Welcome to my workshop

I'm very particular about the instruments I play and the mallets I use so I've become a self-taught, pseudo-engineer. This is where I share my recent designs of custom vibraphones. 

Welcome to the workshop

Welcome to the workshop

Experiments, Inovations, Renovations, Improvements and Designing of the PIPERvibe

PIPERvibe

PIPERvibe

No springs, better and more consistent tension on the bar string. This is the vibe I designed and built to take on deployment with me to Antarctica. It's in our Chapel Of The Snows in McMurdo Station and is the first vibraphone in Antarctica. It features rubber rails, rubber hinges and many other unique ideas.

No springs, better and more consistent tension on the bar string. This is the vibe I designed and built to take on deployment with me to Antarctica. It's in our Chapel Of The Snows in McMurdo Station and is the first vibraphone in Antarctica. It features rubber rails, rubber hinges and many other unique ideas.

After hundreds of hours of designing, thousands of dollars and hard work, I placed the final screw into the frame and added the bars and resonators. Before playing the first note, I pray that the instrument would meet my standards of performance so I would have an instrument to play in Antarctica. I was only days away from deployment.

After hundreds of hours of designing, thousands of dollars and hard work, I placed the final screw into the frame and added the bars and resonators. Before playing the first note, I pray that the instrument would meet my standards of performance so I would have an instrument to play in Antarctica. I was only days away from deployment.

Here's the Antarctic Vibe at it's home in the Chapel at McMurdo Station, Antarctica where I practice and study daily. It is serving me very well.

Here's the Antarctic Vibe at it's home in the Chapel at McMurdo Station, Antarctica where I practice and study daily. It is serving me very well.

Musser/Piper vibraphone (1996): This was the first vibraphone I designed. I was awarded three world patents on the design, Ludwig/Musser purchased the licensing rights and manufactured it as a top of the line instrument for 20 years. Unfortunately, it didn't evolve beyond the original design and was too bulky, too heavy and had many other flaws that showed up over time. However, it paved the way by proving that a great concert instrument with silent mechanics, duo adjustable springs, M-Braces, even damping across the instrument was achievable. Many manufacturers today have learned and borrowed from this design.

Musser/Piper vibraphone (1996): This was the first vibraphone I designed. I was awarded three world patents on the design, Ludwig/Musser purchased the licensing rights and manufactured it as a top of the line instrument for 20 years. Unfortunately, it didn't evolve beyond the original design and was too bulky, too heavy and had many other flaws that showed up over time. However, it paved the way by proving that a great concert instrument with silent mechanics, duo adjustable springs, M-Braces, even damping across the instrument was achievable. Many manufacturers today have learned and borrowed from this design.

These are original Piper Vibe prototype pictures from 1996 before Musser purchased the license to manufacture it.

These are original Piper Vibe prototype pictures from 1996 before Musser purchased the license to manufacture it.

This was an interesting idea to create the bar mounts on a Tslot. The idea was a good one but difficult to make. This was also one of the first custom instruments using the springless string Cam Clamps. It also featured the glide for the legs instead of wheels (I still love that idea) for instruments that are going to be on concert stages and am experimenting with ways of having removable wheels once in place.

This was an interesting idea to create the bar mounts on a Tslot. The idea was a good one but difficult to make. This was also one of the first custom instruments using the springless string Cam Clamps. It also featured the glide for the legs instead of wheels (I still love that idea) for instruments that are going to be on concert stages and am experimenting with ways of having removable wheels once in place.

This was how the springless string holder was set up for this instrument. It worked very well.

This was how the springless string holder was set up for this instrument. It worked very well.