $20-$40 savings. Picking some up today, will let everyone know how it goes.

Does anyone have a contact at Musser that they would share? I'd really like to know when this was made, or at least a range of dates.

thanks, joel-