Camac Athena or Salvi Daphne?

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    Danni Boi on #246121

    I am looking for a Semi Grand / Concert Grand Pedal harp. I narrow down my choices to a Camac Athena Ex and a Salvi Daphne EX (I haven’t find a L&H harp that I really like within my budget).

    I heard that Camac has more room on the top octaves. I don’t know if this is a good thing for me during my learning process, as I have never played any pedal harps before. I know Salvi has a great reputation but I am not a big fan of the appearance (I’m sorry to say that).

    Has anyone played both of these harps? I really need to hear some opinions!

    Thanks so much!

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Danni Boi.
    catherine-rogers on #246137

    Camac pedal harps tend to have a bit more vertical separation between the soundboard and the action in the top octave because the design is similar to the early Erard harps. That might be helpful if you have large hands. One also sits a bit higher at a Camac than with other brands, which I find makes it easier to see the higher octave strings. What is most important is to find a harp in good condition which meets your needs and budget. Perhaps your teacher can help you find a good used instrument to get started. It’s good to have a harp technician check out any used instrument before you purchase it, if possible.

    brook-boddie on #246172

    I have played both before. I’ve heard some Daphne’s that were exceptional and some that weren’t. Same with Camac, but I find that Camac’s are a little more consistent, at least the one’s that I’ve played. It’s best if you can try them out in person, of course. Vanderbilt Music in Bloomington has a used Daphne 47EX that I’ve played before, and it’s got a beautiful sound.

    Philippa mcauliffe on #246185

    I have played both and agree that they are too variable to make a choice without hearing them and preferably playing them. There is a particularly dead sounding Daphne that I try never to play in my university harp room but it has had a hard life. I prefer the Camac top end but have small enough hands to convert easily. What is not variable is the weight – 32kg versus 39kg I think but check them. If you do a lot of stairs 32 is much more manageable.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #246381

    I find Camacs to have inferior tone quality as well as appearance. I find it hard to believe you couldn’t find a suitable Lyon & Healy harp. They’re less expensive and lighter than Salvi models. Did you look at the Style 100 or 30? Or the Concert Grand 17?

    Danni Boi on #246383

    Hi Saul,

    Unfortunately I could’t find a suitable L&H within my price range. I don’t like the tone of the Chicago line. I look at a Style 100 in Ebony, but it is kind of old and I don’t like the color. Hopefully I will move to a better harp in the future.

    Danni Boi on #246384

    Hi Philippa,

    How old is the Daphne in your university harp room?

    Philippa mcauliffe on #246414

    No one there now remembers them getting it so that would probably be 30+years and maybe it wasn’t new then! .

    balfour-knight on #246436

    Well, I shall post my “two cents” for what it’s worth, ha, ha! I have played both the Daphnes and the Athenas and have found some very nice ones among the more “ordinary” ones. As has been said, each particular harp is different, but Camacs, like most Yamaha fine pianos, are very consistent. My favorite of course is the Atlantide Prestige, both for superior tone (magnificent, in my opinion!) and sleek appearance (understated elegance!). I know that each person’s taste is different, so just play many harps until you find the one that “speaks” to you.

    Wishing you all the best,

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