Skip to main content

Hi vibists around the world

Does anybody have made experience with the Mike Balter wide bar series mallets? I've bought 2 pairs of the nr.31. They are quite hard, but have a very nice sound. But I've heard that mallets with short handle and big heavy heads will detune the bars from c5 up to g5. Does anybody play thes Mike Balters number 31, wide bar series?


John Keene Thu, 10/25/2012 - 09:31

I've owned the 31's but gave them away since the sound was a little too hard for my particular interests. I still use the Model 33 soft BUT I stripped the yarn and rewrapped it with baby yarn to allow it to cut a little more. Those are among my favorite mallets now.

As far as detuning the bars, I suspect that your touch and attack would play a role. The less your instrument is well-miked, the more the tendency to flail away and beat on it rendering it out of tune. So my advice if you're planning to gig on it would be to spend the money on amplification (incl. mics, monitors, etc) and Steve Shapiro has a lot of great ideas that he has posted here on that subject. Otherwise, I believe you're paying for it twice in the long run.

Of course, I defer to Nico if his opinion is different than mine.

sandrop Thu, 10/25/2012 - 10:01

In reply to by John Keene

You know, I use these mallets only for my non graduated small yamaha yv 1600 vibe. I play these short mallets with 4 mallet grip, so I don't bang to hard on the bars. On my graduated vibes, I play other mallet sets, with long handles and small heads.

Randy_Sutin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 23:33

In reply to by sandrop

I had Mike make me several sets with full length handles and played them until I wore them out with no ill effects on my instrument. I then rewrapped them with a few mods that actually even added a little weight and have played those for several years now. Still no ill effects on my instrument that I can tell.

I kind of like them. I think they are better with a layer of leather and cotton yarn, but I really dig the cores and all. Good design.