eBay of the Day: Hohner Guitaret

If you saw Stevie Wonder at Live 8, hammering out 'Higher Ground' and 'Superstition' on a battered old Clavinet D6 and Boss AW-2 Auto Wah pedal, you'll know that we have a lot to thank Hohner for. The company was founded in 1857 and was the first to sell harmonicas. They made the harmonica Abraham Lincoln used to carry around, and gave Wally Schirra the tiny one he played on the Gemini IV spacecraft in 1965. But I'd never heard of Hohner's Guitaret. It was invented by Ernst Zacharias, who went on to develop the Pianet and Clavinet. The only English description I can find is this: "It's a kind of reed autoharp. It had buttons to select chords and a lever to activate the plectrum mechanism, and was intended to replace the rhythm guitar in dance bands" (via). It plugs into a guitar amp, and may sound a bit like an electric thumb piano. Now, one has turned up on German eBay item #7335307871. It comes in the original box, looks like it's in good nick, ships worldwide, accepts Paypal and is currently only €20. If you buy it, do let me know what it's like... UPDATE: Not THAT rare, perhaps: item #7337947775 is another one!

Is that the first harmonica? Really strange... ^^ LOL... Oh, nice blog, by the way ^^
None of your ebay links work for me. I'm using Firefox, with Adblock installed. IT tells me the connection was refused when trying to connect to a site that sounds like an ad server.

I know you probably get referral cash from these links, which is cool.. but how about putting the item number at the end of the post for the rest of us? :)
Wow, that thing looks pretty bizarre. I'd love to hear some sound clips/samples. eBay page says it sounds somewhere between a banjo and a guitar. Interesting...
lol. referral links for ebay mentions. it's a race to the bottom, people
I have this thing called a hohner cembalet which has metal reeds like a wurlitzer but with plucking action keys like a clav, it's what the beatles used for the song "don't let me down" among others
Clavinet, Cembalet, Pianet, Guitaret - what else? Vionet? Euphoninet? What a cool company Hohner turns out to be. I love that they dared to invent and market new instruments but the Guitaret really takes the biscuit. I want one! And I want a bass Guitaret. This thing just looks so right - though it needs a bit of mother of pearl plastic to really set it off. Actually, this layout of chord buttons and 'plectrum' bar would also be a cool format for a midi controller - plugged into a laptop, of course...
Anonymous wrote: "lol. referral links for ebay mentions. it's a race to the bottom, people"

Dude, if you want to set up your own blog, write it every night after work and get paid nothing, feel free. Just don't come reading my stuff with that attitude.
Tom wrote: "Dude, if you want to set up your own blog, write it every night after work and get paid nothing, feel free. Just don't come reading my stuff with that attitude."

Yes! That made my day. I'm a daily reader of musicthing, and the only thing that frustrates me about this blog are the amount of jerkwad comments (usually by Anonymous posters) to your rad posts.

I suppose it comes with the territory, but it's still bothersome.

Anyway, not to get too offtopic with this post, I'll also throw in that I need a hohner guitaret. .. possibly play it with my teeth .. and light it on fire at the end of a performance .. but then put it out quickly before it is too damaged ..
With the thumb one swipes over the surface of the housing across the tops of the 'reeds' that stick out just slightly. The 'button' in the neck of the instrument is a damper/sustain. Inside it's all very simple.. just the matrix of 'reeds' with windings of a coil around them (like a stretched electro-magnetic guitar pick-up!)- the coil is directly connected to the three pin output plug, hence the need of an amplifier.
the dampler pushes a grid with small blocks of felt against/away from each 'reed'
am on the road at the moment; otherwise could have sent a view of the inside of mine.
it's a wonderfull hilariously simple instrument !
More like a sophisticated kalimba then? When you get back off the road, I'm sure we'd all love to hear an MP3.
Hi folks,

I came across your page by chance surfing the web for the hohner guitaret. at the moment I am working on a soundtrack for a friend's upcoming feature film and used a lot of guitaret on one track. you can check it out at:
Here are some short Hohner Guitaret mp3 samples simply recorded in GarageBand:

You can hear one on Lance Norris & The Dogtrack Gravy's "Good Morning". It slams.
here's another one:

Hohner Guitaret audio snipet at youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zaj3miIVRZY
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