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Hey everyone,

I recently got my hands on a set of old 2.5-octave Jenco vibes for dirt cheap, but they need some serious work. They came with damaged cardboard resonators and I've been looking to swap them out with some aluminum or brass. I found aluminum tubing at Lowe's and Home Depot with similar diameter and wall thickness compared to some measurements I took off other vibe sets, but ounce-for-ounce this stuff is pretty heavy. Would any of you happen to know the alloys the companies commonly use in their resonators, or where I would be able to buy some? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


Vince H Thu, 09/03/2015 - 17:36

You need to search for thin wall aluminum tubing. If you really want to do this, you should get a set of calipers and measure the thickness of one of the other vibe sets you've been looking at. But since this is a 2.5 octave Jenco--not really a special instrument--I really think you should go with cardboard mailing tubes. Even if you decide to do aluminum, I'd still build a set out of cardboard first so you could learn to do it right, tune them, makes stoppers, etc. Though some of the cardboard tubes have a closing cap/sleeve that is adjustable in length, which makes them good for tuning. Remember, you will probably screw up the first ones you make, which is why it is good to experiment with a cheap material. For the expense relative to sound quality on this instrument, I think sturdy cardboard mailing tubes are just fine.