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HPSCHD-L  February 2017

HPSCHD-L February 2017

Subject:

Re: Clavichord tangents position

From:

Peter - business <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Harpsichords and Related Topics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 6 Feb 2017 09:45:16 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (129 lines)

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 
anothet thread!

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.

Peter Yingling
Prescott, AZ

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?)
>
> Domenico
>
>
> ----- 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
>> on?
>
> 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
>> keys...
>
> 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).
>
> Peter
>

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Note:  opinions  expressed on HPSCHD-L are those of the  individual con-
tributors and not necessarily  those of the list owners  nor of the Uni-
versity of Iowa.  For a brief  summary of list  commands, send mail to
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