PASIC 2002 instrument pictures

PASIC 2002, in Columbus, Ohio, was awesome!  I thoroughly encourage everyone who has a chance to go to one of these conferences to do so.  The knowledge and motivation you'll gain will far outweigh the financial burden.

I'm posting these pictures with very little commentary.  I did develop lots of opinions, and I kind of feel like I'm cheating by not giving them here.  However, in talking with lots of different people--many of whom I trust deeply--I heard enough contradictory viewpoints to convince me that no one--and certainly not I--is authoritative enough to be able to give definitive advice.  Therefore, I'm choosing discretion over opinion.

Click any of the thumbnails below for a really big picture.  I apologize in advance for the long download times you'll experience if you're on a dial-up connection.  Hopefully you'll agree that the sluggishness is worth it once you see the big images.

1.  Instrument builders

Nico vanderPlas.  He was incredibly gracious with me.  We spent a lot of time together talking about vibes, in spite of the fact that I'm a totally anonymous player.  (His site is


Bill Youhass, the U.S. representative for Nico Vanderplas's instruments, bar tuner, and builder of the Fall Creek orchestra bells.  (You can reach Fall Creek Marimbas at


Brett Frugate, a marimba builder for Musser.  He has a heavy metal band that incorporates xylophone, marimba, and vibes!  Check it out at:  (Check out Musser at


Doug DeMorrow and his employee, John Runyan.  Doug's email address is


2.  Mallet Instruments


Marimba (5 octave)

Vibraphone (3 octave)


Alternate Mode

MalletKat Pro



Marimbas (5 and 4.3 octave)

Vibraphone (4 octave)



Marimba (5 octave)



Marimba (5 octave)

Marimba (5 octave practice instrument)

Vibraphone (4 octave, oak frame, polished brass resonators)



Marimba (4.3 octave, on field cart.  Notice attached drums.)

Vibraphone (4 octave, on field cart.  Notice attached drums.)



Marimba (5 octave)



Marimbas (5 octave and 4.3 octave)

Xylophone (4 octave widebar)


Marimba One

Marimba (5 octave)



Marimba (5 octave)

Musser also had a Piper vibe on display.  I forgot to photograph it, but Musser's got lots of good pictures of all its instruments on its own site.


Practice xylophones


Planet Marimba

Marimba (5 octave.  Note the wood resonators!)



Marimba (4.3 octave)

Vibraphone (3 octave)

Xylophone (4 octave)



Marimba (4.3 octave on field cart.)

Vibraphones (3 octave.  The silver one is on a field cart; the gold one is on the standard frame.  I should have gotten a cleaner shot of the gold one, I know.)



Marimba (5 octave)

Marimba (4.3 octave Paduak)

Vibraphone (3 octave)




Vibraphone (3.5 octave)

Stability brace detail.

Pedal detail.  (Note all the nylon connecting points.)

Resonator mount detail.  (Note that the resonators mount to a brown rubber block.  Note also the brown felt that isolates the resonators from the metal strips that hold them together.)

Bar mounting detail.  (Note that the posts sit in rubber surrounds rather than directly on the aluminum of the keybed.  Very effective!  Also, the post insulator is silicone, rather than rubber or felt.)



Marimba (5 octave)

Vibraphone (3 octave)


3.  Other neat stuff

Arabic percussion


The Mountain Rhythm booth

Black Swamp Snare Drum

Clevelander Snare Drums

Lang Percussion Gladstone Snare Drum (with Craviatto shell.  This picture doesn't do the drum's beauty justice.)

DW "Timeless Timber" birch drumset, with tatooed-in (rather than painted) detail.  (Show price:  $8,500.)

Two more incredible DW sets.

Yamaha Oak drum set

And finally...

My two good friends--Aaron Smith and Danielle Squyers--with whom I came to the show (playing and discussing Nico's vibe).  Nico's on the far left.