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Mallet Instrument Tuning

It is important to maintain your percussion mallet instruments by having them tuned periodically. How often a tuning is needed depends on the original quality of the instrument and materials used and the environment that the instrument is played and stored in. Wood bars on a marimba or xylophone are more susceptible to environmental conditions than metal or synthetic bars from a vibraphone, glockenspiel, or synthetic instrument. Large fluctuations in temperature, extremely high or low temperatures, and humidity can alter the pitch of the instrument over time.

Tuning a marimba, xylophone or any other mallet instrument is not an exact science, as tuners will use different tuning methods based on experience to get an instrument to sound in tune even if they are not "scientifically" in tune. In our opinion, marimba tuning, xylophone tuning, glockenspiel tuning, and vibraphone tuning should be left to a professional and should not be a do-it-yourself project. You may see DIY videos posted online titled "How to Tune a Marimba" or similar but trying to tune one of these instruments on your own can result in non-reversible damage to the bars. As Honduran Rosewood and other tone bar woods continue to become more endangered, leaving tuning service up to the professionals becomes even more critical.

We do not offer mallet instrument tuning service directly at Steve Weiss Music, but our years of experience have developed relationships with some of the most respected names who offer tuning services. To get your instrument tuned, you can ship your bar set (not the entire instrument) to one of the companies below. You can expect to pay somewhere between $50 to $90 per octave needing tuning. Additional charges may also apply depending on the condition of the bars and the scope of the work needed.

Century Mallet Instrument Service

Address: 1770 West Berteau Avenue Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: (773) 248-7733
Website: www.centurymallet.com

Fall Creek Marimbas

Address: 64-G School St Victor, NY 14564
Phone: (585) 924-4790
Website: www.marimbas.com

Salazar Fine Tuning

Address: 1051 Samoa Boulevard Arcata, CA 95521
Phone: (707) 825-9579
Website: www.salazarfinetuning.com

The names provided are for informational purposes only, Steve Weiss Music does not endorse or warranty the work provided by any of the companies listed.

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