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John Challis (harpsichord)

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As son of a jeweler, metal work is expected in Mr. Challis' instruments, and handmade brass hinges were a signature detail. His early instruments were traditionally constructed of traditional materials, but they evolved more radically than anyone else's. By the late 1950s his instruments still looked traditional from the outside, but the frame, wrestplank, soundboard and bridges were all aluminum, with only the outer case being wood. Of his soundboard construction, Mr. Challis said, "This is my only secret."

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