I have a Korrigan Camac lever harp atm and would like to upsize. Does anyone have a recimmendation on either of the two above or similar? Thanks
Great question, as I am more or less wrestling with the same question. In my case: I am considering trading in my old predecessor of the Camac Mademoiselle (38 strings, still with the stiff red, white and blue levers) to a new Camac Mademoiselle, a Salvi Ana or, at the moment very intriguing for me, as I never heard it being next to it: a L&H Prelude.
What can I say? Perhaps it depends partly on where you live. In Europe the Camac Mademoiselle is a lot cheaper than the Salvi Ana or the L&H Prelude. The difference in prices may be quite different elsewhere.
I discovered Salvi has a new, large lever harp. The Salvi Hermes. It has the new Salvi levers which are supposedly better than the old ones. I wonder whether they are the same as the L&H ‘performance levers’
I think the string tension may be a bit less, but perhaps I am mistaken and I could not find more documentation on the internet.
New Salvi Ana harps may have the new levers as well. Anyway, if I would chose for a Salvi Ana, I would find out about the levers. I saw that in the US Salvi Ana’s with the old levers were very much lowered in price, so that would be a consideration too.
I am very interested in your experiences on your exciting journey to a new harp!
Mademoiselle has the wonderful Camac levers, which are highly celebrated. My only regret for moving to a near pedal size instrument is that if (and only if) you are planning to move to pedal anyway it is not worth doing unless you find the transition to higher tension really too hard and require a middle step, like if you are still growing up physically. I started as a grownup and found that though the middle step was nice, I would have rented instead because it is just a transition phase.
However if this is your a target instrument, say for many years to come, all 3 should be good from what I have heard via Internet footage during my own quest and it takes nothing but personal preferences to arrive at a verdict.
I did not try L&H and Salvi Ana while choosing. I had been a convert of Camac levers beforehand and so I did what I did naturally without, say, travel around to try the others. I keep the mademoiselle because I know when I get yet older I will have to return to lower tension instruments because of age related limitations.
Lever flipping could be an intense activity, better try out how those levers fit your handand fingers. If you are after a more classical tonal quality, I would go for highest tension available if side by side comparison is possible, anyway the sound will tell. So somewhere between the lever goodness and the tonal qualities lies your personal choice.
Do compare if the highest and lowest strings are levered. Mademoiselle is fully levered but I Can’t recall off hand for the other two. Please double check. Older models of L&H did not even have 40 strings I believe. Good luck for your quest.
In addition to what I wrote above in this thread, Sarah, what are you missing in your current Camac Korrigan? Do you have a very old one with the stiff plastic levers? Or one with the very nice modern metal levers?
Would you like to have a bigger harp in order to get a more pedal harp like sound? Or for another reason?
I would pay attention to the overall balance of sound of the harp. How do the bass strings sound, how the middle strings and how the upper strings? Are there sudden changes in (almost) adjacent sounds?
Many moons ago I tried several harps and was astonished how even harps of the same model and wood sounded rather differently, as, of course, each piece of wood is unique.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice. Wil-weten, i love my Korrigan. It is about 4 yrs old with new Camac levers but i feel i would like the harp to have a fuller more mellow sound from a larger harp. I will go to a Camac harp exhibition next month and hopefully try out a Mademoiselle.
I would HIGHLY recommend the Salvi Ana to you. I currently own one, and it’s one of the best lever harps I’ve ever owned. In the last few years, Salvi has been making modifications to all of their harps to improve the tone. The Ana’s already sounded good, but with the changes in the way they make them, they are just superb.
The latest models have a hand-painted soundboard that is just gorgeous. They recently debuted one with Start and Play levers on every string. Mine uses performance levers, which also have been upgraded a bit, at least according to Salvi. They also put those new levers on every string. Mine does not have levers on the top two bottom and top strings. I keep them turned to flats just because I play in Eb a lot.
The best part of the instrument is its sound. When Peter from Salvi in LA sent me sound samples, I really thought I was listening to a pedal harp. The sound is clear and even across all the octaves. It’s got a good bit of depth and warmth, which is what I love in a harp. I had to downsize from a pedal harp due to some severe back problems I was having, and I don’t think I could have made a better choice. I can’t say much about the Camac model. I played one once several years ago and was not that impressed with it. However, that was just one harp, and perhaps they’ve made improvements since then.
I’ve heard that there is a shortage of Ana’s in North America right now. You might want to call Peter at Salvi in LA or Lyon and Healy to see if they have any. All Salvi harps shipped to the US go through Lyon and Healy now. Or perhaps you’ve found one on your own. I’ll try to include some pictures. Best of luck, and please keep us posted.
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