Premier 751 Vibraphone refurbish (part 1) (Job No: 1205)

This set of vibes needed a bit of tlc, or in other words a complete overhaul.

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There are a couple of issues that the customer specified that need to be looked into:  it’s really rickety and unstable, and the motor keeps snapping belts.

Whilst I was stripping the instrument down to service the parts, I drew up a long list of other problems.  Some faults I repair immediately, whilst other issues I put to one side to be looked at in isolation.

For instance:
The speed controller has been taken apart by someone and re-assembled incorrectly, so there was a bolt floating loosely around the main terminal block  which should be securing it.  Idiots!
The mains power lead going into the transformer housing has a slice through the insulation (on both the live and neutral (brown and blue) wires).

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Along with a couple of other issues on the motor wiring, means that the whole lot was removed to be looked at later, because whoever did it was trying to kill someone!

What I tend to do is overhaul the frame first.  This is both because it is big and takes up most of the bench, but also so that everything else gradually gets put onto it until I have a complete instrument ready to be checked.

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The photo above is looking down the length of the instrument at the low end.  You will have to zoom in.  I put a straight edge on top of it to show that it is bent all over the place.  This not only looks bad, but the deformation is primarily where the legs attach (probably one reason why the instrument wobbles badly).  Straightening this is a good job to do on a cold morning – I have a forming bar, a hammer, an anvil and a pair of strong arms…

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This never comes out perfectly, but it certainly gets close to straight, and once it is put back on the instrument, it will no longer be that noticeable.

The story continues in: 1205: Premier 751 (part 2)

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