View Full Version : Wiener Kontra-Ukulele (Viennese Harp Ukulele)

06-07-2013, 10:41 AM

I'd like to introduce to you the first Wiener Kontra-Ukulele. It's nearly finished. I'm only waiting on the tuners for the bass-strings.
Here is one picture:


I wil show more pictures, when the bass strings are attached.

This Ukulele is inspired by a guitar from Ludwig Reisinger, a renowned Austrian instrument maker in the first half of the 20th century.
I hope you like it.

Greetings from Vienna,

Rick Turner
06-07-2013, 11:28 AM
I absolutely love it, and I've been thinking along those lines for a next instrument for myself, though I was more likely to go "Dyer-style" with the hollow arm.

Liam Ryan
06-07-2013, 11:46 AM
So coo but only one pic? We need more.

06-07-2013, 11:48 AM
I was looking at some Russian guitars the other day that had similar lines and thinking it would be a great project to try out on a baritone scale uke. I'm looking forward to more pictures of yours Gregor.

Pete Howlett
06-07-2013, 09:12 PM
Rick - I have a set of plans for a dyer style tenor if you want them. PM me. aNueNue did a limited production run. I also have 4 for sale....
Grenosi - perfect :)

06-08-2013, 09:56 AM
Thank you very much for your nice comments.
I will post more pictures as soon as possible.
Since I am from Vienna I am not very interested in the dyer style ukuleles. We have this Kontra-guitar building tradition here starting with Johann Georg Stauffer (C.F. Martin was an apprentice in his workshop), continued and improved by Johann Gottfried Scherzer.
I have a very beautiful Kontra-Gitarre with 9 extra bass-strings made by Ludwig Reisinger in my workshop, which needs to be repaired because the top has quite a lot of cracks. So I took this guitar as an inspiration for my project.

Greetings from Vienna,

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
06-09-2013, 12:47 AM
Nice stuff.

Michael Smith
06-09-2013, 12:49 PM
It's really great Gregor.

Rick Turner
06-10-2013, 04:10 AM
Gregor, have you run across any of the Zimmerman knock-offs of the Schertzer guitars? Luthier Roy McAlister had an 11 string kontra-gitarre...with a Russian-style 7 string playing neck and 4 harp strings. Zimmerman had two fairly large factories, one in Austria, the other in Russia. And we thought copies were a new innovation... Interesting histories there...

Rick Turner
06-10-2013, 04:49 AM
Here's a Zimmerman, but not quite the model Roy had...but it's 7 +4


Rick Turner
06-10-2013, 04:58 AM
And here are a few!:


06-10-2013, 10:32 AM
Never heard of Zimmermann. But quite interesting. Thank you for the links.
If you are interested in historic Austrian guitars than take a glance at this: http://www.gitarre-archiv.at/galerie-historischer-instrumente-aus-oesterreich/

Greetings from Vienna, Gregor

Rick Turner
06-10-2013, 10:41 AM
Zimmerman was a big distributor of all things musical, and apparently sub-contracted out instrument building to a number of makers. Zimmerman had offices and I assume warehouses in both what we now think of as Germany (Leipzig) and in Russia (St. Petersburg).

The 11 string harp guitar I saw had laminated sides...with the Brazilian rosewood outer veneer grain running up and down between top and back! Weird! It was a really cool guitar.

I am interested in the Austrian guitar thing, and it's closely related to the zither music I love. I'm a major fan of Anton Karas and his "3rd Man" movie score.

Jim Hanks
06-10-2013, 12:02 PM
What will be the tuning for the two necks?

06-10-2013, 06:07 PM
The tuning of the four bass-strings is C-D-E-F and the other strings are tuned G-C-E-A.

Rick Turner
06-10-2013, 09:26 PM
With "modern" harp guitars, it's not uncommon to use Irish harp sharping levers to enable quick 1/2 step up tuning changes.

07-08-2013, 05:20 AM

Finally I got the Pegheds for my ukulele. Here is a little video (again in German) I made:

Greetings from Vienna, Gregor

07-08-2013, 05:50 AM
Wow, sounds fantastic. It really rings.

07-08-2013, 03:01 PM
Sounds great!