Poll - Flat board or Resonance box?
In the end, resonance box would be my choice for sound. It's an earthy, round sound that can be heard in a room with other acoustic instruments.
And it's worth saying that there is a wide spectrum of quality for box kalimbas. Dead tines ARE the worst! I have the good fortune to be able to say almost all my kalimbas are Hugh Tracey (I also have some Gecko, and similar quality instruments purchased on Amazon), fairly pricey but worth every penny. An African instrument, made with beautiful African wood, made in Africa. They've been in the game longer than anyone, and it shows.
For buying a budget instrument, trying a new brand, or taking a chance on tines, I would probably put my bet on a flat board.
I like all my tines working so I like flat board better.
For my first, I shall try a Kmise with sound box, (just ordered it today).
Kmise makes quite a variety of musical instruments of reasonably good quality, I have 2 of their chromatic harmonicas, & some of my friends from my ukulele forum say their ukes are pretty good for the money too.
(I hope it doesn't arrive with 'dead tines' as some of you have unfortunately had from your purchases.)
My Kmise (hollow 17 tines) has just arrived, unpacked & tried the notes, just one at the extreme not quite sounding right, (but it is cold, so that might be part of it, had to give it a go straight away though). 😉
I've read a lot about flat-board and hollow kalimba's, and went for a flat-board.
I like the way how you can play softly, specially because I usually practice in the early morning when the wife is still asleep. And as my grandfather used to say: "let sleeping wives lie" 😮
@frankv Your grandfather couldn't be wiser - I have to give him that.
What type of flat board do you practice on? it looks very interesting
It's a home-made kalimba.
Tines were ordered from Amazon and the wood is pine. I've ordered a nice piece of oak because I found on the web that a hard wood gives better sound. But when it arrived it had a big crack in it. Didn't want to wait for a new one to arrive so took some pine wood I had lying around and made my kalimba. Did the tree and birds image with pyrography (another hobby of mine) and stained the wood.
I must say, to a beginners ear, it sounds not that bad. Despite the soft wood
@alpobc I don’t think that would work. I’m no expert but I feel like the reason that a hollow kalimba has problems with the high notes/outer tines especially is that you get too close to the edge, the hollow box is what resonates and that works best in the middle.
No I believe the outer notes don't resonate as much because the notes are much higher. Higher notes don't ring for as long as lower notes on any instrument.