Toronto, Ontario, Canada

German double harpsichord and pedal harpsichord by Hill & Tyre (1985)

A magnificent pair of instruments, a German double-manual harpsichord and matching pedal harpsichord built by Keith Hill & Phillip Tyre in 1985 with assistance from the owner. The owner, who is now the father of a young family, is selling these to switch to a set of clavichords -- quieter.

The compass of the main harpsichord is FF to g'' (60 notes), the pedal harpsichord is C to f' (30 notes).


  • Upper manual -- front 8' and buff
  • Lower manual -- back 8' and 4' with shove coupler
  • Pedal -- front 8' with buff , 16' with buff, 4', back 8', 16' dampers

The bench in the photo is not included, it is a family heirloom. If you don't have a bench, Claviers Baroques can make you one for between $500 and $750 USD, (depending on style). These instruments are located about an hour's drive from New York City near the New Jersey border. Shipping can be arranged, although if you could pick the instruments up it would probably save you a lot of money.


The soundboard of the harpsichord is beautifully painted in the French style. The soundboard of the pedal harpsichord has border patterns similar to the 1670 Desruisseaux painted along the edges and around the bridges and nut. Note from the owner: There is a split in the soundboards of both instrument in the trebles (common I understand), does not effect the sound.

Exterior of both instruments is black, interiors are Chinese red. The owner will consider selling them separately but they've been together as a matched set for 18 years, it would be a pity to break them up.

A sound sample hasn't been recorded for these instruments (yet), we hope to get that done in the next few weeks. When I asked the owner what they sounded like, he told me this, "The sound is why I selected a German Instrument in the first place, all the brilliance and wire of an Italian, with the fullness and sustaining power of a French double. I have played concerts at my church that seats 500 and the carrying power is remarkable. Currently the instruments are voiced full, to the point that two blankets draped over make it still too loud for me to practice while the kids are trying to go to sleep. There is also quite a bit of bite to the touch, some have called it heavy, I had Phillip do this on purpose the change from a small tracker to eggshells at first was too great."

The owner plays these instruments regularly and reports that they are very stable with regular monthly tunings. He says they could maybe use a little regulation, all routine stuff -- some of the dampers are leaky and and the odd jack doesn't pluck evenly. When you have a young family time is in short supply, but we'll tend to that when we see them mid-April. Both instruments are quilled in Delrin. The plectra are in good shape and the sound is even note to note.

They have always been well-maintained because the current owner, who had a large hand in their building, does his own maintenance. He and Claviers Baroques will give it a thorough going-over in mid-April just to make sure, but all the notes, stops and effects are currently working fine. Hill& Tyre plastic jacks are used throughout. The tongues are a separate snap-on part but the jack body is typical so if exact replacements are not available, should they ever be required, substitutes can be had or made.

Price: asking $29,050 CAD / $22,000 USD / £12,100 GBP / € 18,075 / $243,275 MXN / ¥ 2,334,200 JPY plus shipping from New York and any applicable taxes. Qualifies under NAFTA to no duty to the US, Canada or Mexico. Interested? Questions? Like to arrange to meet them? E-mail the owner directly at jlhtdbl@harpsichord.ca

[back to the used instruments page]


The Paris Workshop Kits

Harpsichord expert

What's up

Mugs & more

Contact Us!

Friends & Links

© 2004-2011 Claviers Baroques