Instrument Repair

The majority of my time is spent servicing, repairing and modifying percussion instruments. The posts below demonstrate the diversity of instruments that I work on and my approach to the job.

Glockenspiel notes (part 2) (Job No: 1220)

This post continues on from 1220: Glock notes (part 1) After the notes have been plated, I tuned the whole instrument. It is of course impossible to get a good photograph of chrome plated glockenspiel notes laid out on a bench in a workshop.

Bergerault Vibraphone (part 3) (Job No: 1214)

This post continues on from 1214 Bergerault vibe (part 2) and starts with 1214: Bergerault vibe (part 1) The above image shows my progress with the Bergerault vibraphone over the last three days, from the left; prime, undercoat, top coat. This is the moment, before I put the new note rails into the instrument, to… Read more »

Premier Glockenspiel (part 2) (Job No: 1226)

This post continues on from 1226 Premier Glock (part 1) The first thing I do when building a glockenspiel frame is mark out where the notes will be.  From these marks, I know where the note pins will be going, so can position where I want to fix the note rails to the base board.… Read more »

Premier Glockenspiel (part 1) (Job No: 1226)

These Premier glockenspiels, like most percussion instruments, are let down by the frame they sit on.  The problem is money.  The manufacturers need to make a profit, because everyone wants a pay rise, whereas the musician wants the best deal possible.  So how do you make a glockenspiel cheap?  You screw your suppliers, and then… Read more »

Bergerault Vibraphone (part 2) (Job No: 1214)

This post continues on from 1214: bergerault vibraphone (part 1) The timber I bought is European Oak.  I could have also used Ash, but that was not available.  Both are known for their structural rigidity as opposed to the original timber, which is hidden behind a plastic veneer, but looks to be African Mahogany which… Read more »

Yamaha Vibraphone (Job No: 1200)

If vibraphones are moved around whilst set up, common sense would dictate that the pedal is raised up off the floor, so that it doesn’t drag along the floor and bend the adjustment rod.  Well that’s what this instrument was in for; a demonstration of how rare common sense is. Furthermore Yamaha vibes have a… Read more »

Bergerault Pedal Glock (Job No: 1202)

Bergerault have secured a place in my top ten bad designs with this pedal glockenspiel.  In order to minimise the number of removable parts and create a glock that is really quick and easy to assemble, they have this “great” idea of being able to adjust the length of the pedal. In itself this is… Read more »

Bergerault Vibraphone (part 1) (Job No: 1214)

These Bergerault four octave vibraphones are massive!  Even though vibe notes are made from aluminium, that doesn’t make them light, in fact the opposite is the case.  Percussion instruments are heavy, but vibraphones are particularly so. The reason for this vibraphone coming into my workshop was because the butterflies in the resonators were hitting the… Read more »

Glockenspiel notes (Job No: 1220)

There are actually two glockenspiels in the workshop requiring new notes, so obviously I make them all at the same time. The main difficulty I have is finding material of the correct thickness; a lot of old glocks use imperially sized materials, whereas metal now has to be sold in metric sizes to conform to… Read more »

Premier 751 Vibraphone (Job No: 1179)

A Premier 751 vibraphone in to have a service.  Particular issues are inconsistent damping and note sustain. A quick look at the frame revealed no major issues, however the fan shafts were very noisy, so I started here. The Premier 751 Vibe is no longer made, so all spare parts are now obsolete.  When Premier… Read more »