Studio 49 has 3 Series of Orff instruments: The Premium 2000 series, Intermediate 1600 series, and the Compact 1000 series. Our focus today is on Studio 49 bass xylophones, all with a range of c – a1. Each instrument has 16 bars that include 2- F# bars and 1- Bb bar. Each resonator box consists of 5 chambers to enhance the instrument’s sound and features a sound lip for increased sonority. One of our favorite aspects of the Studio 49 Bass Xylophones is each bar is stamped with its note name on the “players end” of the instrument, creating an easy view for the player. Additionally, each instrument comes with a pair of mallets designed to match each series.
Now learn about the unique characteristics of each series of Studio 49 bass xylophones.
2000 Series- Premium
For the optimal quality of resonance and best overall sound, the Premium Series 2000 (BX 2000) Bass Xylophone’s bars are made from select premium rosewood. The 2000 Series is patterned after the Studio 49’s original BXd models, featuring harmonic fundamental and overtone tuning. This new and improved version includes both flexible and fixed pins to secure the bars. Also, the bars are seated on a secure textile-coated cording. The attached handles on each end of the resonator box provide a snug fit onto the Studio 49 FSD, or FSC stands. Included with each Premium Series 2000 Bass Xylophone is a pair of Studio 49 S 3; wool wrapped mallets.
If so desired, there is the option for a chromatic add-on resonator box with the remainder of the available chromatic bars. Additionally, replacement pins and cording for purchase separately to keep your instruments in excellent playing condition.
Studio 49 offers a Series 2000 bass xylophone with special-fiberglass or Grillodur bars (BXG 2000).
1600 Series- Intermediate
In 2006, Studio 49 launched the new Intermediate Series 1600 line of Orff instruments, with several unique features. First, the resonator box dimensions were reduced to 2/3 the size of the Series 2000 bass xylophones. This instrument weighs approximately 15 pounds, which is 7 lbs less than the Series 2000. To provide maximum resonance of the lower bars, the top of the resonator box is partially covered to aid in the amplification process with this smaller package.
The bars on the 1600 Series differ from the 2000 Series. Rather than using select premium Rosewood, the 1600 Series bars are constructed from PaoRosa. Additionally, the 1600 series bars are not as wide as the 2000 series to accommodate the reduced size of the resonator box, while maintaining the harmonic fundamental and overtone tuning.
Just like the 2000 Series, the 1600 Series pine resonator box uses flexible and fixed pins with similar textile-coated cording. Handles are attached on each end of the resonator box, fitting snuggly onto the Studio 49 FSD or FSC stands. One pair of Studio 49 S 33, wool wrapped mallets come with each purchase. If so desired, there is the option for a chromatic add-on resonator box with the rest of the chromatic bars.
1000 Series: Compact
The latest innovation for the Studio 49 Bass Xylophone came in 2013 through the Series 1000 or “compact line” of Studio 49 Orff instruments. These instruments are similar to the 1600 series in size and weight, however, have a few slight differences. Unlike the 1600 series, the 1000 series is available with PaoRosa bars or fiberglass bars. The handles of the 1000 Series will not fit on an Orff instrument stand, unlike the 2000 and 1600 Series. The Pao Rosa version of the Series 1000 features the same harmonic fundamental and overtone tuning with the letter names for each bar is stamped on the players end. However, the fiberglass or grillodur version has note names printed in the middle of the bar along with the solfege notation.
One pair of CS 7, wool wrapped mallets are included but these mallets. This model is merely a shaft without a grip to let students know where to place their hands when holding them
In conclusion, any of the three series of Studio 49 bass xylophones might suit your classroom or church needs. Give us a call to learn more about these instruments!
Judy Pine is our Director of Music Education and Education Consultant specializing in Orff Instruments and more. She is a former elementary general music teacher and has been at West Music since 1980. She has her Level I, II, and III in Orff Schulwerk as well as all three levels in World Music Drumming.
You’ll find Judy Pine at multiple state and national conferences as well as teacher training programs each summer, working with teachers to find the right curriculums and instruments for their classroom.