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Lyon & Healy delivery question

  • Unknown
    Unknown User

    Hello all!

    I've been reading the forums for a while, but this is my first post.

    I've ordered a Lyon & Healy Prelude 40... three month wait, due to be "drop shipped" from L&H in mid-April (so close, yet so far). They are supposed to call me to set up a delivery date.

    Would anyone familiar with L&H's delivery methods advise me on what to look for? Do they unpack it? Am I supposed to look for damage before I sign? (I would assume so, although I don't know how long I could hold the delivery folk up.) If I need to look for damage what should I keep an eye out for? I'll assume obvious cracks and parts that have separated. Anything else?

    All advice would be appreciated! I'm so excited! I'm aiming for a pedal harp at some point, but the Prelude was too good a deal to pass up.

    (And, yes, I am one of the "Beginning in the Middle" types who has wanted a harp since I was a child (we're talking a 30 year wait, so three months at this point is pretty minor).

    As a side note: I am in Michigan, so the harp isn't traveling too far. I have ordered through Elderly Instruments (Lansing), a place I've bought several instruments(mostly guitars) from through the years. I've opted for the drop ship since:

    1) My vehicle probably wouldn't hold it
    2) I've got 2 small kids, making the drive to Lansing for an inspection just not a happy thought :-)

    Thanks!

    Sharon

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    replies to "Lyon & Healy delivery question"
    • Geri
      Geri McQuillen

      Dear  Sharon,

      Congratulations on your new harp.  I have to share my experience with you.  Way back in the 90's, I wanted to learn a second instrument (I play piano) and saw an ad for a meeting of people interested in learning the harp.  I thought Wow!, that's it and went to the meeting.  The lady played a Salvi and it was very nice.  I rented one from her and took a couple of lessons and decided, at her suggestion, to buy a Salvi Heather 34-string lever harp.  She bought directly from Lyon & Healy and did the purchasing, having it shipped to the San Francisco airport.  I lived on the northern-most coast of California then.  She called me from the airport to advise me that the harp had arrived but that there was some damage to the carton.  Yes, carton, not wood case.

      I asked her to inspect the harp and left it to her discretion as to whether or not to keep it.  She called back and said it was fine, so she delivered it to me.  First harp, I was excited and naive and didn't notice at first that the finish was crackled.  Also, it wouldn't hold it's tune for more than an hour or so, but I didn't know any better.  By the time I realized that it should have been returned and replaced, it was too late.  I kept it for about 15 years, hardly ever played it,  and recently sold it.  I bought my new floor harp from a shop and was able to give it a good going-over.

      Don't worry about keeping the delivery people waiting.  Just give them some cookies and milk and take a good, long look at your new harp.  If there are any defects, contact the maker and negotiate for them to pay for return shipping and replacement shipping costs.  Be smarter than I was and even though there is a possibility that you might have to wait even longer, the patience will pay off and you will have a great instrument that will give many, many years of beautiful music.

      Best wishes,

      Geri

       

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    • Barbara
      Barbara Brundage

      The delivery people will be whoever is the local affiliate of the truck line L&H uses. They will not unpack your harp, and they will be a big hurry to get that 500 gallon aquarium delivered to the next customer. At least inspect the box for any visible damage. It would be nice if you could get them to stay while you unbox the harp, but the odds of this happening are very small in most locations.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Barbara & Geri:

      Thank you for your replies. When they call to set up a delivery date I'm going to ask about the window for discovering damage (i.e. how long I have to inspect it). I'll assume that one looks for damage on the box and notes it before signing (usual stuff).

      When I finally plunk down the cash for a pedal harp I think I'll just rent a vehicle of some kind and transport the thing myself. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that "modern" delivery services consist of throwing something from the truck to the ground, maybe dragging it to the porch. We've had things delivered where we were grateful that the driver didn't take out the mailbox along with a few tree limbs 8-)

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    • Barbara
      Barbara Brundage

      Good luck, Sharon!


      In the past it was sometimes possible to cajole delivery folks into waiting around while you unpacked the item, but these days mostly the poor guys are doing four or five routes instead of one and they're even more under the gun to stay on schedule.


      Enjoy your new harp.

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    • Brook
      Brook Boddie

      Sharon,

      When I've had a harp delivered before, L&H has advised me to inspect the box very carefully, and if there is any damage at all, to note on the receipt bill that the box was damaged with possible content damage. I've never had a problem, but I know people who have.  Hopefully this will not be the case with your new harp!

      Oh, and just a FYI:  I would highly suggest that you keep the box just in case you ever need to ship the harp again.  This will require some pre-planning for a place to store it, as they are quite large, even for lever harps.  I would also suggest that you label the styrofoam inserts before you unbox the harp so that you will know where they go in case the harp needs to be shipped again.

      Congratulations on your new harp.  Let us know when it arrives!

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    • Dwyn
      Dwyn .

      Geri: 

      There's nothing wrong with a new harp that's just been shipped not holding pitch for very long.  With any harp that has anywhere near pedal harp tension, the strings should be loosened by a full note or so to protect the soundboard in case of major temperature changes during shipping, and with a new harp and new strings, it's perfectly normal to take quite a while to start holding pitch normally.

      I just wouldn't want Sharon thinking she's gotten a defective harp if her Prelude won't hold pitch very long for the first week or two.

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    • Geri
      Geri McQuillen

      I understand what you are saying, Dwyn, and I know a lot more now than when I bought the Salvi.  My fairly new Aoyama is staying in pitch for much longer periods than when it was new and I  realize that this period of adjustment takes time.  But, 15 years for the Salvi?  I tuned it every day for months when I first got it but it never did hold its tune for long.  I really think I just got a "lemon".  I know Salvis are good harps and my current teacher has some beautiful lever and pedal Salvis as well as Lyon & Healy's, but like a vehicular "lemon", once you've had that one bad experience, it sort of stays with you.

      Had I been more knowledgeable those many years ago, I would never have accepted the harp with the finish crackled.  And since my teacher saw it before I did, I'm surprised that she didn't recommend sending it back immediately.

      Well, it's water under the bridge now and I have learned valuable lessons.  My main point to Sharon is to do a careful inspection on delivery, if only of the box, and I agree with the post about noting any damage to the box in case there are problems.  Most likely, all will be fine.  I have one harp that was shipped from Australia (not the Aoyama; I picked that one up myself from the dealer) to the States in a make-shift cardboard box with lots of protective inner packing and it arrived in perfect condition.

      I also didn't have the advantage of forums like this one for other harpers' experience and advice.

      I am very happy for Sharon and wish her many, many years of beautiful music with her new harp.

      Geri

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    • Indra
      Indra Prabowo

      I'm quite sure it'll be just fine.

      I received my Prelude from L&H CPO last month and it came in near perfect condition.  Some fibers from the inside of the cover get stuck to the neck, I guess it's because during the shipping the lacquer was a little bit melted caused by the heat. But I can remove it quite easily with some wipes of coconut oil. It leaves some printed pattern, but not so obvious.

      Oh and by the way I live in Jakarta, Indonesia, so if my Prelude can survive during it's long trip I guess yours won't get any problem. Let us know when it has arrived!

      Bowie

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    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      Well, I just had a harp delivered late last year direct from Lyon and Healy so I can recount my experience.

      I was warned ahead of time that the delivery person would not wait for me to unpack the harp. I was told that if I say any obvious damage to the carton to note it on the delivery papers before signing them. I was given detailed instructions on how to unpack the harp.

      Although it does come in a carton and not a crate it was well packed and it would really take some major mishaps to cause damage. However something like a misplaced forklift could really do a number on it, so look for that kind of damage to the carton.

      After unpacking it look for damage to the finish. Make sure that all the joints are close and tight. There should be no separation where wood meets wood. Particularly pay attention to the base of the harp.

      Check the levers to make sure they are all working smoothly. It WILL take some time for the strings to settle, but if you check right after you tune it you should be able to check the intonation on the levers to be sure it is regulated correctly. The first time you tune you should do so slowly. My harp came with instruction on how to get the harp up to tune correctly.

      Although none of the strings were broken on mine I was warned that even though they tune the harp down for shipping strings can still break, so be prepared just in case.

      If you notice any damage to the harp contact Lyon and Healy immediately. They will work with you in rectifying the problem. That may mean anything from sending the harp back and them sending a new one to them arranging to have it fixed locally by an approved tech if there are any in your area. But they are good people who want you to be satisfied with your instrument so they will work to fix any problems.

      Chances are, however, that there will be no problem. They do this all the time and certainly they wouldn't be able to stay in business if they had a lot of damage to their harps. They pick their shippers and handlers carefully. While there is always the possibility of problems and damage it is fairly rare. This is the third harp I have had shipped direct to me, the second from Lyon and Healy. Never had a problem so don't worry until there is something to worry about.

      In fact the guy who delivered my harp mentioned that he often delivers the harps for Harps Etc.. which is not too far from where I live. So I think that they use shippers who have a proven track record with them, which is nice to know.

      And enjoy the new harp. Preludes are nice instruments.

       

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    • Barbara
      Barbara Brundage

      Since there seems to be some worry here about the boxes, I just want to say that a box with foam is a MUCH better way to ship a harp than the old harp trunks were.


      When I bought my Style 11, which was old enough to have its own trunk, I left the trunk with the previous owner, since I'd much rather have it boxed and foamed if I ever have to ship it anywhere.

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    • Donna
      Donna O

      Sharon,
      I had my Prelude 40 delivered with no problems, although I live in the Chicago area and mine came from there, so wasn't shipped a long distance.   Do check over everything as recommended.  L&H is very good about resolving issues if you notify them of problems.   I cracked my crown trying to put on the brass crown (screws were too long).   Not only did they fix the harp but covered the cost of shipping back to them and subsequent delivery.   As far as bringing up to pitch, it took approximately two to three weeks to bring to the point were it would hold for a reasonable amount of time.   Never dealt with a broken string during that time either.    Love my Prelude40 as I am sure you will love yours.    DonnaO

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Thanks all!
      Donna: My soon-to-arrive Prelude is Mahogany also; cheers!

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    • Galen
      Galen Reed

      I am aware of one major dealership who instructs clients to write "possible internal damage" on the shipping papers - regardless of how pristine the carton/trunk may look.  That way there's always recourse, and especially since the eye may not quickly catch some things, and also since the excitement of the moment may include one to overlook things.

      All the best!

      Galen

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Well, I had ordered the L&H Prelude in mid January with a 3 mos. expected wait. One delay (lever supply) lead to another and finally after a little more than 4.5 months I finally received the shipping notice. According to the shipper it should be delivered tomorrow (Wednesday) between 9-5 (EST).

      Thanks for all of the tips; wish me luck please! 8-)

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    • Jennifer
      Jennifer Buehler

      Yay!!!  That is an exciting day!  Ejoy getting your package!

       

      Jennifer

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    • Sidney
      Sidney Butler

      When I got my Salvi from Harp World, I got the shippers to wait while I unpacked it.  Hey these are just regular folks so the regular bribes work.  I baked fresh hot muffins so they had to stick around to eat those.  Then they were also curious about what was in the box as it wasn't the normal cabinet delivery.  My roommates were present too since it was such an exciting "event."  And everyone was wanting to help me unpack it.  I felt like I couldn't get a moment to myself. 

      Have fun with your new harp. 

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    • Sidney
      Sidney Butler

      I should also add that this was when I lived in Seattle.  So it makes no difference if you are in a big city where shippers have more work than they can do in a day.  I also think I must have had a nice tip ready.  

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    • Janet
      Janet King

      Also, if you have a problem or doubt, an excellent harp technician lives in your state, and you could consult with him:  Erich Rase, tel # 517 202 5901.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Hi Sharon,

      I hope you are enjoying your Prelude.  I'm interested in the same harp.  I live in a plantation house so the stairs to the front door are super narrow.  Does anyone know if the shipper will come up stairs with the carton?  Usually it's easiest to haul it over the railing actually.  There's no way I can lug it up myself so I'm worried.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      The Prelude isn't all that heavy (~40-44 pounds). My shipper was very nice and brought the boxed harp onto the porch. He offered to carry it inside but I declined... I have 2 small(er) kids, 1 grown dog and 2 puppies so the poor guy was more likely to trip than make a successful delivery. We (delivery guy & I) unpacked it on the porch (to check for damage before I signed it off) and I carried it inside myself.

      It's a very nice harp (esp. for the money). I'd like to eventually get a pedal harp, but given the cost I'd have a friend or 2 on site to help check for damage and help me move it in.

      I believe that the liability is the biggest issue... would the shipper be OK with hauling it over the railing? The Prelude is a smaller harp and fairly easy to carry; if the shipper won't deliver the way you'd like you may want to have a backup person to help you get it in. It's more awkward than heavy, and it comes with a harp cover, a large box and packing styrofoam that covers the top and bottom of the harp, plus a gonzo-sized plastic bag :-)

      I still have the carton... if you're really curious I can measure it for you. It's a decent size and I had an easier time moving the Prelude inside the house without the box. If you (or someone you know) can lift an oddly shaped ~44 pounds you're all set moving the harp itself even if the shipper won't deliver through that entrance.

      Good luck! I recommend the Prelude, and with the discount it's a good time to go for it.

      Sharon


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