Author Topic: My homemade electric clavichord  (Read 749 times)

Offline bourniplus

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My homemade electric clavichord
« on: March 13, 2020, 06:36:22 PM »
Hey guys,
I've been working on this for the last few weeks and wanted to share with you.
I still have a lot to do on it, and with all the stuff that's being cancelled these days, I think I'll have plenty of time for it!
So far I'm pretty happy with the result, the tuning is extremely stable thanks to the welded steel frame. The keyboard came from an old discarded piano. Until yesterday I had some trouble with the damping, after trying, among others, the traditional Clavinet yarn method which for some reason didn't work very well. I ended up using wedge-shaped piano dampers tied to the strings. It's single-strung for the three lowest octaves, and then double-strung, and double and triple-fretted (each pair of strings is used for two or three notes).
Anyhow, I hope you'll enjoy.
https://youtu.be/LzgVNZ7FYTU
best regards,
Martin
« Last Edit: March 13, 2020, 06:42:02 PM by bourniplus »

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: My homemade electric clavichord
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2020, 12:30:46 AM »
Super cool.   
Love the physical vibrato.

Offline bujbot

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Re: My homemade electric clavichord
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2020, 06:17:43 PM »
Woah, this is awesome!  Sounds great!

Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric clavichord
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2020, 06:32:30 AM »
Thanks! By the way I've added a few more videos:
https://youtu.be/lhMOe_ptvGI
A Nintendo classic, since I think the instrument sounds "8-bit-ish" for some reason. For this one I used the pickup under the strings, closer to the bridge.
https://youtu.be/vnGEqU4EO2c
A jazzy tune for which I used the "neck" (!!) pickup.

Offline melveyr

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Re: My homemade electric clavichord
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2020, 06:32:45 PM »
Super cool! What was the hardest part about coming up with this? Also how do you get the signal electrified? What kind of pickups do you use?

Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric clavichord
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2020, 09:29:14 PM »
Thanks melveyr,
making the steel frame was a nice challenge. I cut the different parts myself and joined them with bolts, then took that to a welding shop who welded it for me. Then drilling all the holes for the strings, I admit I ruined a few drill bits in the process!
The pickups are regular single coil electric guitar pickups. Since there are 50 strings, 3 pickups end to end are needed. A real clavinet pickup would work but I'm such a cheapskate!

Offline groovemonkey73

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Re: My homemade electric clavichord
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 07:51:31 AM »
That is AMAZING! I love it.
1979 Mk1 Rhodes 73
1964 Hohner Pianet CH
Nord Stage 2 Compact
Hammond XK3c
1915 John Broadwood & Sons Upright

Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric clavichord
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2020, 01:17:03 PM »
Thanks Groovemonkey!
by the way I just added another video on my youtube page, this time in a more, ahem, classical style. I'd say the audio from my phone doesn't do it justice, but when I send the output to a mixer and to my pair of small powered speakers, I can get a nice acoustic-ish sound, especially if I keep the volume low and can hear the very high frequencies from the strings themselves, which no magnetic pickup can really capture IMO. Here it is: https://youtu.be/7uDsHEmyxLw
Also, for the moment, I've removed the "under pickup" and kept only the one above the strings, but made it so I can move it closer to the bridge and get all the sounds in-between.
Edit: I added another video in which I added my Rhodes MkV to play one of Bach's Goldberg variations: https://youtu.be/SxGxx4cFUIc

« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 05:20:07 AM by bourniplus »