I do like the sound, feel, and appearance of the Sansula Deluxe over the Sansula Renaissance – but the goatskin head may not be preferred by vegetarians. The goat skin of the deluxe also responds to changes in humidity.
This is a truly delicate sounding instrument. Imagine going into a secret room that nobody but you knows about, a place where your soul can be renewed as you surround your mind and heart with mystical beauty. That’s what playing this instrument feels like!
The Sansula’s standard tuning is an A minor chord. This tuning is a double-edge sword – you will not be able to play any songs you might think of playing on it, but on the other hand, EVERYTHING you play will have a unique mystical and haunting beauty, whether you know anything about music or not.
Listen to these sound clips:
Listen to this sound comparison among Pocket, Renaissance, and Deluxe Sansulas. I find the Deluxe Sansula to be a bit louder than the Renaissance, with a slightly deeper “wah” and a slightly darker sound. Most people cannot tell the difference in sound, though.
We have completed three hard copy books, one for Standard Am tuning, one for Beautiful E tuning, and one for Heavenly A tuning, and have a download for the C Major Sansula tuning.
The Deluxe Sansula is made with a goat skin drum head and is much more robust than the standard Sansula, which we do not sell. (The regular Sansula’s head can be easily broken, and the goat skin head is much more difficult to break.) As the skin is slightly thicker than the regular Sansula, the Deluxe Sansula has a sound which is darker and less brilliant.
The coolest thing about the Sansula is the way it produces the “wah wah” sound. On the Hugh Tracey kalimba, the wah is produced by covering and uncovering the sound holes to change the resonant frequency of the sound box. The Sansula is mounted on the head of a small drum which serves as the resonant cavity, and the resonance is altered when you hold it firmly against a flat surface or if you tilt it off of that surface. (Please don’t beat on the drum.) So, you get the wah-wah effect by lifting it up and putting it back down on a table, or a board or book on your lap.