Ken Elhardt wrote:
> The only reason I won't rule them out totally is because they have a 16'
> stop. That is not all too easily found these days. I myself think the huge
> sound of a harpsichord with the 16' strings engaged sounds great. I keep
> asking myself whether I will be satisfied with a harpsichord that doesn't
> have a 16'. This is one reason the Arnold Dolmetsch harpsichord at HCH is
> still on my list.
Another two cents from me. I really have to echo Owen's comment on 16' stops. A
good French double, or late German double with an 8, 8 & 4 disposition by a good
builder will have all the earth-shaking resources you will ever need in the bass.
Case in point: I was showing one of my Blanchet doubles to a prospective client,
and as he played the bass range I was struck how the bottom notes doubled down,
giving a pit-of-the-stomach sensation that quite surprised me. This was a "huge"
sound. At the instrument it is a very satisfying experience. It is an infinitely
richer experience than a 16' stop on a revival instrument.
Additionally, harpsichords with 16' stops do, in general, tend to be large, heavy
and complex, and require large shoulder muscles to play. And despite their size,
in real life they usually possess weak voices. Because of the additional
complexity they are more likely to require serious and frequent service. An old
revival instrument, like the Dolmetsch, has particular problems, like wound