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Jenco Vibraphone Repair - (Discussions with David)

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-----Original Message-----
From: David
Sent: 20 September 2010
Subject: Jenco Vibraphone Repair
I bought a set of used 3 octave Jenco vibes about 40 years ago. Played them in a band for a while but they have been in a case for at least 20 years. Now have a place large enough to have them out but the motor is buggered Burnt out and a couple of broken pieces as well so the motor shop said they could not rebuild it.

Pads and bars in excellent condition.

Do you have any suggestions for replacing the motor? I've searched the internet and no one has one for sale. My kids (and me) are heart broken. It's a beautiful sounding instrument.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

David in Canada

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Hi David
Well I don't have specific motor info for you unfortunately... if you want to do the job as simply as possible then it is a matter of removing the motor, checking out the vital specifications, then trying to track down a replacement as close to it as possible. This can often be done with a bit of patient searching on google. The good news is that you don't absolutely have to have one from a vibraphone - certainly not the same model - just one with similar specs. Being in Canada you have 110V mains which means that 95% of all vibes motors ever built can work directly with your supply.

Outside of that you could try going the route I did with the PV vibes which is to use a battery operated small DC gearhead motor - one with a geared head on it to give it less speed but more torque. Something I also suggest to people if they want to rig an AC motor from scratch, is to try finding an old turntable - record player. These motors are usually small and quiet and run on mains electricity - basically the main requirements. Then it is just a matter of gearing the speeds together correctly - some will even have some speed control built in - or you can usually create speed control simply if you like with some resistors or other basic circuit.

Hope this helps some David - good luck!

Jim McCarthy

Jim Reccomends for comprehensive blueprints and building guides to make your own marimbas.

answers by Jim MCCarthy - 01/12/2005

For more help on instrument building you can email Jim.

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