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S-shaped crank options

A straight brass crank is standard on the Minstrel. We offer an S-shaped steel crank as an esthetic option. The S shape is the traditional design. The handle on the S-shaped crank features a blind bearing, so that there is no hole in the end of the handle that rests in the player's palm. There is no functional difference between the straight crank and the S-shaped one. Some players maintain that the S shape provides a "springiness" not found in the straight bar stock. We're skeptical about how much a piece of steel or brass of this thickness is going to flex in this situation, provided the amount of force the player has available to bring to bear. The center of balance is the same for both cranks. (We haven't had the opportunity to perform blind tests.)

The threads on the straight crank and the S-shaped crank are the same, so the S-shaped crank can be ordered and installed by the player at a later time if desired. However, the S-shaped cranks are usually a little thicker than the straight cranks, so the threading on the end of the shaft will not completely fill the threaded hole. If you want an S-shaped crank, we suggest ordering it with the instrument so the shaft and crank will be matched.

Volksgurdy with S-shaped crank


Minstrel with straight crank


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Alden and Cali Hackmann
Olympic Musical Instruments

Beati illi qui in circulum circumeunt, fient enim magnae rotae.

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