Anyone else ordered / got a Heikki Rouso 11 string in E?

Discussion of all aspects of multi-string guitars, namely those with 7 or more strings.
Conall
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am
Location: Scotland

Anyone else ordered / got a Heikki Rouso 11 string in E?

Post by Conall » Thu May 17, 2018 4:19 pm

Dear Fellow Multistringers,

Anybody here have an 11 string Heikki Rousu pitched in E so EBGDAE with 7-11 = DCBAG below? Or similar guitar by him tuned similarly or differently?

I know his 11 string Bolin type alto guitars pitched in G are well respected - I'm particularly interested in comments from owners / former owners of his other types of multistring guitars.

Thanks,

C.

anathema196

Re: Anyone else ordered / got a Heikki Rouso 11 string in E?

Post by anathema196 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:47 pm

I purchased one of Heikki Rousos 13 string guitars and have it tuned to d-minor. I went with the below for it's specs and also asked him to do a swan neck. The basses are fairly powerful and i'm still getting used to managing them by dampening. It's a great guitar and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from him again and I felt the prices were reasonable. The next closest 13 luthier was $1500 more than I paid and I saw few Thames models that were up there in price as well. Have you checked out the videos on youtube?

Soundboard - Spruce
Neck - Mahogny
Fingerboard - Ebony
Tuners - Rubner
Finish - Shellac
Back and sides - East Indian rosewood

If you have any specific questions let me know.

Conall
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Anyone else ordered / got a Heikki Rouso 11 string in E?

Post by Conall » Tue May 22, 2018 9:26 pm

anathema196 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:47 pm
I purchased one of Heikki Rousos 13 string guitars and have it tuned to d-minor. I went with the below for it's specs and also asked him to do a swan neck. The basses are fairly powerful and i'm still getting used to managing them by dampening. It's a great guitar and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from him again and I felt the prices were reasonable. The next closest 13 luthier was $1500 more than I paid and I saw few Thames models that were up there in price as well. Have you checked out the videos on youtube?

Soundboard - Spruce
Neck - Mahogny
Fingerboard - Ebony
Tuners - Rubner
Finish - Shellac
Back and sides - East Indian rosewood

If you have any specific questions let me know.
Thank you very much for your reply.

My guitar will have similar materials.

I asked for 3 long floating basses on a (slightly) more conventional headstock rather than them over the fingerboard (because I was told by Heikki that it would be better sonically & the neck would be lighter). His recommended design uses conventional 4-6th strings for the lowest basses but because of their longer length they sound lower. He said they should also sound better because otherwise they would have to be fatter strings.

Is the swan neck the same principle? What are the other reasons for the swan neck? I preferred the appearance of the more conventional neck I ordered to the swan neck. But are there sonic reasons as well as cosmetic ones?

I'm relieved to hear you like your guitar. It is a bit of a gamble ordering a guitar without having tried one in person but I know Heikki comes highly recommended and the YouTube videos by Andreas Koch and others look & sound impressive. The facts that Heikki is a bit of a specialist in extended range guitars and that, as you say, his prices seem very reasonable also helped me decide on commissioning a guitar from him.

Please keep me updated on how you are getting on with your guitar.

Thanks again!

anathema196

Re: Anyone else ordered / got a Heikki Rouso 11 string in E?

Post by anathema196 » Wed May 23, 2018 12:24 pm

Is the swan neck the same principle? What are the other reasons for the swan neck? I preferred the appearance of the more conventional neck I ordered to the swan neck. But are there sonic reasons as well as cosmetic ones?
I'm not sure if it added any additional sonic qualities but it was more of an aesthetic choice for me. I was never a fan of the giant headstocks and I had liked the swan necks that I saw on some old 13 course arch lutes and on the Michael Thames model. Heikki had mentioned in an e-mail that he quite liked the way the bass strings sounded on my swan neck. I have frets all the way up to the 8th string with strings 9-13 floating above it with the basses using A5 and E6 strings.

He sent me a picture with the different tensions that I should use for each string for the d-minor tuning but had said that if I wanted tune the first 6 to standard tuning, regular tension strings should work fine. I had originally purchased this guitar to play Bach's lute suites and all of Weiss's lute suites but have since then had a guy transcribe some non-baroque piano music for it.

I think what surprised me the most was how comfortable it is to play. I was thinking that with the neck being larger than normal that it would agitate my wrists, but that hasn't been an issue thus far. If I can figure it out later, I'll try to get some pictures uploaded.

Conall
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Anyone else ordered / got a Heikki Rouso 11 string in E?

Post by Conall » Wed May 23, 2018 12:58 pm

anathema196 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 12:24 pm
Is the swan neck the same principle? What are the other reasons for the swan neck? I preferred the appearance of the more conventional neck I ordered to the swan neck. But are there sonic reasons as well as cosmetic ones?
I'm not sure if it added any additional sonic qualities but it was more of an aesthetic choice for me. I was never a fan of the giant headstocks and I had liked the swan necks that I saw on some old 13 course arch lutes and on the Michael Thames model. Heikki had mentioned in an e-mail that he quite liked the way the bass strings sounded on my swan neck. I have frets all the way up to the 8th string with strings 9-13 floating above it with the basses using A5 and E6 strings.

He sent me a picture with the different tensions that I should use for each string for the d-minor tuning but had said that if I wanted tune the first 6 to standard tuning, regular tension strings should work fine. I had originally purchased this guitar to play Bach's lute suites and all of Weiss's lute suites but have since then had a guy transcribe some non-baroque piano music for it.

I think what surprised me the most was how comfortable it is to play. I was thinking that with the neck being larger than normal that it would agitate my wrists, but that hasn't been an issue thus far. If I can figure it out later, I'll try to get some pictures uploaded.
Yes, I'd love to see the pictures, thanks. I think 8 fretted strings are a good idea - any more are hard to fret anyway & any less would have fingering & chromatic implications & I'm fairly used to 8 over the fingerboard.

We must have a similar tastes regarding the music we play on the 11 string.

Re: piano music - that's much harder on any guitar given our restricted range (even with 5 extra strings). Ideally we would need a higher 1st string & probably the gitarrone that Heikki made for someone wanting to play piano music. An extra pair of hands would be handy too!

Thanks again for the information.

Return to “Multi-string Classical Guitars”