Where to buy a Vibraphone in the UK and what to buy?

Hi All,

I've got to that point in life where I need to buy a Vibraphone. I program and play keyboards for a living and can afford something reasonably good. I'm going to be playing jazz and not working on more 4 to the floor!

However, I'm in the UK and I'm unsure of what to buy and then where from. Vibraphones seem to be in short supply here!

Firstly, I'm a bit worried about buying something old because if it needs repair or tuning - I won't know where to take it in the UK.

New, it seems like Musser are V expensive here, when compared to the states - and it's difficult to find a supplier.

Yamaha don't seem to keep any stock of their better Vibraphones in the UK - and I can't find out how small their frames break down to for transport.

Any thoughts welcome .....

Hi Graham- as far as the Yamaha vibes are concerned, the 3710 Tour vibe breaks down nicely (sort of like a Musser 48) and fits into 4 gig bags. I have been playing the 3.5 octave version (the 3910) for 10 years and it is holding up really well. The Yamahas do have more small parts to them than the Musser 55, so I say just take good care of it and it will last. I definitely recommend the gig bags if you are moving the instrument around - it makes everything easy and helps keep the instrument from getting wrecked. The Yamahas sound fantastic also. BTY, their Studio vibe doesn't break down or fold up.
You might also look into a Van der Plas Vibe- they are amazing instruments if you can afford one, and they are in Holland. Good luck-

Thanks Bob,

So I can rule out the Yamaha YV-2700 studio vibes - which is a good step forward. I hadn't considered Van der Plaz ... I'l have a look

Thanks again

Hi Graham,

The Premier 751 model still turns up on ebay from time to time so it's worth checking in there once a week.

I recommend speaking to Graham or Tony at JAM Percussion: www.jampercussion.com 0151 494 1492 They are very friendly, knowledgable and helpful and will be able to give you good advice. They also sell mallets and Tony makes some of the best tour bags / covers in the market.

Message me through the site and I can suggest a few other options for purchase.

Redders

Thanks - I've emailed them but their closed for a few days holiday.

Can someone tell me what size the Musser M55 and the Yamaha YV 3710M break down to - in cm or inches I don't mind either.

It's the length that concerns me..

Just informed by Yamaha there's a six month wait for their YV 3710M in the UK with A440 tuning - after a dealer receives payment in full of over 5K.

I wonder why they endorse artistes and then don't support the product outside the US and Japan.

Anyway, it makes my decision a lot easier!

I hope you consider telling them that. They need to hear about lost sales and the reason why.

Fwiw, I don't believe that manufacturers even remotely care about the individual artist anymore, and that they endorse certain people based on being able to sell to orchestras and schools. Most mallet endorsees are associated with education or orchestras, whereas if you pick up an old Downbeat you'll see Deagan ads featuring Milt Jackson who had no academic pedigree. It was a different day and age. As far as tuning, it makes sense from one standpoint - orchestras and schools tend to tune higher than 440, so that is the priority.

hopefully there are some manufacturers that try to do :-)

nico
www.vanderplasbaileo.com
twitter vdplasbaileo

I've provided feedback to Yamaha UK and will also speak with my contacts at Yamaha US & Yamaha Japan, when the opportunity next arises. Unfortunately, most of the people I still know at Yamaha are in Pro-Audio, but they do listen. Normally, there excellent, but on this occasion it seems not.

Nico, if only your gigVibe was the same price as the Musser M55 - you would already have my order! However, its not (until the euro collapses) but I do appreciate the detailed information you've sent me. My only feedback would be to remove the silverlight plugin from your website - so I might be able to see more of your products.

----

So M55 or M55G ?

Do they sound the same?
Is there any difference besides colour?

Great Video - Thanks

Hi Graham

I'm new to the vibeworkshop and so just saw your post. You may well be sorted now but if not, or if anyone else is interested I have a 2 yr old very well looked after Majestic Artist vibe for sale. It's only been used at home for practice and just a handful of gigs.

The bars are 1/2 thick, tuned already to A=440, sound great (based on the Musser) and are graduated in 4 steps exactly like the Musser. I'd be so bold as to sugget it is better, more sturdily built than the Musser!!

I am open to any sensible offers and I also have the two main cases, one for the keybed/bars and the other for the legs; these are superbly made and cost quite a bit!

Now I may get this wrong but I think you can email me direct from this website? If not and you or anyone else is interested post a reply and I'll give you my email.

Paul

Sorry, Nico. I should have excluded you from my generalization by virtue of your exceptional track record of personalized service.

graham,

talk to nico at vanderplas about a gig vibe or the full instrument with the blue bars.

tell him you're a subscriber at vibesworkshop and i promise he'll give you a good deal. tell me if he doesn't!! he says he will always take care of vw guys.

i think the gig vibes is the blue bars w resonators and the e vibe is without resonators.

that is a beautiful instrument. that sound is incredible. you would LOVE that instrument!

Hi Tony,

Thank you for your continued encouragement.

I think I'm going to buy either a Musser M55 or M55G probably sourced in Germany.

I have prices from Vanderplas but their considerable more expensive once I've converted UK pounds to Euros and added VAT and delivery.

Is there any difference between the M55 and M55G except colour?

I don't appear to be able to message or PM on this site?

too bad premiere stopped making the ??? 705 or is it the 750? a great instrument!! i can't believe they stopped making it. it is so portable!!! maybe you can find a used one??? the other premiers i've seen are not that portable.

and too bad musser is so expensive in the uk.

Thanks for replying Tony,

I've not seen a good second hand premiere vibraphone for ages. Musser which is probably what I should be buying don't appear to have any working distribution in the UK. However, there must be somewhere in Europe with stock and a good price but finding it is proving difficult.

email musser, email steve weiss percussion. i thought steve had a partner in europe.
don't forget to include CASES and a cart to move things. we use the 'rock n roller' here. it's a great cart

So no reply from Musser USA.

No reply for 2 weeks from theVibe.Net with authorisation to join their forum.

Did all you Vibraphone players do something really bad in a past life?

I've seen in another post here that Musser doesn't answer directly to customers, you have to contact an authorized dealer, and it seems that Vibe.net site is dead, nobody gets answer from them....

Hi Babu, thanks for your reply ..

!

Finally got the UKs 'best price' on a Musser M55 Pro Vibe (silver not gold) - if I convert the UK price to US dollars its: $7,593

Where as the same in the states from Steve Weiss Music is $4,179

An astounding difference of: $ 3,414

Unbelievable!

Don't forget to add VAT, duty and shipping to the price!

Yes .. I don't think I'll be importing from the states - I was just shocked at the difference in price here.

I'm also looking at what price I can get a Yamaha YV-3710G (A440) for here.

It might come down to which will break down small enough to get in my car. Although the Yamaha seems to have a lot of smaller bits.

i don´t know how much the taxes will be from shipping from germany but maybe this german site can help you.if you are intrested give them a call.it´s a musser m55g for 6000€

http://www.thomann.de/de/musser_vibraphon_provibe_gold_a442.htm

tarik

Thanks - generally (but not always) there is no extra VAT or duty for purchases made between countries in the European Union.

However, if I needed to make a warranty return - in the case of a Vibraphone it may well cost me a small fortune to ship the product back to Germany.

You have to pay customs too...

Hi Graham

You may want to consider contacting Graham or Tony at http://www.jampercussion.com 0151 494 1492.

I'm trying to save up for one of their Adams models and they also do a Yamaha student model.

I've dealt with them off and on over several years (mallets, advice etc) - they are friendly and helpful as well as knowledgeable - they are both professional percussionists with years of experience. They obviously run a business but they're not salesman, if you get what I mean. If they can't provide exactly what you're looking for, I'm sure they may have contacts, suggestions, etc

Good luck.

Kevin

Sorry Graham, didn't read down at first and just seen that Redders had already recommended them!

Thanks anyway, I find these non linear posts a bit difficult to follow.

Anyhow, yes I'm in contact with JAM just waiting on some prices.

Hi Graham- sorry you are having a hard time getting an instrument, what a drag. As far as contacting Yamaha, they are in Buena Park,California and it is the Band and Orchestra division you are after. They put the mallet instruments in with marching percussion. I found this address on their website: infostation@yamaha.com
I would ask for a product specialist for vibraphones that can help you get an A440 3710 to the UK and hopefully they will help you - the problem is that Yamaha is such a huge company that you have to find the right people to talk to. Again, I recommend you go for the gig bags also.
The only difference between the Musser 55 and the 55G is the color- good luck, don't give up--

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your encouragement - I'm not one to give up.

I know I have the correct person in the UK, but they say that a A440 YV-3710M has to be hand made and then shipped to the UK from Japan and this takes approximately 6 months (I've given them a hard time and I know they've double checked). Its daft but apparently thats how it's always been in the UK with top of the range vibes.

The only way to get a Yamaha vibraphone from the States is buy some from a shop - but then the problems are compounded due to delivery, VAT and duty. Not to mention Yamaha UK won't support a unit bought from a different territory.

However, my relationship with Yamaha UK has been good over the years, I live really close to their UK base. On the pro-audio side they've lent me equipment, sorted very quick repairs and exceptional deals etc (my first Yamaha synth was 1981) - I've also worked with Yamaha technical support in California to resolve a few odd problems - and I've been sponsored by Yamaha Japan (some years ago - when I was in Tokyo). But, I can't see anyway I'm going to be able to buy an A440 YV 3710M here.

So for the moment, I'm summing up with the M55 or M55G and possibly the Vanderplas with a 'vibeworkshop' price that Nico kindly sent me.

I suppose people buy the gold M55G because it looks better than the silver M55. Its such a difficult decision to make. I can see this will need to be mulled over a few pints this weekend.

My pleasure Graham - sounds like the Musser or a VDP would be a more practical way to go after all. You'll have a great vibe either way-cheers