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-   -   Is anyone interested in Harp-Guitars? (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1567175)

jonpickard 10-10-2012 01:28 PM

Is anyone interested in Harp-Guitars?
 
Hi, I am having a 23 string harp guitar made for me. This is basically a 6-string guitar with lots of extra 'harp-like' strings that are un-fretted. The format will be 6- strings in the middle with standard tuning, then 7 sub-bass strings on the bass side and 10 super-trebles on the other side. All strings will be nylon and it is loosley based on a flamenco guitar (woods and bracing etc).

You will soon be able to see a few pics on my website http://jonpickard.co.uk but also in a folder on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/...56597376&type=1

Let me know what you think!

Captaincranky 10-10-2012 03:08 PM

Well, Keith Medley makes quite a joyful noise with this one:

However, listen very closely, I'm about 90% sure he's got a midi-synth connected to the 6 string....tell me what you think.

tuxs 10-10-2012 06:40 PM

Cranky I'm thinking you are right, there appears to be some reverb in there.

Also a real good tune as a teaching tool. I remember teaching it to students years ago.

Cheers.

WaltTheWerewolf 10-11-2012 06:26 AM

i've always liked the sound of those but....what the @#$% do you store it in for travel...i'd imagine the case for it would be massive and bulky as hell!

jonpickard 10-12-2012 06:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Well, Keith Medley makes quite a joyful noise with this one:

However, listen very closely, I'm about 90% sure he's got a midi-synth connected to the 6 string....tell me what you think.



Yes, I have seen this before - what a great instrument. I personally don't hear any synth-type thing in there. I do hear perhaps some reverb, but also harp guitars have a huge extra resonance because of the extra strings that can sound just like reverb. That is part of their appeal for me, their sound is a bit different to 'normal' guitars.

My HG will be all in nylon strings, so will have to wait and see how that sounds...

jonpickard 10-12-2012 06:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltTheWerewolf
i've always liked the sound of those but....what the @#$% do you store it in for travel...i'd imagine the case for it would be massive and bulky as hell!



Yea, a custom made case would be the way to go (or else a team of slaves with ropes and pulleys!)

Captaincranky 10-12-2012 01:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonpickard
Yea, a custom made case would be the way to go (or else a team of slaves with ropes and pulleys!)
Don't you mean, "a custom made case, a dolly, and a team of slaves to pull it"?


Ok, if that's the native sound of that instrument, I'm impressed beyond words.

I'm still skeptical. Just listen to the sound ring on at the end, and get back to me.

Reverb, and a ton of it at that, is a slam dunk.

Envelope filter, ring modulator, octaver, chorus, rotating speaker, delay, they're all likely suspects.

But, IDK if that harp is a sympitar also, which would explain some of what I "imagine" I'm hearing.

But really, if that's the sound dry, I'm selling my house tomorrow, and buying one.

jonpickard 10-13-2012 02:34 PM

Yea ok, I can hear some delay at the end after the last chord, and he has probably produced it up a bit with various stuff - I wouldn't know about sympathetic strings on his HG. He is on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/keithmedleycreative?fref=pb) so you could ask him direct.

I do know that harp guitars in general do have a massive resonant sound compared to 6 or 12 strings though. I had the pleasure of hearing John Doan (http://www.johndoan.com) warm up, practice, and then play a concert in my local town on his 20 string beastie - it was a sound like nothing I ever heard before.

Captaincranky 10-13-2012 10:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonpickard
I do know that harp guitars in general do have a massive resonant sound compared to 6 or 12 strings though. I had the pleasure of hearing John Doan (http://www.johndoan.com) warm up, practice, and then play a concert in my local town on his 20 string beastie - it was a sound like nothing I ever heard before.
One would expect with the much larger body volume and sound board area, that they would. I'm used to harp music, as an enduring fan of Loreena McKennitt. I expect that a large, floor standing harp, would also be more resonant than an average size guitar body. Then there's the acoustic piano, which always wins the "wow did you hear the volume and sustain on that sucker contest", hands down.

As to sound "character", I'm guessing the harp guitar has a wonderful and distinct personality of its own.

That notwithstanding, I did develop a fascination with harp guitars, after hearing Medley play.

So, I did a lot of web surfing about them, including luthier's sites, what they were building, etc.

In addition to the cardinal sin of being left handed, I'm also poor, so I freely cop to only being involved with these instruments, in the most rudimentary, remote and voyeuristic way.

One thing I think I recall was that some builders were incorporating midi-synth pickups into the guitar section.

In any event, it's something well worth considering including into your build.

They were also working on sympatars, and sympathetic strings on the harp platform, in furtherance of distinguishing their sound even more.

The nylon strings shouldn't be a hindrance, as I've seen many nylon string guitars with synth pickups on them.

In any event, just a passing opinion, but I think standard "stomp box effects", would meld more readily into a steel string environment. But again, that's a random thought that popped into my head, I wouldn't attach too much gravity to it.

Temporal effects, such as chorus, reverb, and delay are quite effective with acoustic guitars. (IMO) Wah-wah, and distortion, well, not so much.

One time I'm still a bit puzzled about in the "Hall of the Mountain King" video, is the heavy clock sweep / tremolo at the end. Don't quite know what was causing that, very heavy chorus or flanging, or possibly Leslie speaker effect.


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