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In August 2005 there appeared on EBay an interesting machine.  Someone was auctioning off M400 #403, and it had a rather interesting modification or two.



Item number: 7345619643
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Starting bid: GBP   
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Time left: 3 days 2 hours
7-day listing, Ends Aug-30-05 15:09:16 PDT
Start time: Aug-23-05 15:09:16 PDT
History: 0 bids
High bidder: User ID kept private
Item location: Lisbon
Ships to: United States, Canada, Europe, Australia
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Member since Apr-04-02 in Portugal
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This translation is provided as a service. eBay cannot guarantee its accuracy.  
I'm selling a Mellotron M400 S, Serial number #403, with one tape bank. Everything is functioning well, but the electronics should be checked for a better sound (it has the ancient CMC 10 motor drive that should be changed by the SMS 2 one).

Cabinet is rough, showing its age: its previous owner opened a little window on the cover, and placed there the original on /off red light, on order to see the flywheel of the capstan while playing.

He also provided a base with four wheels, which by the way is very practical because not only it heightens the instrument a bit, but it also helps you moving it around.

Both changes, the little rectangular window, and the light over the flywheel are of easy correction, and  by no way affect the playabilty nor the functions of the instrument. The base is also easily removed. A complete rebuild of the cabinet to factory standards is possible, easy and cheap, but not needed in order to have it playing.

Electronically and mechanically, the instrument is OK. I'd recommend a thorough cleaning and changing the  motor drive, both available at streetly electronics. I'm including its original volume pedal.

Why am I selling this fantastic piece?  I was planning to have it refurbished in the near future, but I've found another M400 and just couldn't resist.  I now own two mellotrons, but I'm only keeping one of them.

The pictures I have available show its guts, so you can see the condition it is.

TAPE FRAMES: My available set of tape frames include:

-Trombone, Brass, Vibes (the one to be sent with mellotron to winner bidder);

-Flute, Three Violins, TT Choir;

-Flute, Violin, Cello (in bad shape mechanically, needs spring replacement);

-Organ, 4Female, 4Male;

Without a frame (in a spool): Brass, Strings, Mixed Choir.

If anyone chooses the "Buy it Now" option, I'll be letting him/her choose which one of the tape frames to send with Mellotron.  If bididng commences and someone wins it this way, the tape frame to be sent will be Trombone, Brass, Vibes.

The base with four wheels seems like an interesting idea
(for anyone who has tried to move one of these around).

An interesting modification...a hole in the lid?

Where's the on/off switch?  That's a toggle!

Is that where the neon pilot lamp went...?

Yes, it seems that someone had taken the pilot light and moved it next to the flywheel so that it's visible through the hole in the lid.  Is it possible that the strobe frequency of the neon pilot light matched up with the dots on the flywheel so you could see if the pitch was correct?  Or was it just cool to watch the flywheel spin through the hole in the lid?

Anyway, given that the lamp is being lit by the mains voltage, whoever purchases this machine should seek to put it back the way it was.

Happy bidding!

Auction contents used by permission from a Mellotron aficionado from Portugal!