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P3 - extended to standard 4-octave range.
(built by Manuel Diaz)

Congratulations to Manuel - this is his second marimba build. He has extended the range of the P3 design an octave upwards to make an instrument with the same range as a standard 4-Octave marimba.

"Jim, Here is my 4-octave marimba. The wood of the bars is Padauk. It sounds wonderful. I have enjoyed very much building the instrument. Now I am enyoing even more learning to play. Thank you.

You can also see he has not used eyelets to hold the strings. Instead he has used small corner "shelf brackets" which are stronger and get the bar higher off the timber - a good thing! Manuel is experimenting with using an angle grinder to grind out the top string hole in each bracket which allows the bars to be removed without taking the frame componants apart.

The down-side of using brackets is the esthetics. You cant use a nice single strip of felt over the timber as in the original design. If you really want to have the best of both worlds you simply cant beat making your own proper bar posts to hold the strings - for a little info about this check out my own 5 octave marimba building blog.

Using L brackets to support the marimba bars
Because of the extra frame length, Manuel has opted to use timber diagonals rather than the ones incorperated into the resonator banks. This is a very sensible idea, and he has done it in a simple and elegent way. The resonator diagonal works fine for the lightweight P3 or P2 but once you get into bigger ranges, this more robust type of solution is reccomended.
Manuel's 4 Octave extension of the P3 DIY marimba design

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