Fellow Harpists. I wanted to share something with you if you are looking for a mid-range (44 string) pedal harp. There are very few companies making this size. Lyon and Healy has made of few this size but they are now out of that business. I had one built by a company in Chicago with over 45 years experience in the field. It took a few months and $12,250 but the harp is physically beautiful with a huge body and soundboard giving it an amazing rich and warm sound with terrific projection.
But when the harp arrived I noticed something with the F string in the second octave. The second octave on pedal harps is right where the harmonic curve in the neck changes direction and the action is all “crowded together” in this area. Some harps are difficult to regulate because of this design. The tech tried to fix it but it would just “thump” instead of ring in the natural and sharp pedal position. During the next week the entire second octave had this problem. This is because the (nylon) strings all stretched to their final position. The tech came back and did what he could but the problem keeps getting worse. Also, the neck has started twisting which is alarming in a brand new harp. So the harp is not useable and is sitting in the corner of my studio.
I contacted the factory and they insist that I drive the harp to the factory and pay for any repairs myself. Remember, it is a brand new harp and there is a warrantee. But that did not seem to matter to them. A new neck and relocating tuning discs is not a cheap affair (about $10,000) and there is no guarantee that I will have a playable harp. So that is not happening. This venture was a total loss for me.
So if you are looking to buy a 44 string harp – I strongly suggest you buy a used one and play it first. Some of these harps are truly amazing. But if you have a new one built, it is a gamble. I would like to think that mine is a unique story but, sadly, I know of other buyers with similar experiences from this factory.