Instruments from the workshop of


KNIGHT VERNON
Harpsichord Maker
 Authentic replicas of historic instruments, carefully made, and elegantly decorated

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The keyboards of these instruments are replicas of antique French ones. However, reproductions of keyboards from other historical schools will be undertaken to correspond to a particular historical instrument when appropriate. Key-levers are guided by a rear guide pin system with an over-rail to limit key dip. By using an over-rail rather than the jack-rail for this purpose, a solid and accurate key dip can be attained. The tendency for excessive bouncing and vibration associated with the jack-rail system is eliminated. Octave span is 6.25" (l59 mm); key-heads are 1.5" (38 mm) in length and the sharps are 3" (76 mm) conforming to the practice of French makers of the eighteenth century. The naturals are covered with ebony with the key-heads rounded on the sides and scored with decorative lines. Key fronts are arcaded using a lighter colored wood such as maple or pearwood. The sharps are tapered in height and width and are of ebony or other hardwood topped with bone. The key levers themselves are unbushed, resulting in a crisp, positive touch through which the player has the sensation of absolute control. All instruments made in our shop are equipped with transposing keyboards. This device allows the harpsichord to be designed and tuned at old pitch, approximately one half step below modern pitch, and by the simple expedient of shifting the keyboards to the right, modern pitch can be attained. This is most helpful when performing with replicas of Baroque instruments, which are tuned to old pitch. Another strength of this device is that it allows the harpsichord to be under about 12% less tension, thereby further improving tuning stability.

The registers are made of hardwood battens through which oversize holes are cut. The battens are then covered with leather, which is then punched with a mortise the exact size of the jack. The result is a register of incredible speed and accuracy, which is also extremely quiet.

Registers for Flemish instruments are carefully machined from hardwood.

Traditional jacks of pearwood with holly tongues and boar's bristle springs are used. A bottom adjustment screw makes careful length adjustment possible.