Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28

Thread: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

  1. #1

    Default Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Ever since I saw a ONE string Stroh violin at Larch Street music in Bogota NJ I've been fascinated.
    I've done some online poking and found that they made these around the turn of last century to project louder than a normal acoustic.

    Looks like they made a few stroh mandolins.
    Why not a guitar or a tenor guitar.

    The idea is that the bridge connects to a gramophone type soundbox essentially providing the vibration instead of the needle in the record's grooves. Then to a horn to amplify.

    Also, there is a video of a guy who made one recently out of a ukulele and an old bugle.
    He shows some detailed shots halfway through

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	strohuke15.jpg 
Views:	158 
Size:	44.2 KB 
ID:	163103
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	strohuke.jpg 
Views:	92 
Size:	83.8 KB 
ID:	163104


  2. #2
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    University Place, WA (with no university and very little place)
    Posts
    3,925

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Fascinating. Not sure I understand the acoustics of this, though. Is there some sort of diaphragm that vibrates on these?
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  3. #3
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison, Ct
    Posts
    2,237

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    They do have a small resonator/diaphragm. They originate from Romania, and there are called trumpet violins. They're made in many of the villages, apparently, and have been around for quite some time. The Strohs were single-string things, but the true ones are full four-string things. Get one and you can sound just like this:


  4. The following members say thank you to Charlieshafer for this post:


  5. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    24,180

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlieshafer View Post
    They do have a small resonator/diaphragm. They originate from Romania, and there are called trumpet violins. They're made in many of the villages, apparently, and have been around for quite some time. The Strohs were single-string things, but the true ones are full four-string things. Get one and you can sound just like this:
    I have 4-string Strohviol and they were invented around 1899 by John Augustus Matthias Stroh in London. I believe he came first and the Romanians copied them and adapted them to their music. These are all using the acoustic phonograph technology and are generically called phonofiddles.

    Yes, Stroh made a single string called the Jap-fiddle but his shop also made a violin, viola, cello, Hawaiian guitars (as shown in this page from the Acuff collection book) as well as ukulele, mandolin, Spanish guitar and bass. Check out a whole museum page with photos of all the variants at Springers/Pamela's Music. The mandolin has to be super-rare.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	stroh02.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	33.2 KB 
ID:	163113 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	stroh_acuff.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	129.2 KB 
ID:	163114 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	102-stroh-mandolin-a.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	71.5 KB 
ID:	163115

    Last edited by Jim Garber; Dec-13-2017 at 11:26pm.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    They were very useful in the early days of acoustic recording onto cylinder or disc. The early recording equipment was very limited in frequency range, essentially from around 500hz to 1500hz and the Stroh instruments put out most their sound energy in that frequency band, mainly because they were using the same horn and vibrating diaphragm technology as the recording equipment. Here is a friend, Marcus Holden, recording a wax cylinder in 2014 with my then work colleague Gerry O'Neill driving an Edison Standard D cylinder player/recorder. I was doing a very good job of supervising.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	stroh.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	177.3 KB 
ID:	163117

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Graham McDonald For This Useful Post:

    billhay4Fire 

  9. #6
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    0.8 pc from NGC224, upstairs
    Posts
    9,176

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Very steampunk. At last an instrument that has a whisky still attached to it - does it get any better?
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  10. The following members say thank you to Bertram Henze for this post:

    Fire 

  11. #7
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Frederick,MD
    Posts
    2,003

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    I think someone was drinking too much Stroh's Beer when they invented that.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

  12. The following members say thank you to Paul Busman for this post:


  13. #8

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    My ears!! OUCH!!

    This is more pleasing.

  14. #9

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    It basically works like an old gramophone or Victrola. But instead of the needle vibrating in the groove of the record it is vibrated by the bridge.
    The bridge basically connects a pin the is anchored to the center of the plastic or celluloid disc inside the round chamber. The other side connects to a horn for amplification.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Stroh sound box.JPG 
Views:	19 
Size:	60.8 KB 
ID:	163154

    This is what the inside of it looks like for a Victrola
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	dia-5-exhib.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	745.9 KB 
ID:	163155

    Here is a page that delves into the concept.
    https://www.antiquephono.org/sound-s...d-r-j-wakeman/

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Fire For This Useful Post:


  16. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    24,180

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire View Post
    My ears!! OUCH!!

    This is more pleasing.
    This is a modern replica sold by Lark in the Morning, a west coast US store. You can see the maker's initials, "KL" on the resonator. There was one in auction here. I am not sure if that is why it sounds more pleasing or possibly that that second fiddler has a better sense of tone control.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	larkinam_stroh.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	88.7 KB 
ID:	163158 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	944623_view 02_02.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	210.2 KB 
ID:	163159

    On a few of Tom Waits' CDs he has a woman who sounds like a classical player playing a Stroh and it has a very haunting horn-like sound. My sounds like a violin with nasal congestion.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior

  17. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:

    Fire 

  18. #11

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire View Post
    Also, there is a video of a guy who made one recently out of a ukulele and an old bugle.
    He shows some detailed shots halfway through

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	strohuke15.jpg 
Views:	158 
Size:	44.2 KB 
ID:	163103
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	strohuke.jpg 
Views:	92 
Size:	83.8 KB 
ID:	163104

    That's my friend Clifford! I've played this uke and it sounds pretty good, somewhat like a resonator instrument but with added madness

    He used an old gramophine soundbox and then reworked the bugle around it. From memory he made a through neck (as it were) to attach all the bits to.

  19. The following members say thank you to ProfChris for this post:

    Fire 

  20. #12

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Small world.
    I would love a classical guitar made out of a french horn or something in between that and a tuba. What's that called a euphonium?
    But, it would have to be a beater I could bring to my buddy's week long lakeside bacchanal.
    I must admit I am not at a point in my life where I could devote endless hours to this, but I could re-purpose something.
    Maybe a solid body electric classical or one of those useless silent travel guitars.
    This is just a crappy mock up.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	tub guitar.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	261.2 KB 
ID:	163169

  21. #13

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfChris View Post
    That's my friend Clifford! I've played this uke and it sounds pretty good, somewhat like a resonator instrument but with added madness

    He used an old gramophine soundbox and then reworked the bugle around it. From memory he made a through neck (as it were) to attach all the bits to.
    Can you ask him to post some close up pics of how he attached the bridge to the sound box to the horn?

  22. #14

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    I'll see what I can do.

  23. #15

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I am not sure if that is why it sounds more pleasing or possibly that that second fiddler has a better sense of tone control.
    It looks like the modern Lark phonofiddle has a slightly larger resonator. Interesting. I've wanted to buy one of these from Lark In The Morning since I first saw them in the catalog about fifteen years ago.
    martinjacobson.com - Jacobson mandolins

  24. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Marcellus, NY
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	9E770520-309A-4917-B924-DABB18F6EA8E.jpeg 
Views:	20 
Size:	649.3 KB 
ID:	163192
    Quote Originally Posted by Fire View Post
    Small world.
    I would love a classical guitar made out of a french horn or something in between that and a tuba. What's that called a euphonium?
    But, it would have to be a beater I could bring to my buddy's week long lakeside bacchanal. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	9E770520-309A-4917-B924-DABB18F6EA8E.jpeg 
Views:	20 
Size:	649.3 KB 
ID:	163192
    I must admit I am not at a point in my life where I could devote endless hours to this, but I could re-purpose something.
    Maybe a solid body electric classical or one of those useless silent travel guitars.
    This is just a crappy mock up.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	tub guitar.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	261.2 KB 
ID:	163169
    Could you use one of these?

  25. #17

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    I think I could definitely use one of them.
    I don't know brass names.
    What is the one next to the tuba called?
    That's the one I think would be the right size.

  26. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Marcellus, NY
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    The large horn is a baritone. The one next to it is called an Alto Horn

  27. #19
    Registered User Ausdoerrt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    This is a modern replica sold by Lark in the Morning, a west coast US store. You can see the maker's initials, "KL" on the resonator. There was one in auction here. I am not sure if that is why it sounds more pleasing or possibly that that second fiddler has a better sense of tone control.
    It looks like he's playing in a location with good acoustics, which likely compensates the sound quality more than a little.
    Mandolins: The Loar LM-220; Lyon & Healy Special A #103; Epiphone Mandobird VIII
    Violins: 19th century German Steiner copy; NS Design WAV 4; NS Design WAV 5; Reiter Alien II 7-string
    Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/Ausdoerrt

  28. #20
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    24,180

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Here's the Stroh Violin sold by Lark in the Morning.

    The one in this video (on the Lark site) sounds closer to mine with its nasal sound tho that sound clip linked below it sounds really nasal:

    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior

  29. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Round Rock, TX
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	grinch-instrument1.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	54.2 KB 
ID:	163239

    Very Dr. Suess.

  30. #22
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,030
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Most of this info is already covered.. but
    I have two Trumpet Violins . Both are from Romania. We use them for some tunes in our klezmer band. They sound, on a good day... like a Victrola and they often sound harsh and loud. The sound comes out the trumpet and the player does not hear how loud the thing is. We have fun pointing them at each other, ha, ha.

    There are whole festivals held outdoors in Romania all with trumpet violins, violas and cellos. I can imagine the sound of dozens of these things playing together. Yikes.

    Somewhere there is a photo of the New York Philharmonic playing these things and recording into a wax cylinder machine.

    Violins did not record very well on wax cylinder machines, and once the microphone was invented the instruments were no longer needed. I think Stroh invented the instrument in order to record violins.

    Many folk players got them because they were cheap and sturdy. Julia Clifford from Ireland is in a well known photo playing her Stroh violin with her brother Dennis Murphy.

    We have a track on our CD with a Stroh violin. I'll see if I can get a clip. Yes. Track 12 Hassidic Wedding Dances. https://eisnersklezmorim.com/our-music-cd

    There is more about the instruments on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroh_violin

    Last edited by DougC; Dec-19-2017 at 1:40pm.
    A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

  31. The following members say thank you to DougC for this post:


  32. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Port Townsend, WA
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Credit where credit is due:
    The transducer that converts diaphragm vibration to sound waves in air goes back to Edison, I believe. The diaphragm of the "reproducer" that is linked to the needle of a (non-electric) Victrola phonograph stems from his patent from around 1877. The idea must have passed from Edison to Stroh to Dopyera, where it persists to this day in Nationals and Dobros.

    This photo shows the scheme:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RecordNeedleDiaphragm400h.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	28.6 KB 
ID:	163253

  33. #24

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    Clifford is a little busy at present but has sent me a couple of photos of the gramophone uke soundbox. Here is his explanation of how it works:

    "In the photos you can see how the aluminium saddle, which is like a short, fat, 'T' shape, is 'floating' in the bed of silicone contained in the modified valve body (the bridge). The upright of this 'T' extends through the underside of the bridge and bears on the needle-holder clamp of the soundbox, which I modified to include an adjusting screw so that the soundbox diaphragm could be very gently 'pre-stressed', but only after the strings had been brought up to tension. The soundbox is mounted on a brass adaptor ring I machined to suit the 'input-stage' of the horn amplifier."

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soundbox2 copy 2.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	503.5 KB 
ID:	163283
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soundbox copy 2.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	538.2 KB 
ID:	163284

    To the engineers among you, that's probably all you need to know to build one. To the rest of us, it clearly says "find an engineer"!

  34. #25
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,030
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Stroh Guitar, ukulele. Gramophone-Horn- Resonator

    This is a variation, and a clever one, of the trumpet violin mechanics.

    The trumpet violins have a little rod that sits under the foot of the bridge. It vibrates the disk.

    This design vibrates from the middle of the bridge by 'floating' in the silicone.

    I'm impressed with the overall strength of the tube structure.

    And look at thoes strings! Graphite strings, my guess. Pretty expensive stuff.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soundbox2 copy 2.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	503.5 KB 
ID:	163283
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soundbox copy 2.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	538.2 KB 
ID:	163284

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •