I have a Venus 44-string harp, and this Friday the D below middle C sounded really flat, which never happened that low an octave. When I came back later the string had broken right where it exits the soundboard. The metal ring around the wood there is broken, so that the string was leaning on the bare wood.
Looking over the harp, there are a lot of other places where strings are frayed right there at the bottom, mostly with the lower gut strings. One of the other metal rings looks like it’s broken, but it hasn’t come apart yet.
How bad is this? I live in Israel, so harp technicians aren’t exactly around the block.