Marimba Manufacturers

Below is a list of the most common marimba manufactures. I’ve omitted prices because most of these companies have student models costing around $3,000 to professional models in the $13,000 range. Marimba One and Demorrow even offer super high end marimbas made with the top 3% bars from this years batch costing in the $30,000 range!

marimbaonepicMarimba One

Marimba one was founded by Ron Samuels in the 80′s. Each marimba is custom made by hand in Arcata, California. As a custom manufacturer, you deal directly with Ron from ordering, to designing, to shipping. They offer 4.3, 4.5, 5.0, and 5.3 Octave marimbas with many different voicing options. You can get a wooden frame with a set height or 2 different adjustable height metal/wood frames. There are also many different resonator color schemes available. Their warranty is amazing! They will replace any unsatisfactory bars in the first year and offer 1 free tuning in the first 2 years of ownership. Artists include Nancy Zeltsman, Katarzyna Mycka, and Colin Currie.

Demorrow MarimbaDemorrow

Demorrow Instruments was founded by Doug Demorrow. ┬áHe’s also one of the few people that makes “practice marimbas” i.e. inexpensive marimbas with no resonators for practice use only. Recently he has started selling a version of the practice marimba with resonators.

MalletechMalletech

Leigh Stevens founded Malletech in 1992 after being a consultant for musser for many years. Their marimbas are made in Neptune, New Jersey and can be ordered from a number of retailers. They offer 4.3, 4.6, and 5.0 octave marimbas with set height or height adjustable frames. A unique feature of their marimbas is that each resonator bank breaks apart into 3 smaller sections easily allowing one person to put them in place. Artists include Leigh Stevens, Kevin Bobo, Michael Burritt, Vida Chenoweth, Evelyn Glennie, NEXUS, Eric Sammut, Dave Samuels, and Gordon Stout.

Yamaha MarimbaYamaha

Yamaha has teamed up with Keiko since the 60′s to produce a series of marimbas that would not only sound professional, but would blend well in an ensemble. Although Deagan made some F-F five ocatve marimbas in the mid 1900′s, the idea didn’t really take off until Keiko pushed Yamaha to develop a five octave C-C marimba which shortly became the standard for all marimba soloists. Featured artists include Keiko Abe and Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic.

Adams MarimbaAdams

Adams is based in the Netherlands and is distributed by Pearl in the U.S. They make a variety of student, school, and professional model marimbas from 4.3, 4.5, 5.0, and 5.5 octaves. Notably, they offer a conversion kit for their “Artist Classic” series allowing you to convert back and forth between a 4.3 and a 5.0 octave marimba. Adams have build some interesting custom marimbas for specific artists including a quarter tone marimba for Robert van Sice and a Marimba with dampening pedal for Alex Jacobowitz. Artists include Andy Hamsberger, Evelyn Glennie, NEXUS, and Robert Van Sice.

Majestic

Majestic is gaining traction thanks to artists like Casey Cangelosi. They feature marimbas from 4.3 to 5.0 octaves and tunable resonators in the low range. The smaller marimbas can be synthetic, padouk, or rosewood. Majestic is based on Holland

.

Musser MarimbasMusser

Musser was founded in 1948 by Clair Omar Musser. In the 80′s Leigh Stevens helped the company develop his signature series marimba which is still sold today dispite Leigh founding his own marimba company Malletech. Musser has been around for a long time and probably has the most marimbas in schools and universities across the US. It’s hard to find a school that doesn’t have an old 4.3 octave musser with the flat wooden side frames. How else are you supposed to play Mark Ford’s “Stubernic”?

.

Dynasty MarimbaDynasty

Although Dynasty mainly deals in marching percussion instruments, they teamed up with Mark Ford to produce the “Mark Ford signature 5 octave marimba” which debuted at PASIC in 2007.

Practice Marimbas

The following companies make economical practice marimbas. They are typically ordered without resonators to facilitate a lower cost and quieter practice in apartments and dorms.

Demorrow

Coe Percussion

Planet Marimba

Other Marimbas

I don’t really know much about the following marimbas. I’ve never played on them and the only time I’ve seen them is on the Pasic Showroom floor. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good, just means I can’t vouch for them.

http://www.MalletShop.com/ (vintage marimbas!)