Russia's Soma Laboratory has built a new instrument called Dvina that's inspired by the sounds of classical Hindu music. Vibrations from the strings are picked up by a powerful magnet buried inside the wooden neck, the signal boosted and modulated and then output through an amplifier. And the result is hauntingly beautiful.
The Dvina is a two string wooden instrument that's rested against the shoulder and features a cross piece that can be adjusted for different playing positions. It can be bowed or picked/strummed, and breaks down into component parts for between play transport.
There's no chambered body to naturally amplify the acoustic sound so the Dvina needs to be paired with an instrument amplifier. But there's no conventional coil/magnet or piezo pickup system as such, vibrations are registered directly using a neodymium magnet hidden in the neck, the output signal gets boosted by a step-up transformer before being sent through effects pedals and onto an amp.
There is a built-in pre-amp though, which rocks tap delay and a soft distortion, help to give the instrument its own special sound. That neck of 88 cm (34.6 in) long with a scale length of 52 cm (20.4 in), there are no frets though markings on the neck should help with finger placement.
"Two sticks, two strings, no frets, it's as simple as possible, everything unnecessary has been removed," said Soma's Vlad Kreimer. ""It's only you and your spirit, mastery and imagination. This is a very simple but powerful instrument, with a strong connection to your body."
Soma Laboratory is currently at the prototype stage of development, and is seeking feedback from musicians before going into production. You can see and hear the Dvina tuned to C# and G# in the video below.
Source: Soma Laboratory
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