I have a Double Strung lap harp, 22 strings (44 strings with the second row). I bought it to have something really small I could take anywhere (to play outdoors in nature, or on my work breaks, or traveling). I do love how portable this little harp is. And it allows me to practice my improvisational skills wherever I am. So I’m happy to say it does serve the purpose I bought it for.
BUT……. the one thing I’ve never liked about harps this small is the sound quality. (I realize this is due to the very small sound box) They usually sound too much like “rubber bands in a tin can”, or too nasal for my taste. I chose a harp that I thought sounded better than much of what I’ve heard. And I’m mostly satisfied with it. However, the bottom six strings do have that “nasal quality” that I’m not fond of. I am playing them with a light touch and with lots of finger pad on the string and that helps. But despite this, they still don’t sound that great. The tone lacks clarity and depth. And maybe my expectations are just too high for what any lap harp can do? Luckily, all the strings above these six sound great and ring out with a nice sweetness and clarity.
My question is this: Have any of you had succes with changing over from Nylon to Nylgut strings? I’ve heard that Nylgut can sound less Nasal than Nylon. I’m working with an expert who is doing the string conversions for me so that my Nylgut strings will be of equal tension to the Nylon. Maybe it won’t make any difference, but I figure it’s worth a try. I’m even interested in trying Flurocarbon Strings. I realize that they will be much thinner than the nylon….. but I’ll try anything at this point. Who else out there has tried this on a small harp?