This rare set of J.C. Deagan Class A Musical Electric Bells consists of 37 bells ranging three octaves from C to C, all of which sound amazing and are in tune A=440. The instrument functions perfectly and has been MIDI-fied and includes a the original detachable keyboard.
We believe the nickel-plated bells to be original Deagan Bells, though we are not certain whether the resonators are Deagan, and the bronze-colored bells are not original Deagan bells, but have been tuned with the Deagan bells and sound very harmonious with them. The frame and beater system comes from an early Deagan Una-Fon that used the exact same frame and beater system as that used on Deagan Class A Musical Electric Bells.
This instrument has been functionally restored and is in cosmetically excellent condition for its age. It works perfectly and sounds amazing!
J.C. Deagan Class A Musical Electric Bells is a vintage electromechanical keyboard musical instrument built by The J.C. Deagan Company, having thick bronze saucer/cup bells that are played by a system of solenoids and beaters that are activated with a keyboard. The instrument can be configured to play with a single strike and others with reiteration, such that if one holds down the corresponding key on the keyboard, the beater will strike the bell several times per second. Virtually all Class A Electric Bells only came with the latter feature, as is the case with these bells. With these bells in particular, the action reiterates when the keys are held down, and hit only once if the key is quickly tapped.
Each note’s fundamental is amplified by a resonator mounted behind the bell, which has a very sweet timbre. As a result of this, the sound is very loud but with a pleasing and clear timbre. The instrument was largely marketed toward the mobile advertising industry, focusing on the instrument loudness relative to that of a piano.