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Okay, so.

Thoughts on the Marimba One Vibraphone. I've seen some pics and some discussion out there, but there doesn't seem to be any good videos demonstrating the sound.

I'm considering the One Vibe and the Omega by Mallettech as a replacement to the great Musser I have now.



tonymiceli Fri, 02/03/2017 - 09:31

i just have info from the omega side. it looks like an Omega. A lot was copied. I haven't played one.

The omega was designed by 4 pro vibe players. That's what we have on our side. Make sure you play each one. Where do you live?

rfrench5 Fri, 02/03/2017 - 10:23

In reply to by tonymiceli

Hey Tony,
I'm in the Houston,TX area. I have played on the Omega a few times (past PASICs) and of course have seen all of the videos by you and Malletech over the past few years. It's really a great instrument. Sometimes I think about it (too much?) and I start to nit pick in my brain that the bars just sound "different" (less warm??). I compare the sounds of the videos where the Omega is being played on, with other videos with a Musser, Adams,or a Yamaha, or a Deagan, or VanderPlas, or the other models. I sure love the frame, break down, motor, and overall design of the Omega. And I would use the Omega or the One Vibe alot, for both jazz and orchestra stuff.

Know anyone in the area that has a Omega? Or does one of the retailers (Dallas- Lone Star?) have a floor model?

Thanks for your help!

Rictroll Thu, 02/15/2024 - 22:47

I have a Marimba One instrument arriving tomorrow. After I spend some time with it I'll provide my impressions.

Looking forward to contributing and participating more with this community.


Jerry Weir Wed, 02/21/2024 - 10:31

Hi Rog,
I have owned all 3 instruments - M55 (from early 70's), Omega, One Vibe - in that order. To me the One Vibe is definitely the best of the lot. I am so impressed with its big full sound, it's solid construction, it's vibrato mechanism, it's cases. I don't know how a company could make a better instrument. I have enjoyed playing this instrument more than the other two and don't think I will ever buy another instrument. This is the one for me.

I have the model with the gold bars and the motor. The magnetic mechanism for always returning the rotors to the vertical position works beautifully. The vibe is height adjustable and when I bought it I planned to set it a little lower than the standard height but was disappointed to find that it starts at the standard height (the Omega goes a bit lower) and goes up - a small disappointment but forgotten once I played it. If you get it be sure to get the cases because they are so well designed, the bar case is super and the harp case has wheels on it which really helps.

The only thing I disagreed with in Ron's description in the company video is that he calls it a lightweight frame. I do not. To me the M-55 is a lightweight frame. Neither the Omega nor the One Vibe is a lightweight frame. But then the M-55 is no match in frame strength or rattles for the Omega or the One Vibe.

I loved the innovative vibrato of the Omega but I only use vibrato when a composition states that it is needed so that wasn't a factor for me. The One Vibe has what we might call the "standard" vibrato but the mechanism is quite different and works beautifully.

As to Roger's comment above about the sound I agree and think that I can always tell on a recording when someone is playing an Omega vibe as it sounds thinner in the top octave to me.

In the end they are both great instruments and either one is a good choice.

Hope that helps.

Rictroll Fri, 03/08/2024 - 11:29

I recently received my One Vibe.

Initial impressions:

Wonderful packing job – perfectly functional, but almost artistic in how the various boxes fit together like a puzzle. Great engineering by the packing folks.

Assembly was simple, though I did have adjust the damper quite a bit to dial it in. Once setup the instrument seems rock solid.

I love the sound of the instrument. Intonation is great and the tone is even across the instrument.

Vibrato is quiet. The damper – once adjusted – is even and consistent. And also quiet.

It’s great having an acoustic instrument again. I have been playing marimba and MalletKat for a number of years. My previous experience has been with Deagan and Musser instruments. I have also played an Omega, and it was a toss up on which one to purchase. Availability became a factor.

Comparing the two (and relying on memory) I think the Omega has a more pronounced fundamental in its tone. Full disclosure – I’m not young and my hearing is lacking in the upper end.

I am very satisfied with the One Vibe and will add additional comments as I get more experience with it.

Rictroll Tue, 03/12/2024 - 20:13

Is there something wrong with the comment I submitted?

It’s been days since I submitted it and I see other comments added since then.

Please advise


tonymiceli Wed, 03/13/2024 - 11:35

You are a member. You're seeing other subscribers post comments come through. They pay and support the site and there's no monitoring for them.
I don't have to approve those. And with a very busy schedule, I can't get to some of this stuff for a long time.

Now that I've seen this post I've been thinking about it.

Everybody talks about bar sounds and instruments. I remember when Joe and myself said to Leigh Stevens how there was nothing like the sound of an old century vibraphone. The bars are so beautiful! Leigh had us all come in and bring our musser circa 1950 bars as well as our omega bars. My, Leigh, Stefon and Joe Locke sat behind a curtain and played the different bars and we tried to guess which was which. We failed, totally failed.

That could mean and might mean that the omega bars sound as good as an old century Vibraphone or something like that. I think there's a lot more to the picture here and I think with a few exceptions, it would be hard to tell the difference between bars made by companies that are modeling their bars after Musser and companies that make good instruments, which a lot of them do nowadays.

The next thing I know is temperature humidity has such a huge impact on the instrument that I know when someone's in a hot club, playing a new instrument, and saying the bar sound terrible that they are listening in the worst situation in the world. Every instrument is tuned at a temperature and every instrument sounds best at that temperature omega is tune to 72° and if you in the club where it's 82° it's not gonna sound as best.

So I just want to point out how much goes into all of this and how many of us including myself can play instruments and make opinions of them and then find out we're wrong. The first time I played in Marimba One I thought it sounded terrible The second time I played it. I thought it sounded good, the first time I played, it was at a pasic convention and it can be a worst place in the world to be trying out Instruments

I have a list of instruments that I think if I was told I could only play this instrument for the rest of my life. It wouldn't matter to me not in the long run. If I was told I can only play M 55 for the rest of my life, I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep. That's a good instrument it's noisy it's not made well it's expensive but it's the workhorse of our industry and when I play them for the most part they sound good. The joke is if you playing an M55 you better have duct tape in your car.

I played a Bergerault in Italy and thought it sounded great. And I do a workshop in France every summer where I play older Bergerault and they sound really good. I like playing Yamaha I like to sound of the bars now there are quite different sounding bars. They made differently different metals and they sound different. Some people don't like them. I think they sound good.
The other part is how they pack up. On one is going to play a Yamaha and be happy taking it around to gigs. Well all vibes are a drag to take around to gigs, however a Musser or an Omega are the easiest to take around. And any instrument where it's in basically 3 parts. Resonators, frame, cross pedal. Ad two steps on to that and and it's a lot worse. Most manufacturers don't really care about the pro vibe player. They want to make instruments for schools, marching bands, etc. Leigh is a performer, actually one of the great marimba players. He makes instruments for players. He probably shouldn't, well he should not worry about the players so much, and go after the schools, but he worries about the players.

Not to go on forever, and even though I'm going on forever, the one thing I know is the most well-made most quiet best sounding instrument I have ever played is the Omega. I do own two Mussers and I play them a lot and love playing them. But they're not as well-made as the omega I would love to own a nice Yamaha instrument and I played on many of them they're not as well-made as the omega.

I do think and I do tell my students that if you get any of these instruments you are set. They're all very good sounding instruments. What I do like about the Omega and why I've endorsed it over the last several years is because I help design it and so did Joe Locke and so did Stefon Harris and so did David Friedman and so did Warren Wolf we all made suggestions and watching instrument grow and I think that's probably why, it is the most well-made instrument out there. And that means it's a little more complex than other instruments. A Musser has very few parts and wireless noisy and could be a pain in the ass. It's low maintenance.

And to make this even longer I learned from Leigh Stevens had to listen to an instrument you go up to the instrument you push the pedal down. You hit a note and let it ring. You don't play on it that comes later. You just play a note, let it ring play another note let it ring just play some different notes see how long they ring and see how they sound and by the way, if it's a hot day, the notes are going to ring les I thinks, not as long.

Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. If you have an instrument and you play it and like the sound, that's all there is to it!

rogersvibes Wed, 03/13/2024 - 17:00

In reply to by tonymiceli

This is a great run down! I'm curious--during that bar test you mentioned with Leigh, Joe Locke, et al.--were the bars all played on the same frame, i.e., Omega frame? I have a more recent M55 and an older M75. I have swapped the bars around before, and sometimes I think the M75 frame has some contribution to its unique sound. Of course, if it did, that advantage would be entirely outweighed by its size and lack of portability!

Randy_Sutin Mon, 03/18/2024 - 12:54

In reply to by rogersvibes

If the Century you are using for comparison is newer, then it has solid sides. This is something it would have in common with the old Deagan Imperial. It creates a sort of acoustic box under the instrument that pushes more of the sound energy up to where you will hear it as a player by reflecting the sound off the side and floor beneath rather than just letting it dissipate outward.

The interesting thing about the test that Leigh did was that they used the same frame for all the sets of bars, so the bars were the only variable.

tonymiceli Wed, 03/27/2024 - 00:05

In reply to by rogersvibes

omega frame!
then we'd choose bars for sharps and bars for flats and not tell anyone.

we couldn't tell the difference, not really. but you're right maybe a frame would change all of the bar sounds.