A harpsichord changes over time, at a certain point you will find that it doesn´t function as well anymore as it did when it was new. This is to a certain extend due to a little wear and tear of felt and plectra and to the string tension on the case. A more significant factor is a change in humidity.

I make my instruments at 55% relative humidity and glue the soundboard in at 40% - 45%.

When the humidity goes below 55% the wood starts shrinking; above it, it expands (the soundboard starts shrinking below 40% - 45% and expands above this level). The effects of this dimensional changes can be compensated by raising or lowering the keyboard and changing the on and off position of the registers. In this page I will describe with pictures and video how to make those changes next to other maintenance issues like putting on a string, cutting a plectrum and putting in a damper.

Basic maintenance is something everyone can do.

All the hardware I use, strings, plectra, damper felt, tuning hammers, tuning pins, knives etc. I buy from Marc Vogel in Jestetten (

MAINTENANCE MANUAL (to open the page click on a link below)

I: Checking the instrument

II: Voicing (cutting plectra)

III: Changing a string/ changing a damper

IV: Solving problems


Download stringing lists:

  1. stringing list G.B. Giusti 1681.pdf

  2. stringing list Ruckers grand ravalement.pdf

  3. stringing list A. Ruckers 1640 and I.I. Couchet 1679.pdf

How to transpose:

  1. click here for information