Author Topic: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??  (Read 1579 times)

Offline bourniplus

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Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« on: February 04, 2017, 08:53:02 AM »
Hi everyone,
I've been the owner of a model C for a few months, used it on a gig for the first time last week and had a blast.

I can't help but think that thicker gauge strings would give more tone and sustain. If the plain strings went from 008-009 to, say, 012, and maybe 015 for the lowest plain strings, that would make playing melodies more convincing IMO. What do you think? Could the harp take the added tension??
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype

Offline OZDOC

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 08:04:28 PM »
Does your Clavinet have the original strings? There is absolutely no question that a 40 year old Clav with its original strings does not sound like it did when new. Try the D'Addario (Ken Rich) strings - this may give you a taste of  what Clavinets originally sounded like and solve your problem.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 09:03:34 PM »
I would not recommend changing to a higher gauge. Replacing with original size wire is your best option. It is theoretically possible that it could " implode" from thicker gauge wire. For example,  Harpsichords don't use piano wire because they don't have an iron plate / frame to hold it all together. Same idea with a clavinet except even smaller. I know you are talking about slightly larger wire and not piano wire, but I wouldn't risk it myself.


1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
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2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
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2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline OZDOC

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 12:21:18 AM »
Increasing gauge and tension may introduce other problems such as increased difficulty fretting when playing and increased likelihood of split hammers. You will notice that the lighter strings in the Ken Rich replacements have gone from .008 to .009 (probably due to readily available string gauges in existing guitar string range) so you'll get a bit of what you're looking for anyway. Interestingly Clavinets do survive the aggressive use of a Castle Bar mod and associated tension increase.

Offline bourniplus

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 10:07:22 AM »
Thanks for your answers.
Indeed it would mean more wear on the tips. I might just put a few .012 for the lowest plain strings, see how it sounds and monitor the wear on the tips. (I can definitely hear the shift from the wound strings to those tiny 008's.) I can't tell for sure whether the strings are original, they look good with hardly any oxidation. The yarn is the original color, so either it's all original or maybe the yarn was re-used.
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 04:03:05 PM »
All great points mentioned above... you might be able to hit it with some targeted EQ.
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Offline OZDOC

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 05:22:58 PM »
And, to give a plug to my favourite Clavinet playing band, check out some of the Crash Kings YouTube videos for tips on effects to use with the Clavinet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87btTfpkxIw

Offline sean

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 09:19:59 PM »


Very cool Ozdoc.   What fun.  I thought the Brian May part was nice, and then the Hendrix part blows me away.


My favorite clavinet player is Terry Adams from NRBQ.  He doesn't seem to play with any effects, just hamfisted brutality, virtuosity, his elbows, alcohol, and (I think) psychodelic dementia.

Of course, I also love Billy Preston.  I am floored by Outa Space every time I hear it.

Sean

Offline bourniplus

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Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2018, 07:41:34 AM »
Interesting, I just received an email advertisement from Vintage Vibe:

"Recently, we added a new string size to our kits. These strings (.011") help provide a more consistent and even tone across your Clavinet on the higher octaves."
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype