Hello Domenico (& all),
Your perusal of the DIY route is interesting, as I went partly down the
same road a while back with doing a virginal (I have always liked the
sound of them). I then tallied the cost of parts from the few available
sources (alas, the Instrument Workshop appears to be only a smidge of
its former glory) and quickly found that even a partial amount far
exceeded the price of a kit. So with that, combined with the odious
chance that I might wind up with an expensive hunk of firewood, I got
the only currently available one (?-Zuckermann's) and the result is
generally satisfactory. But hopefully more voicing might make it sound
like the instrument on the FSM recording of "Venezianisches Spinett"
beautifully played by Roland Gotz on a 1586 Bertolotti copy by Georg
Zahl. So if anyone has experience with one of these we can start
I have also almost finished an older model (III) of ZHI's Hubert; it's
mostly uncomplicated except the key balancing seems a bit tricky (the
keyboard end pins don't appear problematical). I'm also currently
working on a KOS; heard one in recital & was amazed at how (relatively)
loud & sweet it sounded. The keys are coming up, so we'll see how those
little thumbnails work.
On 2/6/2017 4:16 AM, Domenico Statuto (GMail) wrote:
> Peter, I am well aware there isn't such an object as an "easy"
> clavichord, that's why I put the "easy" between quotation marks. In
> fact, the idea of making a clavichord has scared me for years for this
> very reason. I know I'll be lucky if my first clavichord would be
> playable at all, let alone the beauty of the tone. However, I'd like
> to try.
> Thank you for your insight, in particular for the overwound strings
> part, it's something I overlooked and that lends me towards the Hubert
> as overwinding is a problem I'd prefer to avoid, nor I'd know where to
> get already-made overwound strings.
> And BTW, the Hubert is doable without overwound strings? it has 7
> notes - 14 strings - less than the Silbermann in the bass, but it
> should be about the same length, so I guess the Hubert should need
> about 16-18 overwound strings? Or am I missing something?
> (or: how do you professionals calculate string diameter for clavichords?)
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter Bavington"
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, February 06, 2017 10:48 AM
> Subject: Re: Clavichord tangents position
> Domenico wrote:
>> I donít know yet which instrument I would make, sorry. I
>> have a drawing of the Nuremberg Silbermann 1775 (MIR 1061),
>> unfretted, and a drawing of the Nuremberg Hubert 1789 (MIR 1058),
>> fretted, is on its way, But I have a lot of doubts
> > will I be able to make a fretted
>> clavichord with all the cranked keyboard and tangent position and so
> Not any mpore difficult than making an unfretted one, I'd say. The plan
> will give you all the basic details. You can check the tangent positions
> using the methods already discussed on the list, and if necessary
> re-draw the rack.
>> I read the Hubert has some complicated way of guiding the
> It isn't complicated. Hubert usually used pins between the far ends of
> the keylevers, with the sides of the levers padded with leather. In
> truth, I do not personally believe that this is a good system, because
> if the ambient humidity increases, the ends of the levers swell causing
> the keys to stick; and if you make them loose enough to avoid this, they
> are just too loose for a really controlled feel to the action. Moreover,
> some sorts of leather can become 'sticky' which can also cause keys to
> stay down, even if there is sufficient clearance.
> If I made a Hubert, I would change the guidance to a rack system. With a
> rack, incidentally, the essential thing for a quient action is to have a
> gap between the rack and the keylever ends of at least 3 mm, preferably
> a bit more. Of course you must also have as little play between the
> guide slips and the rack slots as possible, and the guide slips should
> be thin - less than 1 mm if possible. The material of the slips is
> largely irrelevant.
>> On the other side, is the Silbermann a good-sounding
>> instrument? I find it has a very small soundboard, isnít it
>> detrimental to the tone?
> It is IMHO a superb design. However, the difficulty is not the size of
> the soundboard: it is almost an ideal size, and the bridge is ideally
> placed on it. No, the problem for a maker is the foreshortening of the
> bass, which makes necessary a large number of overwound strings. I do
> not believe this design will work at all well with plain wire (though
> you could try silver - recommended by Martin Skowroneck - and even gold
> if you can afford it!). At least 16 notes require overwound strings:
> that's 32 strings to make and you need to be set up to do it, or find
> someone reliable who will do it for you ...
>> I am looking to a
>> clavichord both ďeasyĒ to make but with a good tone, or should I say
>> a clavichord which is easier to produce a good tone.
> Both the designs you mention are good bases for a new instrument. But it
> is the *maker* that produces the clavichord, not the design. Don't
> expect the design to do the difficult work for you.
> Whatever design you choose, it will never be *easy* to make a clavichord
> with a good tone. It is extremely hard to get everything right, and
> apart from fine woodworking skills it requires endless trial and error
> and, ideally, long experience. If you want quick results, make another
> harpsichord or spinet instead. But of course, you may have beginner's
> luck (and I wish you every success).
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