Musser Model M646 CLASSIC Bells and Chimes

About the Model M646 CLASSIC

Musser’s Classic Bells are the finest high-carbon tempered steel, carefully hand tuned with a specially designed bar mounting system to deliver unsurpassed tone, clarity and resonance. The 2.5-octave bars are nickel plated with a satin finish. An optional hand damper on the M646 allows superb control over intricate passages. Classic Bells have a vinyl covered wood case with sturdy steel hinges, latches and double handles for carrying security. Optional stands include a folding table, and a compact folding stand. Another option is the small mallet instrument cart with large swivel casters. The cart is height and length adjustable and retrofits small instrument accessories.

SPECIFICATIONS

Name Classic
Octave Range 2.5 Octaves
Note Range G5-C8
Standard Tuning A=442
Option Available A=440 A=445
Bar Material Steel
Bar Graduation Non-Graduated
Case Wood w/ Vinyl Wrap Steel Hinges Latches
Damper Yes
OEM Mallets M14 M23
Bell Stand Option LE1368
Bell Stand Option LFP302BKS
Bell Cart Option M8005
Low End Width 21"
High End Width 10.5"
Length 31"
Depth 3.5"
Weight 44 lbs.

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Clair Omar Musser was a gifted marimba performer, conductor, composer, and marimba designer.  He was even trained as an aircraft engineer.  In 1930, he became the chief engineer and designer for the JC Deagan Mallet Instrument Company and in 1948, left to start the Musser Mallet Company in the Chicago area.

Musser created the modern Vibraphone design and expanded the line into marimbas, xylophones, chimes, and orchestra bells.  It would grow to become the most dominant mallet instrument company in the world.

In 1956, Musser sold his business to Lyons Band in Chicago.  A few years later it was sold to Dick Richardson who grew the company further by creating a partnership with the Ludwig Drum Company to distribute products through the same sales team.  During this era, jazz vibe legend Lionel Hampton became a major influence for the Musser Company.

In 1965, Ludwig acquired Musser creating a “Total Percussion” company with mallet instruments and drums.  Artists like Gary Burton arrived on scene and elevated the Musser brand to new heights. 

With a potential shortage of rosewood used to make bars for xylophones and marimbas in the 70’s, Musser would be the first to develop a synthetic bar material made from Kelon ®, a special blend of fiberglass strands.  This innovation allowed instruments to be used in outside weather elements in drum corps and marching bands. 

In 1981, Ludwig Musser was sold to the Selmer Company.  Production of Musser mallet instruments continued to be made in LaGrange, Illinois outside of Chicago until 2013 when production was moved to Elkhart, Indiana.  Musser today is known as the choice for “sound” by professionals.

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