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Post new topic 24 String thing..... IT
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Author Topic:  24 String thing..... IT
Michael Hogan


Post  Posted 22 Jun 2022 8:25 pm    
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G'day All, Need some help and or opinions, research, hunches and theories about this one.

I purchased a very large and heavy 24 string "lap steel" guitar? A weird piece of equipment needing sorting out and maybe a new owner capable of playing it.

Listed at auction as:- AUSTRALIAN MADE 24 STRING GUITAR BY KEALOHA CIRCA 1970.

IT (that is what I call IT) has individual hand (or pedal) levers for each string, some of the levers are either missing or broken. There are holes in the ends of the levers and holes below each lever through the body that make me think pedals may have been involved. IT has a felt backing and no leg mounting brackets. Some of the letters for KEALOHA were missing but fell out of IT today.
Not convinced it was made in Australia. Any Luthiers out there have an opinion?

I have my doubts it was made in the 1970s as IT has an amphenol output connector and generally looks older.

The history that I have learned so far,

IT's case has a Delta Airways sticker with JFK as the destination. The owners name was S Weingarten. I searched and found that there was a Steve Weingarten that played in a US band call Elizabeth from 1968 to 1970. Unfortunately Steve passed away in 2007. I contacted a surviving member of the band and was told that Steve had a daughter living in South Australia. Maybe someone here knows or knows of Steve's daughter?

Any opinions on the origin of IT? Has anyone seen levers like IT has? I would assume they would not have been specifically made just for IT.

Like I said any comments, opinions, research, hunches and theories about IT will be very welcome.

Reference:-

[Elizabeth (band) - Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_(band))




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Stefan Robertson


From:
Hertfordshire, UK
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 1:41 am    
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I am not sure if it is a lap steel guitar

It looks like a German zither with levers(pedals) that are more similar to a Harp.

Neither approach requires a bar. I could of course be entirely wrong but I am not sure there is a need for a bar at all.

I think its played
both hands picking and dampen the string
Right hand sharpens the note with the lever - possible pedal attachment.

But I'm just guessing based on the concept of the Harp and look of the Zither.
The design to be cool looks more like a guitar but I am not sure its played that way. But I'm just guessing.
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 4:23 am    
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That is an interesting instrument for sure. While I'm not sure it is optimally designed for such...there are still some indications that it may have been intended for using a bar. First, the name/marketing of "Kealoha", very very Hawaiian (its a proper name and also means "the love" or "the aloha"), and also, the fretboard is there, and assumedly functionally accurate. Now, it could possibly still be useful without a bar if it was intended to play harmonics/flageolets, kind of like that vietnamese monochord instrument (Dan Bau)...but then I'd think you'd only have markers for certain spots.

The spacing makes me think this is kind of intended to be a doubleneck guitar but compressed into a single neck. Hard to tell from the pictures, but I think the two 12 string sets don't perfectly connect up with the same spacing?

Still that's a lot of strings Smile
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 8:59 am    
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i wish it was mine......
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 9:08 am    
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This instrument has no doubt caused many sleepless nights in whoever's owned its life.
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David Becker

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 9:39 am    
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The string gauge progressions for each set of 12 are interesting: "bottom" 12 appear to have the heaviest gauges in the middle of the set, while the other 12 have the more usual heavy gauges nearest the player and decreasing away from the player. Might that give a clue as to how and/or for what it was played?
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 11:31 am    
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Yeah, with a closer look at the headstock I would back away from my earlier suggestion that the "necks" were separated...it looks like there are two broken strings on the front neck (#10 and #12) and the nut slots are evenly spaced.

So strings 1-4 are light gauge, strings 5-12 (or so) are increasing from heavy to light gauge, string 13 looks light gauge and strings 14-24 are increasing from heavy to light guage.

Maybe some kind of reverse reentrant with those light gauge strings to make various chords? At this point there are so many possibilities it would be hard to know. They remind me a bit of sitar chikari strings (but them stringing this up for hindustani classical is still pretty unlikely).
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Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 5:42 pm    
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since it has fret markings it was obviously intended to be played with a bar or some moving sliding object to change pitch.

You will need to spend many hours playing with the levers and perhaps changing strings to come up with a practical musical instrument. I suggest an 8 or 10 string C6th or A6th tuning on the center strings. Remove the other strings and once you are happy with the center tuning, start adding other notes that will give you advanced chords in combination with some of the center strings.

Alternately you could set it up with 2 or 3 completely different tunings so you could jump from one to the other and cover many advanced chord progressions.
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2022 7:26 pm    
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The levers…..that’s the ticket to the instrument. There is no way you can use them one at a time while your playing,so….there must be a preset function to change tunings.

Can you explain exactly what the levers do? Are there any steps that you can set. Will the levers lock in place somehow?
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