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Old 10-12-2017, 11:43 AM
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Default Chock full O' Harp guitars

20 strings. wow
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:56 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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The 20 string beast already sold. I bet that's a bit of a relief. It's one thing to build such an expensive guitar for an order, but Emerald has to wait for these to move to get any money back. I was happy to see the quick sale. I'm pretty sure Alistair's presence at the 15th Anniversary Harp Guitars Gathering helped in the sale!



I wonder if you can add sharping levers to these?? I would think it should be pretty easy as you can epoxy CF I think.

I am quite interested in the Harp guitar world. These Emerald's are at great price with worry free ownership with all that string tension and wood surface.

This is the one that really caught my eye, just not in black. I want the short scale for the treble and longer scale for the bass. I played a 25 to 25.75 scale and it was so nice. At 25 to 26, I don't think I'd notice the difference.

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Old 10-16-2017, 03:21 PM
philjs philjs is offline
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Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
I wonder if you can add sharping levers to these?? I would think it should be pretty easy as you can epoxy CF I think. I am quite interested in the Harp guitar world. These Emerald's are at great price with worry free ownership with all that string tension and wood surface.
Yeah, I've wondered the same thing. I've been very tempted by the Emerald harps but, since I'm a DADGAD player and frequently play with partial capos (which yield some pretty odd "effective" tunings), I'd need an easy way to re-tune the sub-bass strings. Sharping levers would be a must for me.

I, too, was quite attracted to the fan fret X20. Someday...hopefully soon!

Phil
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:33 PM
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Yeah, I've wondered the same thing. I've been very tempted by the Emerald harps but, since I'm a DADGAD player and frequently play with partial capos (which yield some pretty odd "effective" tunings), I'd need an easy way to re-tune the sub-bass strings. Sharping levers would be a must for me.

I, too, was quite attracted to the fan fret X20. Someday...hopefully soon!

Phil
Looking at the 6 sub bass string model, there is lots of room for them. I have been comparing online photos of harp guitars that have them. There may not be enough room on the 7 sub bass, although I'm sure they'd customize.

I think they could easily be screwed and/or epoxied in place on CF guitars. I was doing some reading and many say the Truitt ones are some of the best. Brass with 24K plating for great tone and no corrosion ever. Very thin gold, so not a crazy price at all. They recommend altering handle styles so you have a quick visual reference point. Use one shape for the ones you use the most, different one for others. Although that may moreso be for harp players vs harp guitar players. The same lever is used on both. Here's the website. http://www.dragonwhispers.com/levers/

You can also use levers to BEND notes. That opens up some interesting options,

What I wonder is if there are some more high-tech ones where the change can be set. The Hipshot Xtender can be dailed in so you drop from a step to 2 full steps. Add the double stop and go 3 whole steps. But you need a lot of room for them to work. Michael Manring uses 4 on his signature 4 string bass with a larger headstock. He also has a bridge that can drop all 4 strings at one time. It gives home a huge tuning range that he uses during songs. He sometimes changes tuning a good 50 times in a song. Anyhow... A full step drop on the lowest string would be nice. Then you'd have the lever on when tuned to E, turn it off to go to low D. As a former bass player, I love low end!!

If you haven't seen it, you really should see Michael at work on his 3 octave fretless. Watch has hands at both the headstock and the bridge. It's distracting at first. Then just listen to how beautiful the song is. It's shocking that it is all done on just one 4 string bass. Enjoy!

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Old 10-16-2017, 09:11 PM
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Looking at the 6 sub bass string model, there is lots of room for them. I have been comparing online photos of harp guitars that have them. There may not be enough room on the 7 sub bass, although I'm sure they'd customize.
My wife is a harper with a fully-levered harp (I have the official 'harp-mover' t-shirt) so I'm pretty familiar with them. I'd have no problem with simple half-step levers on 6 sub-basses: working down from the low D of DADGAD the sub-basses, with sharping levers, would cover C/C#, Bb/B, G#/A, F#/G, E/F and D/Eb. It would make it so much easier than having to re-tune those strings to suit each tuning.

I would imagine that the guitar would have to be engineered to incorporate levers, either with a built-up solid portion of the sub-bass head to accept screws (or, better, trap nuts) or a bolt/nut arrangement with access on the back of the head. I don't think i'd be happy with epoxied-on levers...

Phil
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:50 PM
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Just got home from the Harp Guitar Gathering and that 20 string harp guitar is being shipped to my home also. I actually had a discussion with Allistair about building one with sharping levers. He can maybe do it, but it's harder than you would think and he doesn't want to do it.
They are very nice guitars. I did not go with the intention of buying another guitar, but that's the way it worked out.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:09 PM
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Some hands on experience sure helps. I've seen them but never used them. The principal double bass player in the local symphony has sharping levers on his double bass. I had never seen them prior to that. I believe his could do a full step. I forgot about it until this moment. I've only talked with him a few times, but may call him if I get more serious.

I was looking at some pictures of the X20 Synergy showing the back of the harp side headstock. It appear to be hollow there. It may be possible to get an arm up inside that far for bolting the levers down.

If I get really serious I'll contact Emerald. It's quite possible that they've already done it. Alistair has done some very radical custom work in the past. I couldn't imagine ordering a harp guitar without them. I want to use full tones & semi-tones in the same song. I love the idea of utilizing them mid song.

Honestly, I am itching for something new. I never thought that a harp guitar could join my 2 loves of bass guitar and acoustic guitar.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:39 AM
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Hi guys,

First of all, congrats on the purchase of the Synergy X20 Super Treble, Teleplucker.

You are right, Alistair is not a fan of sharping levers. He finds they add unnecessary complexity to the instrument which can create problems with buzzes and intonation. We use high quality 18:1 ratio tuners so fast and accurate tuning changes can be achieved without the need for levers. We would also have to modify the headstock to make them fit which effects the aesthetic design and physical balance of the instrument.

Thank you so much to you all for your interest in our harp guitars.

Best Wishes,

Sean
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Emerald Guitars View Post
Hi guys,

First of all, congrats on the purchase of the Synergy X20 Super Treble, Teleplucker.

You are right, Alistair is not a fan of sharping levers. He finds they add unnecessary complexity to the instrument which can create problems with buzzes and intonation. We use high quality 18:1 ratio tuners so fast and accurate tuning changes can be achieved without the need for levers. We would also have to modify the headstock to make them fit which effects the aesthetic design and physical balance of the instrument.

Thank you so much to you all for your interest in our harp guitars.

Best Wishes,

Sean
Hello Sean.

Nuts, that's probably a deal breaker for me. I find it way to hard to change tuning mid song accurately. The lever should allow for mid-song changes and the ability to bend notes. That is an awesome option!

Potential buzzes and intonation I could understand, but I would expect no problems if using a quality lever with proper installation. I've seen harps with dozens of strings, all with sharping levers. Any rattle would be quite noticeable. Many levers have room to slide back and forth for fine tuning (should there be a string gauge change). There are so many discerning players that use them on very expensive harp guitars, it must be possible.

I went and did more sleuthing and I think I see the problem. An adjustable bridge pin is often needed for a sharping lever to operate properly. There are some that don't have it though. Carbon fibre, with all of it's strength, should be the perfect material to handle all of this. I found a harp pic that shows all things in very close proximity. It shows Truitt levers with Nylon strings, but they also make levers for metal strings. I compare this to a Synergy headstock and it all looks very possible. Here we have tuner, pin and lever very close together. All that's needed ( I think) is enough material in the area to bolt on to.

I also found a pic with Camac levers and no bridge pins. The user would have to adjust the lever after every tuning, but then it would be set. All these options look viable.

I think I read the Alistair carves out the slotted headstocks, so those most be solid CF. Same thing should work here. The pin looks like it is adjusted from the top, no need for rear access. What do you think... possible??

Here's the biggest question (literally); is the headstock on the Synergy X20 hollow or solid?? If solid, how far does the solid section go forward?? Can you give me a measurable number. I may be willing to experiment with this myself on a Synergy X20.

Thanks Sean!!







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Old 10-17-2017, 02:07 PM
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I have been using Hipshot detuners on guitar and bass for many years. The bass model takes up a lot of space. Manring's headstock is longer to allow for access. I find that these are more accurate if there's very break angle at the nut.

The guitar detuner I have has never functioned well. I've never been able to figure out why it doesn't work. The lever more or less allows for a fixed amount of detuning.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:28 PM
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I have to agree, Sean...the lack of sharping levers (or some method of quickly detuning the sub-bass strings) has been my Emerald Synergy stumbling block. My reason for using partial capos in the first place is because I hate having to re-tune strings, especially onstage! With partial capos I just put them where I want them and, voila!, instant alternate tuning.

If it's too difficult to re-engineer the sub-bass head for sharping levers, perhaps some other method could be explored, eg. something like the Hipshot Bass/Guitar extenders (though the flip lever would have to be perpendicular to the currently available Hipshot design) or, if individual "nuts" could be incorporated into the instrument design then something like the Pitch-Key could be used?

Phil
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:11 PM
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The wooden harp guitar that I play ( Beardsell) has sharping levers and they are convenient for sure. My first harp guitar was built by Tony Karol, it did not have sharping levers. To me it's not a deal breaker.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:36 PM
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The wooden harp guitar that I play ( Beardsell) has sharping levers and they are convenient for sure. My first harp guitar was built by Tony Karol, it did not have sharping levers. To me it's not a deal breaker.
Congrats on your 20 string Emerald purchase. Please do an in depth review once you get it. There are very few people who can compare as many harp guitars as you can. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

As far as deal breaker or not, I guess it's personal preference. I make very few big purchases, so I like to have all the options when I do. People have played harp guitars for 200+ years without sharping levers just fine, but it's like that Micahael Manring video I put up. Having the option opens up possibilities.

I've never even seen a harp guitar in the flesh and probably never will where I live. So I'm trying to figure it all out without ever seeing or playing one. 6 or 7 strings... levers or not... electronics or not... many questions. At some point I'll just have to jump in the deep end. What's the resale like an a harp guitar any ways??

I am quite intrigued by your Beardsell. The 2 sideports with the 2 soundholes must provide a nice, almost stereo sound. If I ever get back to Winnipeg I'll have to see if I Beardsell would let me stop by. I'm a good 350 miles away with no reason to go there, but you never know.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:10 AM
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Hi guys,

Alistair is always more than willing to look into all the options when it comes to accommodating our customers and their needs. If any of you would like to discuss this and a a possible custom commission in more detail, with Alistair directly even, you are always welcome to send us a direct email and we are more than happy to discuss all the options in full with you. We will look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Sean
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:28 AM
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Hi guys,

Alistair is always more than willing to look into all the options when it comes to accommodating our customers and their needs. If any of you would like to discuss this and a a possible custom commission in more detail, with Alistair directly even, you are always welcome to send us a direct email and we are more than happy to discuss all the options in full with you. We will look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Sean
I was wondering if Allistair got some more ideas and insights at the recent Harp Guitar Gathering. He seems so creative and there are some really creative Harp Guitar builders at these events. Sometimes sparks fly when that many great minds get together. I will contact you guys at Emerald if & when I get more serious about it. Thank you for the reply!
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