Marimba One is the manufacturer of the world’s finest percussion keyboards and mallets. Designed and built in Arcata, California, our world-renowned instruments and mallets are beautifully handcrafted to inspire passion, musicianship, and the perfect sound.
The Sound that Started It All
As a 25-year-old college student working on a degree in psychology at Humboldt State University, Ron Samuels heard the sound of a marimba. It captured him, and he began to learn how to play.
He quickly discovered that marimbas were too pricey for his student budget.
He decided to drop out of college for a woodworking job where he could learn the skills to build his own marimba. That decision was the start of a long, passionate journey of exploration and experimentation that led to founding Marimba One, the world-class instrument maker of today.
The first marimba that Ron built was a copy of a Deagan marimba. He thought that if he duplicated the shape of the underside of each bar, his bars would be close in musical quality to the Deagans. But his first marimba sounded so poor that he started over in his quest to capture that perfect sound.
After five years of experimenting, he attended the 1988 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in St. Louis, Missouri. The instruments Ron saw and heard at PASIC amazed and inspired him.
He felt intimidated, but encouraged, and he committed himself to bring marimbas to the 1989 PASIC.
Ron proudly showed his marimbas to everyone who stopped at his booth to hear them. He collected two pages of comments and criticisms about his instruments.
Undeterred, he went back to northern California to hone his craft and improve his marimbas. The following year, he traveled to PASIC in Philadelphia with his latest marimba creations. He had spent the entire year re-designing his marimbas, addressing the comments and criticisms from the previous years.
Finally, individuals and schools started to purchase his marimbas.
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