I have the opportunity to purchase a Beirgerault Marimba and cant find any info on it. Can anyone offer some assistance. Thanks, Scott
My experience with Bergerault instruments is from instruments dating to the mid-80s, so I'll gladly defer to anyone with more recent experience.
The Bergerault marimbas I played were 4.5 octaves and a bass marimba, respectively. I didn't care for the bars, either the tuning or the wood itself. I can't give the precise terminology that an instrument tuner would use, but from my (player's) perspective, they felt horrible to play, and didn't project very well at all. The frames, however, were fabulous - built like a couple of tanks.
FWIW: Out at my old school (NIU, near Chicago), they're in the midst of gradually replacing all of the original bars on their Bergerault bass marimba with bars crafted by Doug DeMorrow, all for the better.
IMHO, the ones I played were good as practice instruments, but if I were purchasing a new marimba, they'd be well down on my depth chart, after DeMorrow, Marimba One, Malletech, Yamaha, Musser, Kori, and Ross. (As they say, "your mileage may vary.")
In fairness, I emphasise that these were 1980s-vintage instruments, and things may have changed over at the Bergerault factory in the years since then. (And FWIW, they made a set of orchestra bells, with a dampening pedal, which were quite nice, which doesn't really relate to your situation, but I thought I should say something nice to keep this post from being a complete slam against Bergerault.)