Xylosynth and Saucer Bells Follow Ups

Mentioned in the previous post, I received the wide foot pedal from Wernick. If I have any complaint about it at all, it would be that the pedal does still move on my smooth floor, but that’s to be expected a bit. Other than that, this pedal is pretty much perfect. Everything feels accurate when I am playing. It isn’t hard to find as I am playing. I would say that it feels better than my actual vibraphone’s pedal.

I had asked Wernick if they had the stained wood available to match the Xylosynth, but they said they did not. They discontinued the stained wood because it was harder to see in the dark. Well, that’s fine I guess. I suppose I could stain it myself if it bothers me too much.

Another percussion area I decided to revisit is my Not-Crotales, my Weiss Saucer Bells, from this past post. Weiss decided to put out the “low octave” C6 to C7 bells, so I ordered a set of these. Instead of trying to build another stand for these larger, heavier bells, I decided to purchase Zildian Crotale Mounting Bars and base stands. The low octave saucer bells holes were made large enough to fit onto crotale mounts. I simply had to pull the pieces of each mount high enough to fit each bell.

For the high octave bells, the holes were significantly smaller. They were too small to fit onto a real crotale stand even after they had been drilled out to fit my homemade stand. I reluctantly drilled out the holes with a 3/16 drill bit. They now fit onto the mounts. The sound still does not seem to be affected as far as I can tell, and I only injured myself a little in the process.

I am not sure if the high octave bells sold today have larger holes. If they aren’t, Weiss should consider implementing that on new high octave bells.
I am not sure if there are differences since I purchased the higher octave bells in 2017 to today, but the new bells are glossier than the old bells ever were, even after I polished them. I could be wrong, but it seems that the new bells sound even more like real crotales than the older once, in comparing their sound, especially the matching C7 bells.

I like these bell a lot, and again, they are far less expensive than real crotales. However, one thing I will say is that playing them is awkward and a little difficult. The strike zone of each bell is on the outside below the double lines. If you don’t strike below the lines, the sound is dead sounding. Bowing them is also possible, but most be done from underneath each bell. If I could figure out a way to angle the bar up toward the player more, playing them would probably be easier. Playing them from a seated position is also easier, similar to playing chimes. The other thing I’ll say about them is that the space between each bell is excessive for obvious reasons. For that reason, it is probably a good idea for me to keep my zebra wood stand handing in case I need a mount that takes up less width.