New toys, Robot album and more..
I have acquired some new toys recently:
First, a 70s Sperrhake triple manual Harpsichord! It was kindly donated by an generous admirer! It needed a bit of work, so with more kind guidance from Cembalomeister Markus Fischinger around the corner I have been re-quilling (?) the entire thing…180 quills to do, each one needs to be cut from a sheet of Dupont secret formula plastic + shaped with a scalpel, the old leather quill is cut off, a tiny 1x3mm slot is drilled in the rear of the jack and the new quill slid in and glued..Then each one has to be voiced and trimmed to the right length/thickness etc. Phew, I have done 60 so far, the 4′ Manual, so it’s working and sounds very harpsichordlike..
Next, an antique rosewood xylophone I got on ebay in a real sad old state.. I carefully rubbed down each bar (rosewood smells unbelievable, kind of like opium) then discovered that the whole thing was pretty out of tune. Now it may well have been tuned to 432 or something, and I know there are theorists out there that claim that all the great music was recorded at 432.. I don’t know if this was even at 432, but nevertheless my hammond organ and I work at 440.. so I managed to tune the bars by trimming tiny amounts of each one with my compound mitre saw until it sat in tune. I built a stand out of some nice red phenol plywood I had left over from the 2nd rack unit I built recently and hey presto!
I was talked into buying a pretty exhausted Siel Cruise synth by Mr. Joel Sarakula who I have been recording on and off recently, it still pretty much worked but looked like it had been sitting at the bottom of the Rhine for 20 years… I cleaned it all up and repaired a few bad connections etc, greased up my sliders and it’s now (almost) as good as new. This one can play in 432 by the way.
Oh yes, I repaired my D12 which had lost a fair amount of bottom end.. that was fun actually, I researched online and pieced together news of a repair method which basically involves playing a sine wave sweep back through the mic, turning it into a little speaker.. you can then hear the frequencies which are being lost as they buzz when the sweep hits them. It’s then a case of VERY carefully, and long-windedly, adjusting the tension screws on the membrane clamp until you get a clean sweep across the whole spectrum. Not easy, but not THAT difficult either. If anyone has a similar problem I can point you in the right direction!
Hohner Pianet, kindly on loan from TS
Philips Philicorda, still under repair, a few tweaks needed, but sounding great!
A couple of new guitars, 50s Klira acoustic and a late 60s Hofner 164
Well, I’m planning to take some new proper studio photos soon, so I’ll put them up here when I do…