Sunday, October 30, 2011

Electric Guzheng

A few years back we came across some plexiglass, see through, translucent electric Chinese instruments like the erhu, zhongruan and pipa. So it is inevitable that someone someday would come up with the translucent electric Guzheng.

Recently I stumbled upon one while in Shanghai.

Behold, a translucent electric Guzheng!

The whole Guzheng, including the bridges are made of see through plexiglass. But like an electric guitar, the guzheng is hardly audible without connecting to amplifier. When connected to an amplifier, it sounds, well, like an electric guzheng. The size and weight is definitely ideal for gigs or practising at home in the still of the night.

But before you raise your hand to say 'I want one of these!', I think we can still wait for the manufacturer to iron out some existing issues first.

Firstly, the bridges are glued to the soundboard, which makes adjusting the tension of the strings impossible. Secondary, the guzheng is not built for intense playing. Strum a little harder and you will have the strings falling out of the bridge grooves. Lastly, the sound is as good as how the amplifier sounds. And the amplifier that comes with the guzheng is total crap.

But still, it is an interesting product that shows lots of promise.

We will update if we do bring it in after the issues have been ironed out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Zhongruan Strings by Zhang Xin Hua

There is a new type of zhongruan strings by famous Ruan / Liuqin player Zhang Xin Hua from Beijing, China.

Zhang Xin Hua has his line of ever popular Ruans. He is also famous for his extremely expensive nylon picks ($40 a piece). So it is inevitable that he will start to dabble in zhongruan strings sooner or later. His favorite recommended zhongruan strings used to be the professional series by XingHai FuYin.

But now he came up with the below:

What I heard is they are better sounding and longer lasting. Of course they are more expensive as well. They are priced around US$35 - $40.

I brought a few sets back and most have been reserved by some ruan players in Singapore. I do have 1 set left though.

Will update again when I get more feedback about the strings.