Category: For Sale

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

FOR SALE £750

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 751 For Sale (Job#1623)

FOR SALE £2000 ono

In my possession I have a really nice example of a Premier 751 vibraphone for sale complete with a full set of cases which are also in excellent condition.  The video below looks at the instrument in detail including a section of higher quality audio recording so you can listen to it.


As can be seen from the video, I have had to do some work to the instrument to get it into perfect working order repairing the damage caused by an instrument repairer! There are some minor issues that are irreparable but I have mitigated these with the exception being the holes drilled through the legs and the damage caused to the paintwork by the oversized casters. These casters were probably fitted for a valid reason at the time, but the new owner would be advised to change them.

The price takes into consideration the overall condition of the instrument in comparison to the all the instruments that I have worked on over the years. As I state in the video, it looks almost new. There has been a bit of repainting, but there are hardly any tell tale scratches which are an indication of how much the vibraphone has been thrown in and out of cars, or not.

In addition to the overall condition of the vibe, it also has a new motor system which immediately inflates the price since these are a costly investment. The vibraphone also comes with the aforementioned cases which retail at £600.

As I have indicated, I will accept offers. If you are interested contact me here: email

Premier Deluxe Timpani For Sale (Job# 1540)

FOR SALE £3500

Here is a pair of very old timpani that a customer wants to sell due to retirement. They have had two owners from new and these drums are rare. There are a few scratches in the bowls but no big dents, and there are a couple of T handles that need to be replaced, but I may well have some of these buried in a box of vintage spares. There is also a tie bar missing to one of the legs, but to be honest this is much easier to make than to find an original replacement. Neither of these issues poses a massive problem for me because the costs of correcting them would be a fraction of the instrument value.

As can be seen they have calf skin heads on for which the drums were designed to be used. In reality it will probably be problematical finding easily available plastic heads – any size can be made, but you will have to wait for at least three months and expect to pay at least three times the price of standard heads. But who wants plastic over calfskin anyway now?

As with all of the second hand instruments I sell, I handle all the negotiations because my customers are selling through me for precisely that reason. The drums are currently at the owners house in southern England, but I will collect the drums for viewing when there is a serious buyer.

By 1927 Premier Drums had introduced the De luxe Model Tympani. These were still “classical timpani” so had retractable legs on the basic pot, but these were the drums that saw the development of the bowl shape and the fittings. For instance by 1928 the drop handle was introduced on these drums and self aligning lugs.

Also in by 1298 Premier had developed the pedal mechanism. It is the obvious choice to put their best bowls onto their newest flagship product and called them the inspirational name, “Pedal Tympani”. It is interesting reading the catalogue description where it mentions the Premier guarantee; I have no idea what that was, but the fact that these drums are still working and sounding great nearly a hundred years later is a testament that British engineering was and will always be the best in the world.

Premier 1928 catalogue

The last time these drums were seen in the Premier catalogue was in 1951. They were almost a footnote on the same page as dampers, badges and drum keys! I think that this is more a reflection of post war austerity than anything else, but it was the end of the run because in 1966 West Ham United won the football world cup (I mean England) and Premier launched the Series One Timpani – out with tymps and in with timps!

Musser Kelon Xylophone For Sale (Job no. 1396)

FOR SALE £ sensible offers

As well as the marimba I also have a Kelon xylophone for sale. Again this is on a field frame, which is even more disproportionate than the marimba considering how light xylophones are. The frame was also damaged so speak to me directly about the options for replacement. This instrument would be perfect for a school or college (or marching) and put on a fixed frame with no nuts and bolts to ever come loose.

The note bars are in good condition. These are the Kelon bars which are a type of glass fibre and so are impervious to atmospheric conditions which makes them perfect for outside use. Like on the marimba they sound OK, but because they are synthetic they completely lack the timbral quality of wooden note bars. However, as I have said I am picky when it comes to sound quality and know what I like and that is wood. Additionally, Musser, like most of the manufacturers fail to make the bars thick enough, which means that, for me, the notes are too resonant. All that said, just like the marimba, I was actually pleasantly surprised that the bars sounded the way they do – my expectation was low and that I would hate the sound and actually they sound okay.

Musser 5.0 Octave Kelon Marimba For Sale (Job no. 1393)

FOR SALE £ sensible offers

I have a Musser Kelon 5 octave marimba in my workshop for sale. I also must confess it has been in for a while – it is always good to ask if I have anything for sale because I generally do! The delays are generally having the time for me to sit down and write this blurb, clean, repair and set up the instrument for photo’s and video. Because 5 Octave marimbas are massive, they take up a huge amount of floor space which means that the workshop needs to be pretty empty in order to do that, and that never happens. So because the instrument has been hanging around for a while I decided to write this blurb and will upload the photo’s and video later.

Anyway, this instrument is on one of those massive field frames pictured above and consequently is built for the US market where they like things to be ridiculously heavy and ironically not very strong! My advice would be to ask me to replace the frame with something made a lot more transportable and usable. The frame is functional, but not very user friendly; spanners are needed to assemble it and this in itself suggests that it is meant to be transported whole which means that you would also need to buy a long wheel base van! My frames are bespoke, so we can discuss your requirements and I will advise accordingly.

The note bars are in good condition. These are the Kelon bars which are a type of glass fibre which makes them impervious to atmospheric conditions which makes them perfect for outside use. They sound OK, but because they are synthetic they completely lack the timbral quality of wooden note bars. However I am a bit picky when it comes to sound quality and know what I like and that is wood, but I am pleasantly surprised that the bars sound the way they do – my expectation was that I would hate the sound and actually it’s on the okay to nice scale (if that makes sense).

Because it is a marimba, the resonators are massive too! these are the wide ones which amplify the fundamental and give a really rich tone. For me, it is these resonators that is the reason for buying, everything else can be easily upgraded at a later date, but making resonators like these would be very involved which means very expensive. So they sound great, but they are big, and big things are heavy. It’s the general theme of this advert.

5.0 Octave – C2-C7
Bar Graduation – 1.625″ – 2.5″
Tuning A = 442
Drop cover included

Marching Snare Drum (Job No: 768)

FOR SALE  £250

Here is a very nice parallel action marching snare drum in full working condition.

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The shell has only minor scratching in the chrome, but it still looks great.

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The snare wires raise and lower parallel to the head as opposed to just at one side like snare drums that are used on drum kits.

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The top head has an internal damper.  The lugs are high tension fittings appropriate for marching snare drum heads.

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Brand new heads (I couldn’t get over the price of the batter head) means that this drum is ready for action.

If you have any questions, ask and I will see if I can help.