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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

SOLD! to the gentleman from Long Beach, California!
Sperrhake "Kleine" single-manual harpsichord (used), ca 1960


This handsome little harpsichord is a smallish instrument in the revival style. It is a German factory-made instrument, approximately 40 years old, very solidly built and in excellent playing condition. It is just under six feet long (56" to be exact) and 32 1/2 " wide. The two registers, 8' and 4', are controlled by knee levers and the buff stop is split so that the upper and lower registers can be buffed separately.

This instrument was used as a gigging instrument -- it traveled in a Pony hatchback -- and the finish shows some signs of wear on the outside cheek corner. It was originally quilled in leather but was converted to Celcon (plastic) plectra during the 80's for more volume and ease of maintenance. It is strung in standard music wire, all the strings are in good shape and nothing looks like it will need replacing any time soon.

8' register ("vanilla")
8' + 4' (as above plus 4' which sounds an octave higher)
8' with buff -- for a quieter, lute-like sound
(not available)

The volume is sufficient for home use or a small-to-medium-sized studio, either solo or with other instruments. It would balance nicely with one or more recorders, a baroque flute or two, a gamba or cello, and even a couple of singers.

 
The case and lid are veneered in walnut. The soundboard is spruce and the bridges appear to be beech. The integral music desk and propstick store inside the instrument when not in use.

Reverse keyboard, black wood naturals with plastic-slipped maple or boxwood sharps. The C to f''' compass (54 notes) is big enough for most of Bach and tons of other early music.

The stand is three screw-in legs, easily removable for transport. The lid can be folded back part-way for quiet playing or removed entirely if required for performance.

 

 
There is also a heavy cover of Naugahide imitation leather or something very like it (below). It's not beautiful but it is a good protection if you plan to move your instrument -- keeps it from scratches in a van, SUV or hatch-back, and keeps out the rain and snow on sprints from the car to the venue in bad weather.

Under the hood:


The Sperrhake Passau rose and gold shield on the spruce soundboard.

Action:


The jacks have been converted from leather to Delrin plectra.


Although this was used as a gigging instrument during the 60's and 70's, it would not be considered a proper instrument for historically-informed performance today. It is a decent instrument for a student or for a home instrument, though, and would be suitable for a budget-minded beginner. The trend we have been seeing lately is used harpsichords holding their value and often increasing, so if you decide to move up to a better instrument in a few years you can expect to re-sell or trade this one in for at least what you paid for it. Oh, a supply of spare strings, a tuning wrench and a small Seiko electronic tuning meter are included.

SOLD! to the gentleman from Long Beach, California! Price: $2,500 CAD / $2,000 USD /$22,000 MXN / £ 1,100 GBP / € 1 600/ ¥ 214,500 JPYplus shipping from Toronto Canada and applicable taxes & duties. Interested? Sorry, this instrument is no longer available but we may have something else you'd like. E-mail Claviers Baroques or give us a call toll-free in North America at 1-888-597-0946.

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updated July 29, 2005