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 Post subject: Plea for help
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:35 pm 
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Cittern...I...wants it....I...needs it....

But seriously, I've wanted for years to try to learn cittern. Is there any good learning instrument that anybody knows of? I'd like to keep the price as low as possible...Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, and will be reciprocated with cookies.

Cookies...

mmm....


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:57 pm 
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Okay, I'll probably get flamed for this one. Lark in the Morning (oh gawd, did he really say that?) has a fairly good Mexican-made cittern listed under their name for something over $500USD. I don't remember if that's including the case or not, which is sold separately, as I recall. I started out on that model, which has a pretty good tone.

Drawbacks: Spanish-style machine head, which makes stringing a major project, and the top of the head is aesthetically unpleasing with that Alamo-skyline profile typical of Spanish heads. I sawed mine off to make a flat profile. More importantly, the neck is not reinforced with either a tension rod or a spline, both of which serve to keep the neck stable under the tremendous tension of all those strings, nor is the neck quarter-sawn as it ought to be with no such reinforcements present. After a couple of years the neck on my Lark cittern twisted and became unplayable. This may or may not happen with all the Lark brand citterns; just suffice it to say that you're always taking a gamble with their lower-end products. Still, it's probably not a bad way to start, and it makes a nice wall decoration as does mine, now.

Oh, and another drawback (to my mind): citterns are often set up with tailpieces that require loop-end strings, and the Lark model is no exception. You either have to order them from Lark in the Morning, and I can tell you that that I had to deal with major screw-ups concerning their product; or you buy ball-end guitar strings and crack the balls with a set of pliers to extract the pieces from the remaining loop. This is presuming you don't break the loop in the process, which can happen. I presume there are other sources for loop-end strings, but I didn't bother to look. You could possibly make a replacement tailpiece for it in the Foley style which is designed to accommodate ball-end strings. It's a ridiculously simple design.

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"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Last edited by Nanohedron on Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:45 pm 
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THANK YOU!!! I'll check that out


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:32 pm 
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Check yer PMs, too. :)

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