Adams Universal Timp Problem (part 2) (Job No: 1243)

This post follows on from Adam’s problems (pt 1).

So day one was mainly spent setting up the drums, and making the bottom blocks.  Today starts with finishing the installation of the other two blocks, before making more components.

The original central tuning rod has been removed from the pedal, and is now actually central held by a guide block.  So now I need make a secondary linkage to join that rod to the pedal.  I still have an attachment on the pedal, but nothing on the central rod, so this is where I start.


Going through the photos, I take a length of brass stock and the rod end which will go on the end of the linkage rod from the pedal mark everything up and drill lots of holes in it.  (There are an awful lot of Rod’s around!)  After the smaller perpendicular holes are drilled, the pieces go in the lathe to have the longitudinal hole drilled.  The fixings holes are tapped, then the longitudinal hole is reamed to make sure it is round and will fit nicely on the central pull rod (There is only a 0.02mm gap all around so it will be tight).  Lastly the components are preassembled.

Next I make the linkage rod which is simple, I just have to run a thread on the end.


Finally I can assemble the parts on the first drum and check that I have all the clearances, which I didn’t.

The problem is that manufacturers make product and forget that they are making musical instruments.  A lot of effort is put into making new ranges of more, essentially shit instruments, in an attempt to generate the desire to buy in a limited number of consumers.  Very little effort and value is put on the making and assembly of those instruments.  Cheap materials are used wherever possible, and because people are expensive, the cheapest possible labour is used.  So your pride and joy was probably assembled by monkeys, the dregs of society who get pissed at lunchtime and are still high the morning after.  They work for a wage packet, they don’t give a toss about whether the holes are right, it’s the near enough attitude, and near enough is not good enough to make something that makes musical noises.

So when the bowls are put on the cradles, they can be out of alignment by over an inch.  I can compensate, or remount the bowls with new holes.  I choose to compensate.  So in this instance I had remount the connection on the pedal, then make another rod, then further modify the pedal, then reassemble to check, disassemble, modify the pedal………………………..

The final part of this job is Adam’s Problems (pt 3)

6 comments on “Adams Universal Timp Problem (part 2) (Job No: 1243)

  1. Daniel

    Hi Paul, do you find that Adams Revolution timps have a similar problem at all? They are ones that I would prefer to invest in over the Universals; I find the Revolutions hold their tuning better.

    • pauljefferies

      Hi Daniel, I was asked to take a look at the Adams Revolution timpani by another customer. They will hold their tuning better, because the primary pull rod is concentric, as opposed to being pulled forward on the Universals. This post is the solution to the Universal’s problems.
      Revolution? More like Adam’s ripping off another manufacturers design concept, and just like Slingerland and Ludwig timps have problems, I foresee that I will be having to repair a lot of these drums. To put it bluntly, Adams do not have the engineering, casting and quality control to semi mass produce an instrument like this. That said I haven’t seen on yet, other than in pictures, but my comments are based on all the Adams instruments I have seen.
      Other than that, I think they look hideous, but that is a personal opinion.

  2. Daniel

    Yes, I agree I’m not too bowled over by the overly-chunky wheels – no matter how much easier they are to move – and the ungainly, cumbersome-looking bottom half either!

    Are other manufacturers’ portable timps any better? The only other ones in a similar price bracket are the Majestic Prophonics or Yamaha’s TP3100s/3100EAs. I’ve never heard either, though I haven’t heard any positive comments about the Majestics.

    • pauljefferies

      Hi Daniel.
      The Majestic timp looks to have changed since I last repaired one and I cannot see whether they have corrected the major issues. I doubt it, because I had to radically modify the castings – but one never knows. However I have done repairs to other Majestic instruments which are equally “fundamental”
      The Yamaha’s will be the best made, but again I have not seen them in the flesh. My initial doubts are; the lack of support for the pedal arm against the bowl, and the casters look like they could be a real headache (alternatively they look like they could also be brilliant and compact).
      I am not so sure on either – you would have to listen to them, but my feeling is that the Adams is probably going to give more trouble free service. I do know of a set that I have improved that might be up for sale if the player can find some elites…


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