Chamby vs. Mark I

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QDivision Visit
Music Master 600
Chamby vs. Mark I
Middlesex Canal


Chamberlin Music Master 600 vs. Mellotron Mark I

Feature Chamberlin Music Master 600 Mellotron Mark I
Type Tape replay keyboard Tape replay keyboard
Media 3/8", 3-track, 6 stations 3/8", 3-track, 6 stations
Cycling sections 3 cycling sections (rhythm, accompaniment, solo) 2 cycling sections (rhythm+fill, lead)
Keyboard L:  40 keys (split, 15+25), R:  35 keys L:  35 keys (split, 18+17), R:  35 keys
Preamp Transistor, 9V battery power Tube, mains (transformer) powered
Cycling mechanism Chain drive with no idler or adjustment (prone to slipping), analog computer made with relays, "sweeper" constructed with a bolt Chain drive with idler, SSCU, dial "sweeper"; Mark II had improved chain
Station select tape Slot in the tape to allow electrical contact Pulse tape read by a tape head
Keyboard lock during station change No Yes
Foot pedal cabling, cycling motor/chain/relays, drive motor speaker - Chamberlin Music Master 600
Sound quality Good, full It's a Mellotron
On-board effects Reverb Reverb
On-board amplification Off-the-shelf stereo amplifier, modified Transistor-based amplification
Speakers 2 2
Foot-operated keyboard Yes, 15 pedals attached to rhythm keys No
Foot pedal for volume Yes Yes
Tape columns Plastic material tape separators, dual roller turnbuckle; springs fastened to the bottom of the cabinet; tapes on drums Plastic material tape separators, dual roller turnbuckle; springs fastened to the bottom of the cabinet; tapes on drums
Tape path 3/8" with combs, pad arm, pinch roller 3/8" with combs, pad arm, pinch roller
Tape path adjustments Screw for pinch roller Screws for pinch roller and pad arm; nylock nut for key tension
Key throw appx. 3/4" (instrument may not be adjusted correctly) 3/8"
Motor speed (pitch) control No Yes
Power Mains; 9V battery for preamp Mains with transformer
Controls Track Select Lever (rhythm)
Station Select (rhythm)
Station Select (accompaniment)
Rhythm Volume
Accompaniment Volume
Track Select Lever (accompaniment)
Track Select Lever (solo)
Reverb (for solo keyboard)
Station Select (solo)
A/B/C Track Select (rhythm)
Station Select
A/mix/B/mix/C Track Select (fill)
Rhythm Volume
Fill Volume
Pitch Control
Reverb (for lead keyboard)
Station Select
A/mix/B/mix/C Track Select (lead)
Control Labels Label maker Printed on metal plates
Indicator lamps Yes, above station selects Yes, above station selects
Safety Has mains voltage throughout; any metal surface is a shock hazard Internal metal surfaces do not carry mains voltage
Cabinet Plywood with dark veneer surface; the appearance is utilitarian Plywood with veneer surface and thick polyurethane coat (prone to cracking); appearance is quite nice (along the line of the Hammond Organ)

Overall the Mellotron is a fair bit ahead except where it counts most:  sound quality!  That's the part that Harry got right.  Go figure!

Brendan and Jon at Q Division's Chamberlin Music Master 600

'dem Bones, 'dem Bones

After a bit of chit-chat, the four of us left for a Somerville landmark, Redbones, for some lunch.  You want ribs?  Redbones.  It's a hip hangout for the locals.

Following lunch Jerry spun up a DVD of some of the various MONEYPIT exploits from Vermont, and then it was time to call it a day.

At some point we fully expect the Q Division Mark II brought back into shape, possibly with the Chamby to follow, but we'll see what the Q Division lads have in store and will keep in touch!


On our way back to my place, Jerry and I took a detour away from things Mellotronic and visited a bit of the area's history in the form of the old Middlesex Canal-->