Give new life to your instrument!!!
Your instrument may have hidden potential, or it may be possible to retrieve lost capabilities and sonorities.
A new set of properly voiced plectra, new strings, replacement of plastic jacks with wooden ones, or careful adjustment of the action can radically transform the capabilities and the sound of an instrument.
We can also personalize a harpsichord to your taste by decorating it in a particular style or perhaps by adding an elaborate pedestal.
We are at your service for consultation and a free estimate.
Replacement of strings
Our English colleague Malcolm Rose has produced for many years low-tension strings, based on an analysis of strings found on historical instruments.
The special materials he uses (low-carbon iron, yellow brass, and red brass) produce sounds of great clarity and body.
In addition, a special tool of ours permits us to install the strings without the extra twisting that can create false beats.
Installation and voicing of plectra
The most appropriate material for plectra is made from the quills of birds, particularly the crow; the initial attack is very clean and every note “speaks” in a natural way.
Unfortunately these plectra have a limited lifetime and require continual and not easy maintenance. These problems can be mitigated in a fairly satisfactory manner by using a type of plastic called “White Delrin”.
Now, however, a different type of plastic, called “Black Delrin”, is available. With this material we can reproduce almost perfectly the effects produced by the quills of birds.
The plectra are voiced individually starting from the unshaped pieces of raw material, thus creating the “voice” and the touch of the instrument, which are developed and personalized according to the specific demands of the customer and of the place where the instrument is located.
Replacement of jacks
Having examined and compared various kinds of plastic jacks, I can affirm on the basis of my experience that none of these is capable of producing satisfactory results.
The moment of contact between the plectrum and the string is absolutely decisive for the production and control of the sound; hence the tongue (the part that the plectrum is inserted into) must be constructed with the greatest precision.
The wooden jacks that we use are made of wood from the service tree (or from pear wood), woods that are very stable and homogeneous, and are provided with two adjustment screws (which can be omitted upon request) to facilitate periodic maintenance.
Although it adds nothing to the performance of a musical instrument, an impressive decoration often creates a strong emotional impression on the listener and can increase the commercial value of the instrument.
We have available a team of specialists, each with his or her particular expertise, who can execute anything from a simple decoration of the case to a copy of a professional work of art on the inside of the lid.
The soundboard can be embellished with a rosette made of several layers of parchment paper, or (in French and Flemish instruments) decorated with floral and bird motifs.
A period-style pedestal (perhaps with matching bench) can add greatly to the effect.