Category: Sold

Hawkes & Son Elizabethan Vibraphone Restoration Project (ref#1805)

SOLD

Here is another opportunity for someone. This is a Hawkes and Son Elizabethan vibe part done restoration project which needs to go to a good home for completion.  Sadly the previous owner has passed away and I was approached by his widow initially to see if I were interested in the project and then for advice on what to do with it, so here we are.  Ideally it would be nice for there to be sufficient funds raised to enable a donation to be given to the charity “Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis” after covering costs.

As can be seen from the images, the note bed has been sanded back, but looks like it still requires varnishing.  The trolley and resonators have been shot blasted and powder coated.  Two of the resonators were damaged during the shot blasting procedure, replacements were made but they still require fitting.

The instrument range is F3-F6 and the condition of the bars is to be expected for an instrument of this age.  The pitch marked is A=439 whereas modern instruments are going ever higher in pitch and are now typically A=442 Hertz (Hz).  In contradiction, most of the music tech I look at* is tuned to A=440Hz which in this case is more obtainable and much more relevant if you want to actually play with other musicians and not sound sharp.

*I do not have the time or inclination to peruse the world of music hardware, and I certainly do not claim to be an expert.   However in those areas in which I am interested and through my experience of working for or talking to commercial backline providers, the oscillators in keyboards and synthesizers seem to be set to A=440Hz.  Admittedly in most cases this can be adjusted very easily, but it often requires some menu diving.   There are good reasons why certain percussion instruments are tuned to a slightly sharp A standard, but when applied universally, these arguments are nullified.  Personally I would prefer to see the musical pitch standard return back towards 432Hz from whence I suspect presumably started and for which many instruments were originally developed, but there is fat chance of that ever happening!



And finally we have a load of bits.  Be aware that some items in the photos below actually shouldn’t be there because they are not off the instrument, but most are.  It must be said that it looks very organised with all the small items in their own bag.  Most of it will be self explanatory as to where it goes.  Some items will be unique to this instrument.  Some things will have been added according to the whim of previous owners and some will be included by accident.  If you like jigsaws and fancy a vibraphone when it is complete, then this could provide you hours of fun.

If you are interested, send me an email and we can discuss the price.

Boosey & Hawkes Elizabethan Vibraphone For Sale (Job#1599)

SOLD

Here is another vibraphone that I have for sale, but a different beast completely.  Whereas the Premier 751 is practically immaculate, this vibe needs some TLC.


As you will have seen from the video, there are a few issues to be resolved, the main one being the pedal mechanism. If it were my instrument I would just make a new frame with a whole new pedal system. “Just” says the man who does this for a living!

The note beds were rebuilt a few years ago.  The horrible paint was stripped off to reveal the lovely English Oak beneath which I then varnished.  Instruments just aren’t made with this timber anymore, probably due to its rarity and cost.  Basically we should blame the landed gentry for whom us plebeians have been working for in penury for centuries, they stripped our beautiful country of all its majestic trees and were too tight, lazy or ignorant to have the foresight to plant some replacements.  Nothing changes.  So from that perspective, this instrument is a valuable rarity.

It is a while ago now, so my memory of what I actually did is vague, but I think that I had to do some modifications to the high end to hold the motor more securely or make is removable, or something along those lines. Whilst mentioning the motor, I won’t do any work to that, it would be condemned, so I strongly advise that is not be used.

What I really like are the note cord tensioners. So easy to use and very effective.  Also the little plates to protect the wood from the cord are a really nice feature seen on a lot of these old instruments.  The bushes that the fan shafts rotate through are also nice, being made in two halves for ease of access and with an oiling hole that can be seen in the photo below.

At the time I rebuilt the note bed I also did some work to the damping mechanism, but really it requires new components made or replaced which was outside of my remit.  My feelings are that the mechanism is a bit too complicated and certainly the spring is too powerful.

Along with all of the above work the notes were also tuned to bring it up to current pitch.  The range is not standard which may or may not be is an issue, but the quality of the bars is great and tonality is great having that vintage sound.

I guess I made my feelings clear in the video about my dislike of these vintage frames. However they are really well made just not very practical for modern use and like all instruments from this era, they were built for dwarfs. But just look below to see how small everything packs up!

If you are interested in buying this instrument please send me an email and we can discuss the next stage.

Premier Viscount 1″ Chimes For Sale

Sold

Bought in 1989 by my customer, these bells have been very well looked after. I was sent a copy of the Premier brochure that contains these studio chimes and have included this below, however the text on the front cover reads as follows:

As every percussionist knows, Premier never do anything by halves. Designs that have been proved by generations of experience. Nothing but the best materials. How much more then, could you expect from Premier’s range of tuned percussion instruments? The cream of Premier’s production. They are quite simply, the best money can buy. Made by perfectionists, for perfectionists. That’s why Premier is first in percussion.

What more is there to be said? These were designed when Premier were at the top, the bells are excellent as is the frame. The tonality is really good, the tuning is good and I have fully serviced the frame only making minor improvements to the damper mechanism.

Along with the rawhide mallet, the instrument has cases. Everything except the uprights goes into the black bag, whilst the uprights have a dust cover that has been purloined from something else.

Cosmetic damage is minimal. The chrome is still in excellent condition, none of the bells are showing signs of fatigue and there is very little damage to the frame. In summary, an excellent set of studio chimes.

This instrument is stored at my workshop which means that viewings can be easily arranged. For viewings or to make an offer send me an

Ludwig Professional Timpani For Sale (Job no: 1390)

SOLD

For Sale a set of 4 Ludwig Professional Timpani with discs and covers.
[serial nos: 32″=5220, 29″=5218, 26″=5219, 23″=5126]

These drums have been in my workshop for a while now, which is too long for such a good set of timps to be unused.  Obviously this means that the price is too high, but all of my prices are just a starting point for the negotiations which follow.  So I am going to try an alternative method; you suggest a price and we can go from there…

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Those of you who read my blog and watch my videos already know that I am rubbish at remembering model names and numbers, I classify it as useless information, why retain it in my head when it can be easily researched if needed. However in this case, I think that I just told or learned the name incorrectly, so when I was clarifying exactly what to call the drums I discovered after many many years that Ludwig don’t even make Pro-Symphonics! They do make Grand Symphonics, but what the difference would be between a set of Grands and Professionals with the optional extra of hand hammered bowls will have to remain a mystery to me since they would both be made with exactly the same components. The answer of course would be the price tag. Anyway I digress; I apologise for getting the name of the drums wrong in the video, but the name is correct everywhere else.


What is in a name anyway?  It doesn’t alter the fact that these drums are in a really nice condition.  Equally, they rarely come up for sale second hand.  Because of the condition of the drums when I collected them and their inherent value, I decided that I had to do some work on them.  This work mainly consisted of giving everything a good clean (oh and isn’t that a massive understatement!) and going over the chassis making sure everything was tight. However I did have to spend a day working on the set up to make sure that they work properly.  Normally after all this I would put new heads on as a matter of course, but these drums are not mine and are in for sale not an overhaul. This is a compromise, and I know that they would sound better with new heads on, but this can be left to the negotiations…

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Above are some photos of the drums for you to have a look at, I tried to get the worst of the bowl imperfections visible. Below are some close up photos of the damage that I referred to in the video. There is nothing more I can really say about these timpani, for those who are looking for a good set of timps, proven over many years to produce a great sound reliably, you will know what you want and you will see that these drums are in great condition. For those who are thinking about other drums, well I would buy these everyday in preference to the gimmicky new crap that is popular at the moment – in ten years I fully expect that I will be doing very expensive repairs to those drums whereas in ten years, these Ludwigs might just need another clean and service. They are in my workshop available to be viewed, I can of course deliver if needed, and I will handle the whole transaction so it will be nice and easy to accomplish. To discuss viewing and prices either email or phone.

26″ bowl dent

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Bowl corrosion

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29″ bowl dent

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32″ timp disc
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29″ timp disc
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broken strap
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Premier Tubular Bells For Sale (Job No 1264)

SOLD

Premier tubular bells, in good condition now sold.

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The problem with the brass finished tubes is that they discolour over time, but they can be linished with fine wet and dry paper (I use 400 grit) and they will come up like new.

The frame is in good condition on the whole.  There are a few minor splits in the oak panels, but they are very minor and don’t affect the instrument structurally.

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The damper vane on this range of Premier bells is a return to the original design of a sliding mid gate, as opposed to a rotating vane.  The latter is a board that rotates between the two rows of bells.  The sliding mid gate is simply another board with holes in it that moves from side to side in the instrument and pinches the bells.  It is more reliable that the vane, as long as the holes are in the right place – one of which is not, so the low F is not damping.  Again this is something that can be easily corrected.

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The low F# was split at the cap.  These tubes are no longer made due to changes in EU legislation, so the only option I had was to invert the tube, repair the split and retune it.

The pitches of the bells were all over the place, now they have all been tuned.  So the set complete with a cover is ready for use.

As usual, any questions feel free to ask.