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Thread: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

  1. #1

    Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    does anyone know anything about these:

    I just got one on ebay, it works but has a strong electronic buzzing sound whenever you hold a note in.

    I have another one that is hooked up to a Hammond and it does not have that electronic buzzing sound at I don't think it is normal.

    so... I was wondering if someone had some ideas on stopping the electric buzzing sound that happens anytime you hold a note down on the little keyboard it came with.

    The chimes/speakers sound just fine, but the buzzing sound is annoying...ideas?

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo Orgrinder010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    It uses actual chimes?

    Could be the noise of a transformer, like when you hold in a doorbell button.
    ~1936 Hammond AV - Leslie 122 & PR40~ ~1954 Wurlitzer ElectroStatic 4602 - Leslie 125~

  3. #3

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    ok I left it alone, turned it off...went back to it and noticed it was MUCH I switched it on and off a few times and that cured it.

    it is completely silent and works now.

    very odd.

    as to actual chimes, it strikes "bars" which are actually long heavy gauge "wires, or bars"..not really sure what to call them.

    some pics:

    I personally like the chime tone this unit produces... it sounds fantastic in a reverberant room.

  4. #4
    ff Fortissimo toodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Logan UT

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    Google on Maas-Rowe, as they are still in business. You'll get a phone number & general e-mail. Call or e-mail Paul Rowe, and he can probably at least find some service info for you.


  5. #5

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    Sounds like low voltage from a dirty switch. Anyway I think that thing is kina cool and would like to know more about it. How is it connected to your Hammond? Does it have a line output? Internal tube amo? You mentioned speaker(s)? It looks from your pics like it has chimes similar to a Grandfather clock, Heavy hardened wire of differing lengths. Any info you care to post on this little gizmo I would appreciate. What are these worth? Got an auction #?



  6. #6

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    Hi Rich...

    To hear what they sound like:

    The bottom movie is just the chimes without any hammond sounds.

    This is my 2nd Maas Rowe Vibrachime unit. My first came with a RT3 that is demonstrated on that website above.

    Long story short: My Mom just had to have a chime unit on "her" Rodgers 550 so I got this one on ebay for 109.00.

    They sold new back in the 1950's for 600 dollars. Have no idea what they cost new now.

    They are adjustible in volume..from pretty quiet to really loud.

    My first set on the RT3 Hammond on that website had a actuator plate underneath the GREAT manual which would play the chimes whenever you turned the chime unit on via a control unit that is featured on that website.

    The set I just got has a little small "mini" keyboard which is connected via a long 8' cord. I'd prefer another actuator I could set underneath one of the keyboards on the Rodgers 550 however until I find the parts for that, it won't be a priority. I intend to just set out the chime unit and keyboard for my mom to ding-a-ling on until Christmas then I'll put it away until next season.

    She absolutely loves chimes though and has been playing it non-stop for the past few days.

    So anyhow the unit is totally self contained. I could drag the thing along to any event and use it with any organ should I choose to do so. You just plug it in, it takes about 10 seconds to warm up and viola!

    I've not opened it up completely to look at the internal speakers but it does a nice job of amplifying those "bars" or whatever they are called.

  7. #7

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    Very cool chime effect. Nice RT3 as well. I'm sold, gotta have one. Time to set up ebay to email me when someone lists one. I hope I can find one near by (west coast).

    Thanks for all the info. Great stuff.



  8. #8
    pp Pianissimo stevetil's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    I used to be a Rodgers techie and one of the things that I did
    sometimes was connect up chimes. It is possible to make
    an interface that ties right in to the Rodgers keying circuits
    and operates the chimes from there so you don't need to
    add any contacts. The exact circuitry depends on which
    model of Rodgers, some of them had just plain DC on the
    key contacts, others had various time sharing systems in use.

    I have connected drivers for real hang-on-the-wall chimes as
    well as Maas-Rowe or other electrically operated bar chimes.
    Rodgers used to use Schulmerich chimes units on some models
    including the 550 American Classic. All of these use a small
    solenoid to strike the chime bar, and some sort of magnetic
    pickup device on each chime bar, sorta like an electric guitar
    pickup. These were connected together to the amplifier.

    A good substitute now is a midi interface and a good synthesizer.
    I have an older Emu Proteus synth module of orchestral sounds
    which has a wonderful set of chimes in it.

    Cheers, Steve.

  9. #9

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    Just saw this ad from a 1958 issue of the Diapason:

  10. #10
    pp Pianissimo kiaya611's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Lebanon, Oregon, USA

    Re: Maas-Rowe Vibrachime - technical question

    Great Ad!!!

    The VibraChime also comes in a "Chamber" model. It is the same at the self-contained model, but it doesn't have a speaker or a wood case. It is more "industrial" looking. It is designed to be hidden in a pipe chamber or somewhere out-of-sight. It plays through the organ's speakers and can be played through the small remote keyboard like you see in the picture, or can be played from the manuals if contacts and a volume control is added.

    Since I can't figure out how to post a picture, email me if you would like to see it, or let me know how to post a pic.

    Take care,


    Steven C. Scott, Co-Founder, CEO
    International Society for the Preservation of Historical Instruments
    2391 Porter Street
    Lebanon, Oregon 97355

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