Member25 March, 2021 at 4:55 pm
I’ve saved up to move from my lovely little Salvi 27 string Juno to something a bit bigger. I’m starting to visit different harp stores but I’m lost with all these wonderful options. What is you favorite harp and why? I want a list of harps to try before I decide 🙂 Thanks!
Member25 March, 2021 at 9:19 pm
Different needs may lead to different harps.
What kind of music do you like best? (classical, pop, celtic, etc.).
Do you think of performing for groups, or playing for yourself in the park (etc. etc.)?
What do you like about your Salvi Juno. What don’t you like as much in that harp?
Member26 March, 2021 at 4:51 pm
I’m still pretty new to the harp. I’ve only been playing for 8 months and so far I’ve really enjoyed more celtic or folk songs. I also would really like to play some pop songs but it is much harder to find simple harp arrangements so for now most of them are out of my reach. On my Salvi I love how resonant it is while still having a very clear and bright tone. In terms of performance I see myself mostly just playing for friends and family. But maybe some day I might try and do a few weddings.
Member26 March, 2021 at 8:32 pm
So, you like folk, celtic and pop music most. This might mean that you are not looking for a classical sound.
You also write that in your current harp, you like its resonance and clear and bright tone.
You think of playing for friends and family and perhaps a few weddings.
If you live in Europe, I think in your shoes, I would definitely try a Camac Excalibur (38 strings) https://youtu.be/BoSVfgDy6jM or its cheaper sister the Camac Isolde Celtic. Listen to her at: https://youtu.be/NYXhteJrO20 Camac harps have silent and smoothly working levers and their sound is balanced over the whole range of strings. The Excalibur has Kürschner carbon strings with a string tension somewhere between celtic and pedal gut strings. It has a clear, a bit warmish and nicely resonant voice.
I would also try several harps of Dusty harps. Dusty harps sound very bright and very resonant. At an additional cost you can have them with Camac levers. I think these levers are really worth the extra cost.
Then, of course, as you have a Salvi harp now, you may love to hear other Salvi harps. Perhaps a Salvi Hermes (or its pricier sister the Salvi Ana) or a Salvi Una. Salvi lever harps are extremely bright in the higher register. Some people like that, others not so much.
There are many builders of great lever harps. Depending on where you live, you may try them out. In Europe, I think of e.g. Pepe Weissgerber in Germany (some of his harps are sold in Rhenen in Holland at De Zingende Snaar and in Anvers in Belgium at Pro Arte).
Personally, I am very much in favour of trying before you buy. You need to sit behind a harp and discover for yourself not only if you like the sound, but also if it sits comfortably for you and if the string tension feels right. And you also need to hear the harp from some distance, so also have some else play the harp for you.
There are many other lever harps than I mentioned that could steal your heart. Visit a lot of shops, take your time and try a lot of harps before you buy. Sometimes you could rent a harp for half a year or even a full year and then decide to buy it if you really like it, with the cost of renting subtracted from the price.
Member30 March, 2021 at 3:44 am
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough answer! I really appreciate your advice. I’m so excited to be in the market for a new harp and you gave some great suggestions. I am based in the US but I will certainly take a look at some of those!
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