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(Topic ID: 253928)

Gottlieb Chime Bar Tone


By Gotemwill

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 40 days ago by Gotemwill
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    I am in the process of tuning up a Gottlieb Sky Jump. One interesting observation has me puzzled! The chimes sounded as they usually do after years of not being maintained. But not only did they just clang from the dried out grommets but the tone of the medium and long bar was noticeably out of tune (flat or sharp). I rebuilt the chime box last night and even though they now ring, the chimes are still out of tune! To compare, I took the tone bars out of my Bucanneer and they sound fine in Sky Jump. A near perfect, door bell like octave. I measured the bars out of each machine and they are exactly the same length and width. The thickness appears to be the same and they look to be stock with the normal ink marks on them. The wear marks where the plunger hits them is not any better or worse than my other games. Tightening or loosening the nuts does not make a difference. Can anyone think of any other reason why the bars themselves would be out of tune? It sounds like a horror movie intro instead of a door bell!

    In the event I need to replace them, I would appreciate a message from anyone who has proven original replacement bars. Apparently they are not being reproduced and I would rather not make my own.

    #2 1 year ago

    They may have been cut from cheap Asian AL stock. You should be able to find an occasional GTB chime box with the chimes for sale on eBay. But try posting in the Parts Seeking Thread on pinside first.

    #3 1 year ago

    Also, try an email to Jimmy at pinball resource pbresource.com. You might be surprised; they have hundreds of parts they don't list on their website.

    #4 1 year ago

    Looks like the guy might have all 3 of your GTB chime bars for sale:

    ebay.com link » Gottlieb 6 5 16 Middle Chime Bar With New Grommets Pinball Parts

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from fixintoplay:

    They may have been cut from cheap Asian AL stock.

    Interesting but is this even possible for Gottlieb to do such a thing? They certainly appear to be identical to other known factory tone bars and the game overall is in very original, unmolested condition.

    Quoted from fixintoplay:

    Also, try an email to Jimmy at pinball resource pbresource.com. You might be surprised; they have hundreds of parts they don't list on their website.

    Tried that.

    Quoted from fixintoplay:

    Looks like the guy might have all 3 of your GTB chime bars for sale:
    ebay.com link » Gottlieb 6 5 16 Middle Chime Bar With New Grommets Pinball Parts

    As I stated, would like to find originals.

    #6 1 year ago

    Unknown of your musical talent... you could grind a small bit off each end if the note is low (or flat). If your unsure take both sets and visit a music store or a friend with a tuner. If it note needs to be lower the aluminum is already too short and your euchred.

    #7 1 year ago

    Not all chime boxes sound alike.
    I have two '70s wedgeheads side by side, and they both sound different from each other.

    #8 1 year ago

    I've made my own chime bars and they sound perfect. Aluminum bar stock from Homedepot or Lowes. I just cut to the standard length for what the bar originally was and the sound was correct. If you had to, as RustyRazor says, grind a little off the end (which will raise the pitch) until you have the pitch you want. Frankly, I never had to do that. All you need is a hacksaw, a drill, and a file.

    #9 1 year ago

    For anyone unfamiliar with how chimes work or why grinding might change the tone there are some short videos here to explain:

    https://www.funwithpinball.com/learn/chimes-vibrations-and-pitches

    /Mark

    #10 1 year ago

    Never heard a horror movie tone from a Gottlieb. You didn't state if you checked each bar by itself out of the chime box. If they ring true that way, it's a binding issue - maybe their hole spacing.

    #11 1 year ago

    There are many, many small things that can make a difference in tone. It is better to have the edges of the bar sharp. Chamfering the edges will change the tone in a bad way.

    #12 1 year ago

    Did you check the chime box for cracks/ split seams?

    #13 12 months ago
    Quoted from bigdee44:

    You didn't state if you checked each bar by itself out of the chime box.

    I swapped the bars from the Buccaneer and Sky Jump back and forth without any difference in tone proving out that the chime boxes themselves were not to blame.

    I took the middle and long bars out of both games again last night and used calipers to measure the thickness. The correct sounding bars from Buccaneer were each approximately .125” thick which apparently is correct. Interestingly, the middle bar out Sky Jump was approximately .110”. The long bar was approximately .135”.

    10-15 thousandths does not sound like much, but it must be enough to make a difference. Looks like I’m going to be making some new bars out of correct stock material.

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    #15 12 months ago
    Quoted from Gotemwill:

    10-15 thousandths does not sound like much, but it must be enough to make a difference. Looks like I’m going to be making some new bars out of correct stock material.[quoted image]

    Difference in thickness will absolutely make a difference in pitch! It changes the resonating frequency or natural frequency of the mass. Don't forget to bring your micrometer or dial caliper with you to Lowes/Homedepot! Sometimes the bar stock is mismarked or placed in the wrong bins.

    #16 12 months ago

    Pick up a cheap guitar tuner and tune them yourself. Just make sure it's a chromatic tuner (which means it covers the full range of tones with all sharps and flats and is not just for guitar notes: EADGBE). Also, ensure that you can adjust the calibration up and down from 440 beats per second (standard "A" tone). This will allow you to fine tune / adjust it for the slight tuning variances with the existing chime bars (they all might be equally slightly sharp or flat from "perfect" pitch) .

    amazon.com link »

    I've never tried tuning a set, but it'd be an interesting evening at the bench with a grinder, file and tuner. Not sure what note intervals they should be tuned to, but you could check your Bucanneer for a reference.

    Korg_tuner (resized).jpg
    10 months later
    #17 40 days ago

    Well, it only took me a year but I made a set of new chime bars. They sound really good! I didn’t go as far as dialing them in with a chromatic tuner. But if I find a cheap enough chime unit where I could do it on the workbench instead of taking them in and out of the machine I would probably consider doing that.

    This is the first game where I’ve encountered this problem but hopefully this post inspires someone else to spend a couple hours making it right!

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