BB 5th Octave A

  • Participant
    Sylvia on #214707

    I just tried to put on a new (got it this week) Bow Brand 5th Octave A, and it broke several inches from the top.
    I’ve heard bad things about BB, but I haven’t had to buy any new strings recently.
    I was replacing it because it had cracked at the top on the wind.
    I wrote to LH this AM, so I’ll see what they say. I also bought a 5th B, but I don’t need to replace it yet. I’m scared it will do the same thing.
    I haven’t had any problems in the past with new strings.
    My harp is a LH15.
    Does anyone have experience with Vanderbilt Classic Gut strings?

    Participant
    Sylvia on #214787

    I’m going to return the strings to LH, ask for a refund, and order from Vanderbilt. They have their own brand of strings.
    No one else has had bad Bow Brands?
    I’ve replaced strings for 47 years and NEVER had one break while putting it on or anytime soon afterward.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #214798

    I had a couple of Bow Brand strings break as I pulled them up to pitch the first time. But that was more than a year ago. I had gotten them from the Harp Connection, and they replaced them right away. Maybe what Lyon & Healy sent you was something left over from the problem period.

    Participant
    Donna O on #214801

    I had several bad BB strings about 1 1/2 years ago. I was so frustrated that I wrote to BB in England. They replaced 7 or 8 strings and apologized profusely. Just two weeks ago I replaced a third octave F with BB 3 x’s from 2 different strings. The 4th one is finally holding pitch and has not broken. They were spare strings I had for a while and I suspect they were from the period when BB was having significant problems. I just received 3 Vanderbilt guts but I have not put them on the harp yet so unfortunately I cannot evaluate them yet. I used to love the old Classic Vanderbilt gut strings.

    Participant
    Sylvia on #214805

    Carl, did they also pay you for the postage it costs to send them back?

    Member
    Elettaria on #214806

    Bow Brand went through a notoriously bad phase the other year, and I don’t know if any of those strings are still being sold, considering import delays. I think they even ceased production for a while. There were jokes at the 2016 Edinburgh Harp Festival that if you wanted a room to yourself, you could say, “I think I saw Bow Brand over there,” and an angry mob would chase after them. (They didn’t show up to the festival that year.) Some problem with the cows, I was given to understand? The strings are meant to be OK now, last I heard, and the few I’ve needed have been fine. They admitted the problem openly, so the retailer should know what’s going on. Maybe you got older strings from the bad batch?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Elettaria.
    Participant
    carl-swanson on #214826

    One of the things you want to watch out for is ordering strings, holding them for a year or more, and then having them break. I know of one company whose policy is that if you don’t contact them about new strings breaking within 2 weeks of the order being shipped, then they won’t do anything. So many harpists keep strings for a year or more before using them. So don’t order more strings than you can use fairly quickly.

    I had bought my strings from the Harp Connection, and had driven there to get them. When the strings broke, I called them and they mailed me the replacements at no extra charge.

    Participant
    Sylvia on #214841

    I always keep a set of spares, so some of my spares are years old…and they’re always fine. It’s never been a problem. Luckily (or maybe not), I did not have a spare for the 5A because they last so long. So that’s the reason I was putting it on right away. LH was willing to replace or refund. I sent back both the A and B and told them please send me a different B also because it’s probably from the same batch, and it will be a while before I’ll need to change my B. By then, I told them, they’d tell me I had it too long. I also asked them to refund my money for postage. I figure I was the victim, so why should I pay it?
    Anyway, I have to stick with LH because VB no longer takes checks, and I’m from the other century. (VB took my checks for years w/no protest or problem.) I don’t know about Virginia Harp Center or others.

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