DIY Electric Aeolian Harp – Measurements and Rain Drops

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About the DIY Electric Aeolian Harp – the vitals
1. Presently it is two 4’x4″x1″ pine boards screwed together
2. Scale length is 27″, or about that of a baritone guitar
3. Pickups are cheap humbuckers ($13 a pair) from Amazon
4. They are now floating on springs to allow height adjustment and are about 1/16″ from the strings.
5. They are placed ~11 1/2″ and ~14 3/4″ from the “nut”
6. The bridge now is an piece of 1″ aluminum corner stock
7. The nut is 7/16″ Brazil wood
8. The strings are G, D bass guitar & E, A, D, G electric guitar
9. The zither pins from Experimental Musical Instruments are now in a piece of hardwood (see close up pic)


Rain as heard by the DIY electric aeolian harp – takes a minute to really get going.

2:28 pm Bright Chord

7:16 pm Stacked Fifths

9:47 pm Motor Drone

12:37 Midnight Drone

5:08 am Drone

3:41 pm Afternoon Single Note Drone

10:20 pm Drone

4:25 pm Afternoon Drone Two

3:55 pm Dark Chord

3 Responses to “DIY Electric Aeolian Harp – Measurements and Rain Drops”

  1. Hank Tilbury says:

    Hi, Chris–Thanks for the information, the photos and the beautiful recordings of this instrument. I’ve done a bit of Aeolian harp-ing with an electric guitar, but I’ve been wanting to build an instrument optimized for the purpose. What you’ve done is very inspiring.

    I have one question: what is the signal path from the pickups to your recording device? The recordings are remarkably clear and free of noise and ground hum. I’m curious about what you’re using for preamps, audio board, recorder and whatever else may be in the path.

    There is no hurry–any information at all is greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely, Hank Tilbury

  2. admin says:

    Hi Hank,

    Thank you for the kind words. I use an all battery recording rig. A picture of it is at the bottom of this blog post http://chrisvaisvil.com/3rd-bridge-diy-electric-aeolian-harp/

    Everything is available for purchase on Amazon – With the Pyle phono preamp I use the line in on the Zoom H2 – the zoom has an auto record function so I have it trip recording at ~36 db and shut down at the same level. Doing this conserves batteries and I can easily get overnight coverage on auto record. The Pyle hum eliminator is a must also. And I’ve moved to rechargeable batteries which has paid for itself.

  3. Hank Tilbury says:

    Thanks, Chris, for your quick and informative response. I had somehow missed the earlier post.

    That’s quite ingenious, to have it all battery-powered and automated. And I never would have thought of using a phono preamp. Looks like this would be easy for me to do, especially since I already have a Zoom recorder myself.

    Regards, HT

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