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JonPickard

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Reply with quote  #1 
Greetings all!  I am a UK based 6-string player, soon to be a multi-stringer (ooby-doo, I wanna be) like you.

I play Classical / Spanish / Latin guitar and I have been working on a harp guitar design for over 2 years, consulting with lots of luthiers (and driving some of them crazy in the process).

It is going to be 23 strings (7 subs, 6 melody, 10 supers) and loosely modelled on Flamenco build style (woods and struts etc).  It will also have a fairly complex K+K pickup system so that I can use it for gigs.

Work has recently begun on the instrument by the man who made my current trusty Flamenco guitar, London based Stuart Mewburn (http://mewburnguitars.com).  This will be his first harp guitar so there are a lot on unknowns for us both!

Anyway I have attached the final outline drawing (hope it shows up...).  file://localhost/Users/jp/Pictures/iPhoto%20Library/Previews/2012/14%20Aug%202012/DSC07947.JPG

I am also gradually posting all the build pics and comments that Stuart sends me onto my facebook page into a folder called "Birth of a HarpGuitar" here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.279807522128781.59506.101788256597376&type=1

It would be great to hear what you guys think of it.  

(More info on me at my site http://jonpickard.co.uk)


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Michael

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Reply with quote  #2 
I guess the main and bass strings are all tuned from the back. What tuners are you going to use for these strings? How are the super trebles tuned? I like the shape. You will have to get used to the super "troubles" getting in the way as you play the main strings but you will get it (I did). One other thought... most builders find the tone improves when the bass and main necks are attached in some way.
Michael

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JonPickard

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Hi Michael, correct about the tuners, they will be the peg heads geared tuners from Chuck Herin - the main 6 tuned from the back, on the basses they will alternate (back, front etc) due to space.

The treble tuners will be mostly hidden form view.  They will bend at a right angle by their 'saddle' by the edge to disappear and meet harp pins which will need to be tuned by a harp key.  We did look at various ways to get pegheads in there but we felt that space was just too tight for 10 of them and I really wanted them to not stick out.

Another feature is that I wanted to be able to have the ability to sharpen and flatten each harp string quickly without changing the tension (as per ordinary tuners), so it will have 2 sharpening levers per string on the basses, and on the trebles we have devised a 'roller' system where the speaking length of each string ends on a roller that you push with a finger to sharpen or flatten. (Got the idea from Fred Carlson's sliders on his Barikoto, but we turned them into rollers which will sit in carriages to hopefully achieve quick pitch accuracy)

Yes, I originally had in mind to have a joined head and that was the design up until recently.  Stuart said he wanted to separate them after reading about John Doan's Elliot/Sullivan harpguitar and the apparent problems that it had when it was about a year old.  Eg, that with a joined head the neck cannot bend under the tension as a 'normal' neck would as it takes up the tension of the strings.  Did this not lead to John's guitar needing some alteration after a while because of fret-buzz?

I have been wondering how much of an issue this is (or isn't) for unified heads?  Has anyone had the same problem?

Jon

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