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Making a guzheng
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yukina
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Joined: 05 Feb 2015
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swellbow wrote:
I wonder if I can use a bass tone bar on the bass side and a couple of posts that transmit midrange near the mid bridges and treble near the high bridges.


I think that will be a good try. A standard-built guzheng usually has nice treble, a hallow mid-range and a flat bass. Those will pretty much fix the problems.

Guzheng sounds sweet and warm. Espcially the Chinese pentatonic scale melody only sounds good in sweet tone. I think sweet sounding hardwood will be the best. Rosewood and Maple are good. I heard a koa guitar the other day. I think the voice of koa also fits guzheng character.

I appreciate your effort a lot. I also want to see how the engineering enhance the sound qaulity. Most Chinese makers don't have the knowledge of doing so.

Yukina
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swellbow
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Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vi_An wrote:
I am still working with my luthier friend in designing a revolutionary long zither like instrument. We'll post important discoveries along the way.


You are far too secretive. Very Happy What do you have up your sleeve?

Thanks so much for the encouragement -- and I offer it right back to you! It's so great, after doing a bunch of research, to find people interested in the sonic qualities of the guzheng!

I hope we can share more in the future!

Kurt
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swellbow
Plywood


Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, CO

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yukina wrote:
I think that will be a good try. A standard-built guzheng usually has nice treble, a hallow mid-range and a flat bass. Those will pretty much fix the problems.


Great to hear! I'm excited to try this. I've come up with a basic idea and measurements for how to pull this off. Now I need to finish my plans and get busy building something!

yukina wrote:
I think sweet sounding hardwood will be the best. Rosewood and Maple are good. I heard a koa guitar the other day. I think the voice of koa also fits guzheng character.


I will check out koa and try to get an idea of its character -- I know it turns up more and more as a soundboard for guitars. I did find out the hardness of western redcedar is only slightly more than paulownia, so that seems like a good candidate still. Douglas-fir is a bit harder. It all kind of depends on what works well and what I can get my hands on. And it depends on how well I can work it into a curve.

yukina wrote:
I appreciate your effort a lot. I also want to see how the engineering enhance the sound qaulity. Most Chinese makers don't have the knowledge of doing so.


Thank you so much for the encouragement! I realize in taking on this project that I am entering some unknown territory, which is both exciting and daunting. I think it will be fun. And I hope to have a neat sounding guzheng by the time it's done! I can't wait to see what happens and to share my findings.

Thanks again,

Kurt
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Vi_An
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Joined: 27 Jul 2005
Posts: 518
Location: Calgary, AB CANADA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:24 am    Post subject: I am a terrible liar and can't with hold information.. Reply with quote

I am so open to sharing ideas and newly discovered tricks of the trade so to speak in this regard. The zheng instrument is so amazing and leaves so much room for innovation. Put all that in the hands of a very capable and inspired luthier and BAM! I would like to have a team of luthiers one day all working for me, I'll pay 40 dollar an hour because as a musician performing corporate functions I get paid at least $1000 / 45 min, so luthiers of mine will be so deserving!

My luthier friend specializes in violins, cellos and double basses, along with his expert experience in guitars (former GUILD) guitar assembly line luthier, he has a lot to offer me in terms of a revolutionary zheng like / zither instrument of my dreams.

Yukina and her spectacular contacts have been of great inspiration and motivation for me as well. I'm so blessed to have her as my contact, making all my dreams possible or come true right away! My custom made 26 stringed instrument from jinyun that she helped me with acquiring is still my sweetest sounding instrument in tone and sustain of notes, its not my loudest instrument but when I play it I feel nostalgic. My loudest instrument is my junky factory made travel instrument! My best instrument for recording and most versatile & robust instrument is my Scarlet Bird 26 stringed monster, which I forced 2 extra soprano strings into making it 28 stringed with bass E string on the low end.

These instruments do have limits and do have their perfect range. That is the beauty about this instrument and is a great challenge for aspiring luthiers who wish to tackle making their own zheng like instrument. Lets not do what has always been done, lets challenge tradition and innovate, innovate -- innovate shall we? Lets be excited to take risks and not be afraid to be outrageous.

Cheers,

Vi An
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bveracka
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Joined: 25 Mar 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vi_An wrote:
I am still working with my luthier friend in designing a revolutionary long zither like instrument. We'll post important discoveries along the way. Its great that there is such an interest out there of people desiring to improve upon the gu zheng instrument by doing it their own way, using existing materials found locally is environmentally sound and very brilliant to say the least.

You have my best regards and encouragements always, I'm so excited.

Sincerely,

Vi An


Vi An,

I am new to the forum and to guzheng as well. I really love that 14-stringed zheng your friend built for you. I have been making instruments for about five years, many of them just rough-copies of traditional instruments, cigar-box guitar, and percussion instruments. I would consider myself a jack-of-all-trades, like your friend who made the zheng. Seeing the pictures, hearing the story behind it, and seeing your youtube video really inspired me to build my own. I have a the HongShang Travel-Size Guzheng on the way from Carol, but I see myself delving deep into the world of these beautiful instruments!

As I said, I am just getting into guzheng, but I have much experience with formal instruction in guitar, banjo, bass, bass-viola & cello and many percussion instruments. Anyhow, tell your friend I said thank you for the inspiration to build a zheng, because now that I saw his, I think this summer I will start on my own project.

A large bass-like zheng would be really, really cool by the way. It would have to be a monster to get really good bass though! A deep sound-box might be the key to that. Please keep us updated on your friend's projects!

Greetings from Cape Cod Massachusetts

-Brandon
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Vi_An
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Joined: 27 Jul 2005
Posts: 518
Location: Calgary, AB CANADA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon,

Great message and all the best with your instrument making as well. Keep dreaming great ideas and then making them into real instruments, that's what it takes. I am so happy with my 14 stringer she is beautiful and sounds so great outdoors too. My friend put so much work and love into it and still is!

Looking forward to more chats be well,
Vi An
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Zhou
Nanmu Mica


Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 386
Location: Cedar Grove, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This year, I plan to make instruments.
The only issue I run into is, finding adequate woods.

I have several projects that I would like to make-
A fretted Shamisen, the wood isn't necessarily important, as this aren't usually instruments that project well.
A 9 string Guqin with a modern tuning machine, I would prefer to use Paulownia for this.
A bass koto, Paulownia would help, but I'm not opposed to using domestic materials.
And a pipa, if I feel aventurous.

Does anyone know where I can find appropriate quantities of Paulownia?
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applevinegar
Rosewood


Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about:
http://paulownialumberandsupply.com/

"All of our Paulownia is kiln dried to 8% moisture content (as opposed to
12-16% with air-drying) which results in lighter and stronger lumber for
our customers."

They kiln dry all their paulownia. (Does anyone know how that would effect the sound of an instrument? I'm thinking of purchasing paulownia from them.)
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wingplum
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Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

9 string GuQin,where can you find the two extra string?
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citera
Baby Guzheng


Joined: 13 Jun 2015
Posts: 41
Location: Hungary

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the topboard's material (in the begining of the topic) My yatga's soundboard is made of birch and spruce. It has glued from 3 pieces. Middle and bass range parts are made of birch, and high range part is made of spruce.
The sound seems to be very fine for me. I have an idea, that we can use Acer negundo instead of birch wood, or probably poplar wood.
I'am also interested in making a transportable and simplified guzheng like instrument, but I will be satisfied with a 13 string piece. I am a street musician in Hungary, and my yatga is too long and big to carry it on the street. And I don't want to fag my original Mongolian piece. It will has steel string, because I can make only steel trings and stomach strings. Stomach isn't so reliable, it is sensible to moisture. Steel string is also sensible to the temperature, but I have got used to it by my Hungarian zithers, wich are steel stringed. I can deal with this problem. If I could get it, I would try the spring bronze material for strings.
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