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Webster Harps

  • J
    J I

    Does anyone have a Webster harp? If so, could you give me your review on it? Do you like it, how is the quality, sound, etc.?

    replies to "Webster Harps"
    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      Yes, I have a Webster Cecelia in Walnut. It is brand new. I just got it new in June. I used it on a 4-week long gig playing a Renaissance faire this summer, and it behaved beautifully in many different types of weather. I play it regularly, and I keep it tuned. It holds it tune fairly well for a new harp. The nice thing about Webster harps is that Bill Webster is a very good luthier who wants his customers to be happy. He stands behind his products. I had a pinging Camac lever. When I engaged it, it pinged. He worked on adjusting it for a long time and fixed it. He lives about 15 miles from me, so this is a plus. I believe my harp was the first one he installed Camacs on. My teacher also has a McFall, and she has not had one bit of trouble with it -- also Camacs -- and really loves it. The tension is on the "concert tension" side which I like, and the sound from bottom to top is even and quite lovely. It is a very full sounding harp. I had a guy stop who runs a music store in our area while I was playing outside at the faire, and he could hear it from what would be the equivalent of 2 long city blocks away -- with a cacophony of other noise going on. Of course, I don't play like a wimp, but the harp really sings out when you want it to. They have a rather wide soundboard at the base. The upper notes ring more beautifully than you can imagine. If you want any more information, just pop me an email.

      Briggsie

    • Chris
      Chris Asmann

      I have a 'Madame Cadillac' model in walnut, also with Camac levers. I bought it in October, but it had been strung before the summer.

      If you saw this model at any of the events Mr. Webster attended over the summer, you likely saw this specific individual instrument. I'm new to playing, but everyone with experience who plays this harp is amazed at how much sound it produces, and how alive it sounds. It's strung with gut strings, a factor if replacement string cost is a concern. I wanted this model because my other harp (being repaired) is an early SA Erard. I wanted to have an instrument similar in size and tension to the Erard to learn on while I wait.

      I have not had a single problem with it. it holds it's tuning very well. Mr. Webster gives you a 5 year warrantee on the harp, as good as you can get from L&H or anyone else. I tried the harp before buying it, he graciously met me half way along the 600 miles between us and brought the harp.

      I'm thrilled I made this choice. It's nice to know this expensive purchase is supporting a craftsman, and I have yet to see anything that sounds as nice or plays as nice in that price range. Everying who sees it is impressed, and everyone who has played it even more impressed.

      I encourage you to call Mr. Webster or email, he'll answer any specific questions you might have. There are many details about the construction that are innovative and interesting, all aimed at producing a stable instrument with exceptional sound.

      You can email me too if you want to discuss this off-list.

      Chris in NY

    • Pat
      Pat Eisenberger

      Although I don't have a Webster harp (yet), I've met Bill, and seen his shop. (His shop is only a few miles from my house and in the same city.) He is very proud (and rightfully so) of his harps, and because I know a little about woodworking, he told me all about the careful steps he takes in creating a harp. My fondest hope is that one day soon, I'll be able to watch (and maybe even help) Bill make my harp!

      I also heard June at the Rennissance festival. I actually heard her well before I saw her. Silly me, I just had to follow the sweet sound! When I was a few yards away I recognized it as a Webster harp. I was surprised that the sound carried so far.

    • Patti
      Patti Newson

      Hello, I am interested in a Webster 18th Century harp, have you ever tried and if so how does the sound compare to your harp.  Might you know if there are sound clips online for the Webster Harps.  Thank you

    • Patti
      Patti Newson

      Hello, have you tried the 18th Century Webster Harps.  How does it compare in sound to your Cecelia?  Do you know if there are any sound bites on line to listen to his harps?  Thank you.  

    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      No I haven't tried the 18th century harps. He had many of his harps at the AHS convention exhibit hall, but I only tried the harps which I could afford, and I fell in love with the Cecelia. He had me try a smaller harp first, but I just didn't like it as well as Cecelia. I love this harp. It is exactly what I needed, so I just didn't play the bigger harps he had. All his harps are really very well made. He is an ultimate luthier who uses his brain, hands and EARS most of all. His harps are all really really nice. I love his shop. It's very "Bill." It's small, but everything he needs is in there. I've been down there twice since it is in the city where I live. He also put levers on my Stoney End Eve harp this past winter. He is a cool guy....quiet, smart, eccentric.....and most of all fair.

      Briggsie

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer Byrne

      Afternoon,

      I have not played the 18th Century model, but I have played the Laurel Leaf model which is the same height and depth as the 18th Century model.  I hsve also played a 15 year old and a brand new Cecelia.  The tension on the Laurel Leaf is somewhere between a pedal harp and a lever harp but leaning more toward the pedal harp.  The sound is very nice - mellow in the bass, bright in the upper octaves and big all over.  Overall, the sound of Webster harps is really quite good, in my opinion, balanced and pleasing.

      If you want to hear (see, touch, cuddle up to) one of Bill's harps, I recommend you ask him which models would have the same sound and tension (having the same base and soundboard) and scope out where there are some that you can hear.  There is one dealer in Owego, NY - The Harp Studio - http://www.theharpstudio.net/ (Tell the owner, Meredith Bocek, that Jennifer Byrne sent you to her).  In addition, Bill has been very kind and contacted people who have owned a Madame Cadillac model which I just ordered (yeah!) so that I could talk to those folks and actually try one out.  It was well worth it.

      Good luck!

      Jennifer

    • Patti
      Patti Newson

      I've been trying for days to email the Harp Studio, but all emails being returned, does anyone have a new email address?  thanks.  Len

    • Devon
      Devon Haupt

      I ordered a Laurel Leaf from Webster Harps in January, and Bill personally delivered it to me in Indiana last week.  It's a beautiful harp, and already has a full and even sound.  He was extremely easy to work with, and really goes the extra mile for his customers.  I requested a matte ebony finish, and he found a way to make it happen.  Plus he delivered it so I didn't have to pay shipping.  I highly recommend his harps!

    • Patti
      Patti Newson

      Your harp sounds very nice and I have seen photos.  Is it a bright sound and how does the tone compare to a prelude?

    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      His woodworking skills are amazing!

      Briggs

    • Patti
      Patti Newson

      Where can I hear a sound clip?   It is a bright tone, mellow, full, etc. etc. Tks,

    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      The only way I know of is to go there. He doesn't have any on his website.

      Briggs

       

    • Patti
      Patti Newson

      Driving from Halifax , Nova Scotia,Canada is hardly an option to hear the harp.  

    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      Guess you'll have to figure out an alternative then.

       

    • Indra
      Indra Prabowo

      I believe Virginia Harp Center has both a used Webster 18th Century and a Prelude for sale at this time. Maybe you can call them for opinion.

      Bowie

    • Patti
      Patti Newson

      OH!   I will definitely check that out and give them a call.  Thanks very much for your help.  L

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer Byrne

      Hmm.  I have 'talked' to Meredith by e-mail recently at mbocek@stny.rr.com with no issues.  If all else fails, call her!  You will likely get her answering machine but she is good about returning calls (607-687-3410).

      Cheers!

      J.

    • Pat
      Pat Eisenberger

      Ben!!!

      Bill Webster's workshop is just a couple of miles from where I live. When I was making my decision between the McFall and the Cecilia, he "borrowed" a McFall he had made for someone, and brought in his Cecila. I had the chance to try both, side by side.

      I'm no expert, but as far as playing, they "felt" the same, or nearly so. As far as the sound (keeping in mind that the McFall was newer than the Cecilia) I found the Cecilia to be brighter, and the McFall to be warmer. It's almost a male-female difference, if that makes any sense. It's not higher vs. lower, but bright vs. warm. And it's not a big differect between the two at all.

    • Pat
      Pat Eisenberger

      On more thing - I also had a Prelude before I got my Style 85. If I recall correctly the McFall rings longer than the Prelude. The big advantage to the McFall is that I can carry it myself. I couldn't handle the Prelude by myself, but then - I'm a girl...and an old girl at that!