Conversion of a Kora mast: from rings to pegs

Changing of traditional Kora necks (with leather rings -konsos-) to modern tuning necks (with mechanical pegs).
I don’t need your Kora physically to do the job, just send me information about the Kora you want to update and once ready I will send you the mast with simple instructions on how to mount it with online support also.

Contact me with no problem to tell me your needs and for having also an idea of the peculiarities of your case.

Note: I built also 24 strings masts.

MAST Falóo

Weight : 1 Kg. (wood density 850 Kg./m3) + (depending on your pegs choice) : 450 / 750 / 850 gr.
Wood : Quality woods always used (ask for).
Design standard : Backside groove (rail) visible.
Price : 300 eur. + shipping costs.

MAST Falóo KMH by KORA Manding Harps

Weight : 1 Kg. (wood density 850 Kg./m3) + (depending on your pegs choice) : 450 / 750 / 850 gr.
Wood : Quality woods always used (ask for).
Design KMH : Backside groove (rail) NOT visible. More similar appearance to a traditional Kora neck
 but using machine heads.
Price : 350 eur. + shipping costs.

Advantages and disadvantages of a mast with pegs

The main advantage is the ease way and the speed which you can tune your Kora and be ready to start playing (very convenient when you have limited time and/ or when you are Live). In the same line a neck with mechanical tuners is very convenient if you need to change the tuning of your Kora according to an open repertoire; a traditional Kora is usually tuned in a fixed mode (F Major) and occasionally an octave (2 strings to be adjusted) is changed to move to another mode (C Major). Another fact is that it is more stable during and after tuning. Also a neck with machine heads ensures the perfect alignment and spacing of the strings because it allows to adjust more precisely the resting point of them.

The main disadvantage is that it is heavier than a traditional neck, the sum of all the pegs (22 units = 850 gr. almost one Kilo added if they are entirely metallic) is noticeable. A traditional stick uses leather rings that weigh “nothing.” The grooving of the stick (rail) for the pegs hollows out wood extracting weight, but still the difference is notable. Another less obvious aspect is that the sound does not travel the same on a perforated stick (pegs and groove) than on a solid stick (traditional rings); The transmission of the bass is deeper and overall the sound resonates in a more “round” way inside the calabash.

The sum of the pros and cons makes the majority to opt for the mechanical tuning Koras, both initiated and professional, finding more practicality.

The mechanical tuning necks that I built (KMH) always look for the smallest difference possible from a traditional neck with rings, in terms of physics (weight and balances) as in aesthetics. Depending on the type of pegs you choose the 850 gr. weight can be lowed down minimizing the difference. And in the aesthetic aspect, the “Faloó KMH” model neck returns the aesthetics feeling of the traditional solid mast.

 

Kora Luthier. Arpas Mandingas de África Occidental · contacto kora.manding.harps@gmail.com