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View Full Version : aNueNue's new "Harp ukulele", revolutionary? Or ridiculous?



pepamahina
01-22-2011, 04:59 AM
I'm wondering what everyone thinks of this new "Harp ukulele" from aNueNue. Al Wood at UkeHunt says it's the only new offering that tingles his UAS. You can see it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi4wls8ddms
I said on ukehunt that I thought that it looks like itís undergoing some kind of weird messy metamorphosis as it changes from a ukulele into a guitar via some sort of celtic harpesque intermediate stage. Al didn't think that was funny. It's sounds lovely, but aren't they just kind of reinventing the guitar, or a celtic harp? Is it really gaining much from a low G tenor? So what do you think? Am I just a fool and a naysayer who just can't recognize a revolutionary new design? Or is it just kind of silly?

cletus
01-22-2011, 05:18 AM
It ain't for my tastes, visually or sonically. :uhoh:

Some of the best designs tread the line between silly and revolutionary, in my humble opinion.

mm stan
01-22-2011, 05:22 AM
Aloha Pepamahina,
Nothing wrong with new designs, they have been doing them since the beginning of time...doesn't mean they get it right immediately or how many prototypes of failures they go thought to acheive just a basic idea that works.. constant experimenting and product developement and research brings us closer to acheiving a new design...whether it works or appeals to us is a dfferent question...creativity and open minds
move us forward....hopefully.... and sometimes good old designs never need changing too!!

Howlin Hobbit
01-22-2011, 07:37 AM
It's not a new design. It's a resurrection of an old one.

TCK
01-22-2011, 07:41 AM
Was going to say that- definitely not a new design, just something that has been lost to time for a bit.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qY6O6h8S_Ho/RwsDtEoHE2I/AAAAAAAABRY/mww4MojPpko/s400/girls.jpg

swervy jervy
01-22-2011, 08:25 AM
My first impression is that the player in the video looks awful happy to see me.

pepamahina
01-22-2011, 10:01 AM
Was going to say that- definitely not a new design, just something that has been lost to time for a bit.

Awww, now that's a cute picture. Thanks for that, I had no idea. Anybody out there actually have one of these?

dkcrown
01-22-2011, 11:42 AM
What ever you think about the design, the gentleman playing it in the video does a wonderful job with it.

OldePhart
01-22-2011, 01:41 PM
Hmmm, if I need a couple of bass drone strings I'll just play one of my guitars - LOL.

I guess if you didn't play guitar it might give you an avenue for more expression.

John

ichadwick
01-22-2011, 01:52 PM
Harp guitars have been around for quite some time. A harp uke isn't new, just following an established route. Doesn't turn my crank, but I tip my hat to the boldness of it. Might be moved to get one if I heard and played it.

Jnobianchi
01-22-2011, 07:09 PM
I've played some beautiful harp guitars from the 20s, and I've seen a few old harp ukes before. Glad that someone's doing them again, cause I can't afford the old ones!!

DeG
01-22-2011, 07:26 PM
I think it is pretty cool.

southcoastukes
01-23-2011, 08:08 AM
Here's a pretty one Duane Heilman built:

http://www.harpguitarmusic.com/listings/hg-heilman.htm

ytmr
01-23-2011, 11:56 PM
I actually fancy the sound of it, but doubt I'll be needing those extra strings!

Uke Republic
01-24-2011, 05:15 AM
Anuenue has been making some interesting instruments and i've been told more are to come

DustinCasler
01-24-2011, 05:55 AM
Not sure about it. As of now i'm thinking I don't care much for it. But who knows if I saw it in person or was able to play with one.

GVlog
01-25-2011, 05:28 AM
Someone suggested that the street price might be $900 to $1000.

bbycrts
01-25-2011, 10:40 AM
Interesting to note - their uke was designed by Pete Howlett, an active UU member. He detailed his creation of the original prototype over in the luthier's lounge here in the forums. It's a very cool instrument, not something an average player would pick up just for fun, I would bet. Pete is an impressive builder, though, and a lot of thought and work went into that design!

pepamahina
01-25-2011, 10:58 AM
Interesting to note - their uke was designed by Pete Howlett, an active UU member. He detailed his creation of the original prototype over in the luthier's lounge here in the forums. It's a very cool instrument, not something an average player would pick up just for fun, I would bet. Pete is an impressive builder, though, and a lot of thought and work went into that design!

So are you lurking out there Pete? Can you tell us about this instrument?

KamakOzzie
01-25-2011, 08:19 PM
Check out his thread.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?28663-Harpuke-finished&highlight=harp+ukulele

Bill

hmgberg
01-26-2011, 12:13 AM
Here's an older one without drone strings, which begs the question....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA75EJYBzS4

Pete Howlett
02-17-2011, 04:05 AM
I'm on vacation in Canada at present so indulged myself by doing a vanity search and found this thread! HI EVERYBODY FROM THE FROZEN WASTES OF SASKATOON!

Well I guess I have to defend myself here, verifying and clarifying a few things...

About 2 years ago I got into dialogue with the CEO of aNueNue and gave some gentle advice regarding a small design matter. They followed it and improved the look and tone of one of their designs considerably. From there we have corresponded and a friendship grew. One email we talked about my harp-uke project. The CEO is a great fan of the Dyer style Symphony Harp Guitar and said he had often thought to build a similar design for ukulele. So I set about redesigning my prototype to look like the classic harp guitar made famous this era by the like of the late Michael Hedges, Stephen Bennett and the sensational Muriel Anderson.

My history is that I have made 3 of the Symphony Style harp guitars and 3 psuedo harp guitars - one of which is my 'standard' gigging instrument called 'The Sharp Guitar'; 3 psuedo harp ukulele and one 8 string prototype harp ukulele.

In discussing this instrument - first off, it's not meant to be anything but an 'imagining' of what the Larson Bros would have done had they a moment to spare from their heavy build schedule. Secondly, I wanted to build one to see if the same sonic experience I had building the guitars could be repeated - that is: when moving to chord positions past the 2nd harmonic an incredible tone and natural reverb tookt the instrument to a celestial plane so that when you play the third inversion of A7, it sounded just like those spooky chords Robert Johnson played on the first Columbia re-mastering of his recordings - sensational!

I was not disappointed with my prototype which you can see me struggling to play in thisvideo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VxGlJgp76U). Even with the very poor sound quality from my still-picture camera's video mode you get a sense that this instrument can be played very expressively - better demonstrated by Allen Loo on the aNueNue prototype. When I set about designing an instrument for aNueNue I wanted it to be re-entrant with Dyer styling and 4 sub-bass strings tuned any way you want to. aNueNue added the abalone rosettes and flat headstock to their marque. I honestly think they have done a great job and at around $1000 - $1100, this instrument which received a lot of attention at NAMM will sell out in 2011 its limited edition run of 88.

I am still in discussion with aNueNue but it looks possible that I may have rights to sell these direct from my website. I am also hoping to work with them again this year on another 'unique concept' instrument for limited edition status. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but like the harp-uke, will fill the niche for those who enjoy a little difference in their lives.

Lastly; there are a few brutal comments in the above postings - understandable if you are much of a traditionalist and haven't yet heard the possibilities of such an instrument. To get a better handle on it go to YouTube and watch Muriel Anderson and her performance on her classic 3/4 size harp guitar with it's harp tuners and incredible range. I am sure if John King was still with us he would see endless possibilities for this instrument in classic arrangements...

Nickie
02-17-2011, 05:32 AM
It's funny looking.

Lori
02-17-2011, 07:18 AM
I really like seeing and hearing different stringed instruments. I find them all fascinating and I would love to try out a Harp Ukulele!

–Lori

Pete Howlett
02-17-2011, 07:53 AM
Maybe have it with me in June :)

Lori
02-17-2011, 10:25 AM
Maybe have it with me in June :)

That would be really great! It might be tricky to travel with.

–Lori

Jnobianchi
02-17-2011, 10:56 AM
Well - the airlines are supposed to allow you to take you musical instrument into the cabin with you, so hopefully TSA won't be complete dopes about it.

Pete, it's so good to see your work, and I wish I could try one of these out. Back in the early 80's I was lucky enough to get to play a Dyer and a Stathapolo harp guitar, and one or two others, which I've completely forgotten the makers of. They were just marvelous instruments, like steel-stringed lutes. :) What some folks here are forgetting or not getting in the first place is how great a resonating chamber that arm is, whether there are harp strings on the instrument or not.

7string
02-17-2011, 12:55 PM
The Harp ukulele is certainly a strange and unwieldy beast!

Like others here it's not my cup of tea, but aNueNue have to be applauded for making the instruments available at that price point.

Pete Howlett
02-17-2011, 02:00 PM
I think you have to have a penchant for the unusual. Because I am not classically trained I struggle with the concept. Rob of SUS here in the UK got it immediately and it was 'familiar' to him.

Uncle Leroy
02-17-2011, 02:22 PM
Ridonculous...I heard it on tv.

pepamahina
02-17-2011, 04:53 PM
I'm on vacation in Canada at present so indulged myself by doing a vanity search and found this thread! HI EVERYBODY FROM THE FROZEN WASTES OF SASKATOON!

Well I guess I have to defend myself here, verifying and clarifying a few things...

About 2 years ago I got into dialogue with the CEO of aNueNue and gave some gentle advice regarding a small design matter. They followed it and improved the look and tone of one of their designs considerably. From there we have corresponded and a friendship grew. One email we talked about my harp-uke project. The CEO is a great fan of the Dyer style Symphony Harp Guitar and said he had often thought to build a similar design for ukulele. So I set about redesigning my prototype to look like the classic harp guitar made famous this era by the like of the late Michael Hedges, Stephen Bennett and the sensational Muriel Anderson.

My history is that I have made 3 of the Symphony Style harp guitars and 3 psuedo harp guitars - one of which is my 'standard' gigging instrument called 'The Sharp Guitar'; 3 psuedo harp ukulele and one 8 string prototype harp ukulele.

In discussing this instrument - first off, it's not meant to be anything but an 'imagining' of what the Larson Bros would have done had they a moment to spare from their heavy build schedule. Secondly, I wanted to build one to see if the same sonic experience I had building the guitars could be repeated - that is: when moving to chord positions past the 2nd harmonic an incredible tone and natural reverb tookt the instrument to a celestial plane so that when you play the third inversion of A7, it sounded just like those spooky chords Robert Johnson played on the first Columbia re-mastering of his recordings - sensational!

I was not disappointed with my prototype which you can see me struggling to play in thisvideo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VxGlJgp76U). Even with the very poor sound quality from my still-picture camera's video mode you get a sense that this instrument can be played very expressively - better demonstrated by Allen Loo on the aNueNue prototype. When I set about designing an instrument for aNueNue I wanted it to be re-entrant with Dyer styling and 4 sub-bass strings tuned any way you want to. aNueNue added the abalone rosettes and flat headstock to their marque. I honestly think they have done a great job and at around $1000 - $1100, this instrument which received a lot of attention at NAMM will sell out in 2011 its limited edition run of 88.

I am still in discussion with aNueNue but it looks possible that I may have rights to sell these direct from my website. I am also hoping to work with them again this year on another 'unique concept' instrument for limited edition status. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but like the harp-uke, will fill the niche for those who enjoy a little difference in their lives.

Lastly; there are a few brutal comments in the above postings - understandable if you are much of a traditionalist and haven't yet heard the possibilities of such an instrument. To get a better handle on it go to YouTube and watch Muriel Anderson and her performance on her classic 3/4 size harp guitar with it's harp tuners and incredible range. I am sure if John King was still with us he would see endless possibilities for this instrument in classic arrangements...

Aloha Pete-
I'm the one who started this thread. I apologize if it came across as brutal, I was just trying to stimulate some discussion about it hoping I could learn something from it. From that perspective it has definitely been a great success! Thank you so much for giving us the backround scoop on this instrument!

Pete Howlett
02-18-2011, 08:04 AM
I don't post in this section often so please excuse my brusqueness. I am also very defensive of this design and aNueNue who are not to be confused with mainland Chinese builders. My own work is very high end and I would never align myself with anyone who couldn't meet my standards. Just as a further heads up - the production pieces will have Fishman pickup systems along with the Pegheds, quality grover tuners, solid abalone rosettes etc. I am hoping to get my prototype soon so we can sign off on these and get into production.

Jnobianchi
02-18-2011, 08:36 AM
Very exciting!

Pete Howlett
05-30-2011, 01:37 AM
Now on (http://www.anuenue-uke.com/html_version/#frame_electric_29) their website so commercially available...

Hippie Dribble
05-30-2011, 02:44 AM
very beautiful. that demo was sure impressive. Love the richness, complexity and range of tone (not easy on the eyes though...he he)

Laouik
05-30-2011, 03:04 AM
It's not a new design. It's a resurrection of an old one.

Indeed. I've seen at least 3 luthiers showing at this year's MGS with harp guitars:
http://www.salondeguitaredemontreal.com/exhibitors/exhibitor.aspx?id=701

Laouik
05-30-2011, 03:06 AM
Aloha Pete-
I'm the one who started this thread. I apologize if it came across as brutal, I was just trying to stimulate some discussion about it hoping I could learn something from it. From that perspective it has definitely been a great success! Thank you so much for giving us the backround scoop on this instrument!

If it doesn't speak to you, it doesn't speak to you. No need to tell the naked emperor he has clothes on :D

Pete Howlett
05-30-2011, 03:12 AM
But only one has a harp ukulele no? Harp guitars have been around for a long time and there is a well established community of players of these wonderfully complex instruments. My harp ukulele design is simply a nod in that direction, a bit of fun and certainly not a mainstream instrument.

Susie A
05-30-2011, 03:42 AM
But only one has a harp ukulele no? Harp guitars have been around for a long time and there is a well established community of players of these wonderfully complex instruments. My harp ukulele design is simply a nod in that direction, a bit of fun and certainly not a mainstream instrument.

Not the FIRST (http://www.harpguitars.net/history/month_hg/month-hg-ukes.htm)of it's kind. Strange looking little things they are.

Pete Howlett
05-30-2011, 03:45 AM
Didn't say it was... however it is the first in modern production - Knudsen didn't build that many and only a few had extra string/strings. This really is just a folly for those with imagination...

Foinnse
05-30-2011, 07:38 AM
Sounds good to me, and looks interesting I suppose, BUT it doesn't really float my boat particularly. I would have not interest in actually purchasing it myself I mean. I would rather invest in a good quality tenor.
Cheers -F

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
05-30-2011, 07:48 AM
I'd love to play a harp ukulele. I don't know if that means I'd like to have one, though. I like that Anuenue uses historical design ideas. Very cool.

nelly
05-30-2011, 08:26 AM
Maybe lost in time for a reason "TCK",,, me thinks.

Pete Howlett
05-30-2011, 08:36 AM
They are using my design oddly enough... this instrument did not exist in this form until last year.

Doc_J
05-30-2011, 10:23 AM
Lovely instrument Pete, Congratulations.

Anuenue Demo of their production harp. Maybe this was listed here before.

http://youtu.be/xi4wls8ddms

The original:
http://youtu.be/0VxGlJgp76U

MGM
05-31-2011, 05:34 AM
I played and tried the origibal proto harp uke from anuenue and it is indeed based on knutsons design. I found it very beauiful welll i like weird things anyway but would take some time learning to use it well...i even tried to buy it from them at NAMM tell you anythinhg by htat hint? By the way the carpel tunnel is improving but the liver problems are still fluctuating badly with some great days and some very bad ones. Its the high ammonia levels that affect me the most making thinking and concentrating difficult.

ukuleletim
06-21-2011, 05:08 AM
I find it weird that ukulele players can scoff at anything. I, for one, will pick up anything that has strings and commence to making music (or try to, at least).

Always enjoyed listening to and wanting a harp guitar. Now this instrument is on my list.

marymac
06-21-2011, 06:18 AM
I find it weird that ukulele players can scoff at anything. I, for one, will pick up anything that has strings and commence to making music (or try to, at least).

Always enjoyed listening to and wanting a harp guitar. Now this instrument is on my list.

Hear hear! I'm looking forward to this being available. In addition to ukes I also have a fiddle, an acoustic lap steel guitar, an 8-string electric lap steel, and 2 electric guitars. Play dem strings!

fumanshu
06-21-2011, 06:47 AM
Hear hear! I'm looking forward to this being available. In addition to ukes I also have a fiddle, an acoustic lap steel guitar, an 8-string electric lap steel, and 2 electric guitars. Play dem strings!

Same for me here! I always look for new strings instrument to pick up and try to make music with. And this one is nŰ exception!

Pete Howlett
06-22-2011, 12:55 AM
People are lining up to buy threm so i guess that answers the question don't it? Even James Hill is on the list for one:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lBTde7uVIg

ukuleletim
06-22-2011, 08:50 AM
People are lining up to buy threm so i guess that answers the question don't it? Even James Hill is on the list for one:

How do I get on that list?

fumanshu
06-22-2011, 10:37 AM
Me too, I'm interested and want to be on list!

ukuleletim
06-25-2011, 07:25 AM
Hmm. Two more potential customers and all you hear is crickets? Pete, I really would like to give you $$ for your work and genius

marymac
06-25-2011, 07:57 AM
Hmm. Two more potential customers and all you hear is crickets? Pete, I really would like to give you $$ for your work and genius

I checked on when these will be available from anuenue and it sounds like they won't be ready until this winter.

ukernotpuker
06-25-2011, 08:03 AM
That looks really cool. I would love to get my hands on one of those.

Gmoney
06-25-2011, 08:46 AM
Mike of UkeRepublic has posted on Facebook that he is going to get "some" in. Get on the list!

Here's a great video from AnuNue's FB page:

http://youtu.be/xi4wls8ddms


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi4wls8ddms

Pete Howlett
06-25-2011, 09:09 AM
As the partner in this project with aNueNue I will try and get some definitive detail about price and availability. This is a new venture for them - they do not have a direct selling arm prefering to work through distributors. Our conversation a few months ago was not along the lines being posted here. Having said that, we haven't spoken for a week or two... let's not speculate and wait for it to happen folks? I've been working on this with them for a year now and have learnt to be patient. Since there are more factors involved in getting a prototype to production and distribution than you or I can dream of... just getting the bespoke cases made has involved 3 - 4 months of delays - if we can kerb our enthusiasm it will soon happen.

Pete Howlett
06-25-2011, 09:42 AM
Just found this - aNueNue are looking to have these out in the Autumn. Allen Loo starts and finishes this vid in Michael Hedges mode I think... must have a go at that with my model :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQeym8FhsYI

ukuleletim
06-25-2011, 12:04 PM
As the partner in this project with aNueNue I will try and get some definitive detail about price and availability. This is a new venture for them - they do not have a direct selling arm prefering to work through distributors. Our conversation a few months ago was not along the lines being posted here. Having said that, we haven't spoken for a week or two... let's not speculate and wait for it to happen folks? I've been working on this with them for a year now and have learnt to be patient. Since there are more factors involved in getting a prototype to production and distribution than you or I can dream of... just getting the bespoke cases made has involved 3 - 4 months of delays - if we can kerb our enthusiasm it will soon happen.

I can certainly be patient. No problem there. I kept seeing this term "the list" so I thought I could get in line.. or something.

Pete Howlett
06-26-2011, 09:18 PM
I now have the answers you want.

The initial run of 88 which was nearly presold has been extended to 100 so there is some slack in this run.
I will be dealing with instruments for European market, Asia and US need to go to their usual distributors to get their instruments so I think it would be wise to -pre-order now expecting your instrument in the fall.
Strings are actually being made specially for the diapason side of the instrument.
Not sure who the endorsees will be but I suspect recorded artists need to get in touch with them if they want to represent the company.
.

Snorky
06-26-2011, 11:23 PM
Should I send you a message Pete if I am interested in pre-ordering one of the ukes in the uk?

Pete Howlett
06-27-2011, 12:22 AM
Yes you will need to so I can start my list. You are welcome to visit the workshop and try out the protoype any time :)

Uke Republic
06-27-2011, 06:49 AM
Looking forward to getting this instrument in. We were told by our distributor in USA fall/early winter.

Pete Howlett
06-27-2011, 10:59 AM
You will love them. I hope they will be ready for the fall harpguitar gathering

ukuleletim
06-27-2011, 12:21 PM
Thanks! I emailed Uke Republic this afternoon and hope to hear from them.

Looking forward to this cool instrument.

Pete Howlett
08-01-2011, 10:28 PM
BREAKING NEWS!

I have just had an email from aNueNue informing me that the harp ukulele will be ready end of this month. Distributors will soon be informed of availability. For the UK you will be able to purchase through my website so use that as a conduit for communication.