Max Doronin’s harpsichord

There is a video (audio only) on youtube by Andreas Zappe:

I think it’s the most beautiful harpsichord sound I have heard. My previous preferred was an Italian by Mathias Griewisch.
Again: go Ruckers, go single-strung-double-plucked.

I met Doronin in 2014 I think, when he had his workshop in a very little town in central-Italy. I don’t know where is he located now. I was impressed he did everything by hand, no machinery. I even all hand woodworking couldn’t possibly be practical and financially sustainable without monsterly skills (I still had not known Paul Sellers’ writings and videos, now I am sold to hand woodworking).
He had no playable harpsichords ready in that moment, so I couldn’t try, but I noticed his woodworking was pristine. I remember him as a sympathetic guy, and he was kind about one year ago to send me a document he had written on jack making. He still remembered who I was (or so he said). A pleasurable day. Of course there are many great makers, so please don’t take offence if I don’t name them, it’s just that this harpsichord makes something resonate in me.

However, again on the Ruckers: glorious tone, I’d say. The “unison” is in fact a single choir of strings plucked by two jacks in the same moment. You get the volume while keeping transparency. I usually don’t like the two 8’ coupled (Birkett’s wire has ameliorated that on my harpsichord, though).
Sure it has been properly recorded, I’d love to hear it live, and to play it.

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I agree that this is a very fine instrument. Soon after it was finished, Max Doronin took it to a number of people to see and play, in his journey from Italy to Berlin. So on one fine day, I think it was in March, it was in my flat and a number of people, including Menno van Delft, came by. I was impressed but six months later, judging from this video, the instrument has really benefited from playing in.

Max lives near Grosseto in Tuscany. He has recently completed a copy of the 1769 Taskin for me - in fact he is just now making the very elegant stand with cabriole legs. It will go to Alison Wooley, who lives outside Arezzo, for chinoiserie and gilding. I hope to have it in November or December. Alison has already done the soundboard painting. I attach some images of work in progress.

Max is ‘the real deal’ and his instruments are getting quite a reputation.


Which seems to be no less than the Ruckers: a very fundamental tone and a just incredible buff stop. Who knows what kind of leather did he find or how did he work it.
I have listened a 3-minute recording of that harpsichord Max Doronin has published of his fb page.
Congratulations, Douglas.