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Salvi vs. Lyon and Healy?

  • Fairy
    Fairy Reel

    Hey everyone,

    I've been having some trouble getting my new Lyon and Healy. The dealers haven't been very nice and have delayed my harp's delivery to nearly a month and a half after I was supposed to have it. I really don't want to have to go through this again.

    I was wondering, what is the difference between the Salvis and the Lyon and Healys? Is there a difference in sound? I know some of the Salvis have different sound boards, and they are certainly much prettier than L&H. I also know Camacs have better regulation techniques and more room in the upper registers, but I'm currently more interested in Salvis. Any advice?

    Thanks!

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    replies to "Salvi vs. Lyon and Healy?"
    • Evangeline
      Evangeline Williams

      The best way to find out is to try and see for yourself.  Some folks complain about the sound projection/volume of Salvis, but I've also heard that recording engineers in Europe love them. 

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    • Barbara
      Barbara Low

      I'm sure the dealer is as frustrated as you are about your harp being delayed. Are you sure the problem is at the dealer level? There may be delays at the factory level that are beyond anyone's control. I remember having to wait beyond the estimated time of arrival for my harp, but it was worth the wait.


      The best way to determine the harp for you is to play the different ones out there. Find the one that you and your body likes the best. Also, have someone else play them for you too so that you can compare their sound from further away.

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    • anita
      anita burroughs-price

      I am sorry you're having to wait. Could weather be part of the issue?

      Harps don't usually ship when it is below 32 degrees, I believe. Does

      your dealer have a harp you can  borrow/rent until yours arrives? Good luck.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Delays often happen with harps, but the dealers "not being very nice" is just...not nice. If you are uncomfortable with them, there are other dealers around if you decide you want to stick to L&H. Or buy direct from them. There are a couple of gurls there that are really lovely to deal with.

      There are differences between Salvi and Lyon and Healy, but which you like is very much your taste. What I will say about the differences are all very much generalisations - and from a players perspective - mine!

      Salvi tend to have a warmer and more focused sound, and a good one has a typically bell like purity in the upper register. An attractive mellow and rich sound, with depth and focus.  

      Lyon and Healys generally have a brighter and more vibrant sound, and generally do have more projection. Many consider them  better for orchestral playing as the bright sound cuts through large ensembles better. But having said that, there are plenty of professional orchestras with Salvis - as they still do project, just usually not quite as much.  

      But of course, now I'm into pedal harp territory. Are you looking at lever or pedal? And which models? I might be able to say more specific if you would like to tell us that.

      If you can get to see and play two of the models you are interested in, that really would be the best solution. And hopefully have a more experienced player or your teacher play it for you so you can stand back and listen. But I understand that that is not always possible for people.

      Good luck and if you want, let us know what models you are looking at.

       

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    • Fairy
      Fairy Reel

      Thanks, everybody!

      I'd love to get the chance to play other harps (especially Camacs and Salvis). I've been doing some research and I'm really mainly interested in semi-grands right now. I should however be getting an 85GP (yes, not a semi-grand, but my teacher advised me to stick with the GP). Moving up from the GP in the future, I would be interested in getting a Salvi Orchestra Ex, or Daphne Ex; or possibly a Camac Athena. (I really love that cherry finish!). If we do decide to continue with Lyon and Healy I would probably move up to an 85 SG.

      (Wishful thinking: I love the look of the Salvi Arion. But it only has 44 strings...too bad...)

      The thing with the dealer is that they didn't contact us for a LONG time, so when nearing the drop-off date, we called. That was the first time we heard of a delay, but we were assured it would be short. But after that conversation, it turns out that the harp wasn't even completely assembled yet. So I'm still waiting....

      Thanks again for all the advice,

      Fairy

       

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      A few months is nothing. I waited three-and-a-half years for my 23, and it was pretty well worth it.

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    • Fairy
      Fairy Reel

      I just feel rather lied to, if you know what I mean. I was assured it would be soon...but it wasn't...why couldn't they just say that at the beginning? I could have gone with a different harp style. It's not like it was a custom order or anything...they were already in the process of building it when I called.

      Also, why 3 and 1/2 years?

      And, what's the word on Venus? Everyone I know steers well clear of them...any specific reasons? I hear they were not as good as L&H, but close. So why the red flag?

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    • Rod
      Rod C.

      Fairy:

      I don't know the details of your situation or where you bought your harp (was it a harp center that carried harps...or the LH factory/showroom in Chicago)?

      All I can offer is that I have purchased two harps from LH in Chicago and had nothing but top notch service. My emails were answered promptly as were any phone calls. 

      My 85 CG was a special order, but I had to wait only about 2.5 months. A fellow harpist here in my city had to wait nine months.  Of course, we were told about the waiting period up front.

      I hope you get your harp soon.

      Rod C.

       

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    • Catherine
      Catherine Rogers

      Back in the 70's there weren't so many harp companies, and no dealerships where you could walk in and try or buy. New harps had to be ordered from the factory and there was a waiting list, which they told us when we placed our order. We also learned the cost would be the price at time of delivery, not at the time the order was placed. Of course it was higher two years later. I waited two years each for two harps I bought in 1977 and 1979, but at the time there was no choice. Those were standard models and finishes; the wait for special orders was even longer.


      No harps have gone out of Chicago for some weeks now as it is too cold to ship them. The extreme cold would damage the finish.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      It is sometimes hard to feel like you're being told the whole story, that's just how some companies do business. What matters most is the quality of the product, in the end.

      But as I recall, if you put down a deposit when you ordered the harp, didn't that hold the price as well? I also don't think they went up annually in the olden days, like they have since the '90s.

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    • Catherine
      Catherine Rogers

      Nope, they told us up front that cost would be the price prevailing at time of delivery. It did go up every year but just a little; not as much as in the last decade and a half.

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    • Barbara
      Barbara Low

      Back in the 70's when I got my first harp, both L&H and Salvi did not offer a price guarantee when you placed a deposit. As I recall, L&H didn't require a deposit, but Salvi did. Don't know what their policy is now.

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    • John
      John Strand

      re - "everyone steers clear of them"  - -  everyone???

      I have to say that I currently own 3 Venus concert grands - started with a Venus Cherub in 82, loved it but wanted bigger and got a Venus Traditional, loved it, but wanted bigger and got a Venus gold Paragon which was the first of the 3 I have now - the second one is my blue and gold custom Classic and the third is the Paragon that was used for one of the orchestra and harp concertos as the 85 AHS convention here in San Antonio - (I think it was the first Venus that was ever used for an AHS convention  concerto and it was played beautifully by Maria Casale)- my three are all wonderful harps over 20 years old that have not given me problems -

      I know that people have reported various problems concerning the Venus dealership and sometimes one of their harps - I have never experienced a problem of any kind with Denise or Wally in all the years I have known them and have a great deal of respect for what they do and how they do it - indeed, they have always made me feel like I was their only customer -  At this point I feel like I have found "my" harps and expect these to be with me for whatever career time I have left.

      I am sorry if others feel they have had difficulty -

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    • David
      David Ice

      I certainly agree with John.  I have owned 3 L&H and 2 Salvis and 1 Wurlitzer, and now currently own two Venus HT High Technology Harps, and couldn't be happier.  And I'm not the only one--my opera, orchestra, and choral conductors have raved about the sound.  Last Sunday, 1 Venus Criterion with no miking vs. a 120 voice choir....and folks in the back said they could hear me perfectly.  I've never had any problems with the instrument or the service whatsoever, and Wally even went out on a limb to make both harps wide spacing--something nobody else was willing to do for a new harp.

      What I find so odd is the personal, ugly attacks I've received for daring to say, "I love my Venus harps."   I've been lied about and cursed for merely being happy with my harps.  It's my money, and I definitely feel I invested wisely.  Yet some claim it's entirely their business and purvue.  How pathetic...and strange.

      Dave Ice

      PS John, I remember Maria Casales doing the Tedesco in San Diego in 1992 on a Venus Classic and wondering, "Why isn't this harp used more?"  I even asked Maria about it and she told me, "I will play this harp ANYTIME."  And in terms of Maria, I will listen to her ANYTIME!

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      The very nature of the harp is for the strings to ring. The essential sound of the harp is the multiplicity of overtones produced by ringing. The ideal sound of the harp would logically be the fullest possible ringing. Somehow, the idea that a harp should not ring as much has crept into being. That might make individual notes seem clearer as there are less overtones ringing, but then there is less sound, color, projection, and less of a harp sound, more like a piano. Why play the harp if you want it to sound like something else? Adapting our music to the sound of the harp is an endless and fascinating challenge, and our techniques should be adequate to the task, rather than reduce the instrument to what I would call lower standards. It seems like a backwards kind of logic to me. Sturdier harps may last longer and need fewer repairs, but if they sound less like harps, then why are they worth having? I think we need to consider these factors as principles to uphold and maintain, rather than compromise or abandon. I am not criticizing any one harp maker or harpist, but making a general statement on harpists values. I leave it to other discussion to make comparisons of makers if appropriate. Ideally, a harp would be sturdy and fully ringing, if it were or is possible.

       

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Dave,

      I hope that people haven't been cursing at you on the forum because of your love for Venus harps.

      I haven't hid my disgust for the screaming and the threats that Denise Krasicki uses against people who badmouth the Venus brand, and that her behavior is too over-the-top for me to consider involving myself with her company.   I wouldn't be surprised if people on this forum don't like me for my position, but I simply don't worry about it.  You have strong opinions, and some of these will rub people the wrong way.  I would just blow it off.

      Maria

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    • David
      David Ice

      Hi Maria,

      I always try to speak from truth, but what fries my clams is when somebody lies about me--and my integrity.  Otherwise, as they say, I simply "consider the source."    But yes, there has been some rather astounding emails from people replete with false accusations.  It certainly makes for a colorful inbox--and some people have WAY too much time.....

      Dave Ice

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    • Fairy
      Fairy Reel

      It's good to know people are happy with their Venus harps. I would definitely like to look elsewhere from Lyon and Healy for my next harp, because I really don't like the sound. Bright is fine...but the harps err on the side of harshness, in my experience.

      What kind of sound does a Venus have?

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    • Brook
      Brook Boddie

      Fairy,

      You mention that you don't care for the sound of Lyon and Healy harps.  However, based on the above postings, you're waiting for one to arrive that you've already purchased.  I was just curious if your harp arrived and if you were disappointed with it.

      My experience with L&H pedal harps is that they are generally quite warm, resonant, and rich.  I personally prefer them in general over other makers' harps, but that's just my own preference.  I've heard and played some great Salvi harps also.  I have owned two Lyon and Healy pedal harps and have received nothing but exceptional customer service from them in the most professional manner possible.  I currently own a L&H Style 100 that is an excellent harp in every regard. 

      I always enjoy reading about others' preferences in harps, styles, etc and am glad that we have some excellent pedal harp makers both in the USA and abroad.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Hi Brookster,

      Yep, that 100 of yours sounds like a real corker. I agree with your estimation of the sound = warm, resonant and rich.  But I would add a touch of brightness and a pleasing clarity to the sound too.

      What alot of people don't realise is that harps change in tone colour over time. Choosing a new harp can be a bit of an art, determining a great sounding harp that will not get muddy or dull over time.

      That is why I've always been told by all my teachers to choose a harp with a bit of bite to the sound initially - so that as the harp mellows and ages, you still have clarity and focus to the sound, along with the resonance and warmth.

      Different brands do seem to have different tonal qualities, and possibly also age differently too. But they all change with time, and I would not be alarmed if a new harp had a slightly brittle or contained quality. It may stand you in good stead in the long run.

      Hope this helps.

       

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