Robert Hicks Harpsichords

Information on the instruments I build


Maintenance-general principles and specific techniques
Completed  Instruments

Completed Instruments Available

 17th-century French double-manual, in the original configuration of the 1667 anon. in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  Built in 2011. BB/GG-c3; at 415 and non-transposable.  2x8', 1x4'; no buff; strung entirely in brass.  Oil-rubbed walnut case and stand (the stand is similar to the stands under my large French doubles), with a soundboard painting after the original and an upside-down layer-cake parchment rose. Naturals in grenadilla, sharps in sycamore. Wooden jacks.

    This is a small, lively instrument with a warm tone and a good blend in the choirs, including a strongly-voiced 4'. The light framing (somewhat strengthened to hold the string tension of 415) and light stringing in brass of the original result in a smooth and full-blooming tone. The treble is sweet while the mid-range is reedy, with a powerful bass.  Currently voiced in Canada goose.




    Flemish double, built in 1990.  GG-d3; transposable between 415 and 440 with no loss of notes.  2x8', 1x4'; buff on the back 8'. Wooden jacks.  Painted blue outside, and with Flemish papers. Soundboard painting in a Flemish style. This is the instrument in the photograph on my Home Page.

    This has been my workhorse for two decades, mostly used in concert situations.  Nearly all the professional performers who have used it have praised it.  It's voiced for concert hall playing but has a comfortable action.  It has been through the wars and there are soundboard repairs, but it speaks with character and fullness. It was repainted, restrung, and revoiced in 2002.  A recording of Pachelbel's organ music by Andrus Madsen, on Raven, includes it.




    Italian after Grimaldi, built in 2007.  GG-c3, transposable 392-415-440 with no loss of notes.  2x8'.  Jacks in beechwood. Case and soundboard in quartered maple. Parchment rose. Naturals in boxwood, sharps in bubinga. In new condition.

    This is used in concert continuo situations and has a powerful voice while the maple soundboard gives a warm tone. The Grimaldi plucking points also give sweetness to the tone - it is not a Renaissance Italian.  The range is sufficient for early Bach.  It's an inner-case Italian, so it is lightweight. Currently in Canada goose quill.




French double after Stehlin 1760. This looks the same as the picture on the home page: painted blue,
with walnut stand and a soundboard painting after the original.  FF-f3; 2x8',1x4'; buff.
A full and deep French sound.  Built 2012.  $30,000.




Robert Hicks Harpsichords
314 Hall Road, Lincoln, Vermont. 05443
802 453 3996...