Can I put whatever I want, wherever I want?

  • Participant
    Hextravert on #144480

    As things stand, my harp has 40 strings and a range of five and a half octaves (1st octave E to 6th octave A).

    I would like to replace all the strings and change it to 2B – 7C.

    Needless to say, its range neither increases nor decreases. Things merely shift so to speak. Everything would be a 6th lower.

    Is the above-mentioned idea even possible?
    Is there anyone out there who has done something similar?
    Is this something I can simply do on my own, or do I need to contact an authorized harp technician?

    I can’t help but wonder whether I’d jeopardize the harp in any way, shape, or form.

    Participant
    Tacye on #144484

    You can do it, but it needs a bit of thought and calculation and there is a very high likelihood that your harp will sound dire once you have done it. Try tuning the strings you have on the harp down a 6th. Do you like the sound?

    Chances are it will sound flubby – which may be improved a little by slightly increasing the thickness of the strings. If you put too thick strings on you will increase the tension on the harp and this is what could pull it apart (consult the maker about if it can take more tension, some can, others can’t). To learn what strings you can put on it without increasing the tension above what it was designed for you will need to either do the string calculations or have someone like Markwood strings do them for you. To know you are not risking the harp is more complicated than just buying a 7th C and putting it on the bottom.

    Does the harp have levers? Thicker strings will mean they will all be out of regulation and some harpware may need changing, especially if you are putting wound strings where monofilament used to be.

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