Ross Vibraphone (Job No: 1064)

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This vibe is in to fix a motor problem, however there are more problems; broken note rail, and a dreadful repair that someone has done to the frame which means that the diagonal braces don’t even reach the connection socket

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Plus welding commonly known as “bird shit” which aptly describes its appearance and strength. What is more, whoever did it left sharp bits of spatter, and a sooty mess.
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The electrical side:
The first problem is in the plug, the fuse is loose in its holder, the sort of problem that starts fires. Secondly, despite the speed control being housed in a metal box, there is no earth cable. I’m not an electrician, but I thought that this was illegal, common sense dictates that an earth connection would be a good idea, and the motor manufacturer does use an earth wire in their controllers.
Finally, the wiring in the mains connector to the circuit board is not soldered, so those wires could have come out at any point to make the casing live.
Whoever repaired this instrument before shouldn’t be trading!

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The Frame Repair
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I started by cutting away the bad repair to leave the two legs ready for a fixing bracket to be made.

At the same time I have to make a new square bush that prevents the leg from wobbling.
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Then the completed legs were assembled, the frame jury rigged into position, so that the new bottom bar can be cut at the correct length.
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Over the years I have done this countless times. My design has evolved, but the basics remain; the frame is the structural element, built to withstand the rigours of use. The keyboard bed just sits on top. The reason is simple – its more expensive to repair the keyboard bed.

Once the bottom bar is fitted, and the rest of the frame components made, everything is assembled ready for welding.

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Finally I need to make a new rod to connect the damper to the pedal, to replace the sorry example that was on the instrument.

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Job Completed
Here is the finished article; new base frame, new motor and controller, new damping mechanism.
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4 comments on “Ross Vibraphone (Job No: 1064)

  1. Anne Severy

    Our Damper Rod snapped off near the top where it hooks onto the vibraphone in transit this weekend. Can you direct me to who would carry that piece?
    Thanks!
    Anne Severy

    Reply
    • pauljefferies

      Hi Anne

      If you take some photos and email them to me, I will reply with a price for the parts you need. The photos should show any instrument labels, or the whole instrument so that I can identify it, and the broken part in location so that I can determine if there are any associated components that will need to be checked.

      Regards
      Paul Jefferies

      Reply
  2. Sam

    Hi Paul – I know this is post from way back, but do you have any records or information on what a suitable replacement belt would be for this Ross Vibraphone? My girlfriend has what appears to be this exact model, but her belt has broken (and since it broke a while back, she can’t even find it for me to examine the old one) and I’m trying to source a replacement. Any advice would be greatly appreciate! Thanks!

    Reply
    • pauljefferies

      Hi Sam

      Wow this was one of the first posts that I wrote whilst in my old workshop, which looks very small now.

      Having looked at my records this instrument had a new motor, but no belt was required – this means that the original was present and I don’t have a record of the size. However I have a large selection of vibe belts now organised in size order so that I can compensate for manufacturing inconsistencies/errors. Based on the assumption that Ross completely ripped off Musser when “designing” their instrument that will be a good starting point in achieving the correct belt for your girlfriend’s vibe.

      To proceed email me directly with all your personal contact details for invoicing and delivery.

      Regards
      Paul

      Reply

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