Carbon Fiber Concert Harps….Please soon!

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence…

    As to your comment about finicky amatuers…I may have to take you to task on that. As well, I’m a finicky professional…as there is a point where you cannot make a silk purse out of a sows ear. All instruments are different, but there is a point where problems with a new instrument are just unacceptable and hamper it being called a musical instrument at all.

    If an instrument will not keep its tuning for more than 3 pages of music, is so riddled with buzzes and twangs and dead patches that you cannot play it in public, and if the upper register will not speak at all, and you just get an odd slapping sound…and if discs consistently go loose (I had one where 6 went in one performance and I just could not continue). I suppose what I’m talking about here is an instrument with bad structural and mechanical problems that was only semi functional – and well beyond the norm.

    But what I would like to point out is that I (and I think I’m a professional) did not initially know what was wrong with it..I just knew something was up. And in defense of amateurs, I think they (like me) just do not know what is wrong, but they can tell something is a miss. And if the companies that they had bought from took the time to talk to them about their concerns, well they would not remain confused.

    There do seem to be alot of factory produced instruments coming out with “stuff” wrong with them from the outset as well, and I think this makes people paranoid. Which is understandable when you consider the financial outlay on a harp.

    Companies just need to take the time to talk to players about it, in my opinion anyway.


    Rosemary is absolutely correct about the contribution of quality materials and quality craftsmanship.


    Rosemary- I guess I’m a little touchy about amateurs at the moment. I had two really gorgeous natural 23’s for sale on my company web site(the pictures of them are still there) and one of the calls I got was from a woman who wanted me to rent one of them to her(half way across the country) for a month and then let her decide if she wanted to buy it or not. I told her she was welcome to come to Boston and play the instrument as long as she wanted, but it wasn’t leaving my house until it was sold. To make a long story short, she hounded me for weeks about renting that instrumentm, THEN told me that she has bought and sold three harps in three years because she was so finicky about the sound. Turns out, her measure for judging the quality of the sound was(and I swear she told me this) the number of compliments she got at the end of the church service. She wanted me to send her this harp so she could play it in church and if she(not the harp) got lots of compliments, then she’d buy the harp. If there were few compliments then it must be a bad harp and she would send it back to me. Honest to God I’m not making this up.


    Oh, and by the way, both 23’s have been sold!


    Hi Carl,

    Fair enough! Harpists can be so darn pesky, can’t we?? Well, yes, I’m touchy at the moment for other reasons myself. So, well, I think it is situational…isn’t it.


    Yep, alot of the Daphnes I’ve seen have been pretty nasty. Especially the more recent ones. I’ve only seen one really nice one and it was very very old and so heavy you could hardly lift it. But it sounded nice, no projection to speak of, but it was sweet …if it didn’t crush you under the weight of it.


    >Yep, alot of the Daphnes I’ve seen have been pretty nasty. Especially the more recent ones.

    Interesting. I’d say that the European Daphnes I’ve seen lately, especially the larger ones, haven’t been nearly as bad as most of the South American ones were. A couple of the larger ones I’ve played I wouldn’t have minded owning.


    No, I’m meaning well and truly pre the south american ones, European ones maybe

    Leigh Griffith

    …a woman who wanted me to rent one of them to her (half way across the
    country) for a month and then let her decide if she wanted to buy it or

    Okay, so this is one woman out of how many amateurs? As far as amateurs
    being more ‘finicky’ on sound, might it be that many are still getting
    used to the idea that no two harps sound exactly alike? It is hard to
    decide what you like when each one sounds different. My major criteria
    for my next harp: 1. I have to be able to lift and load it into my car
    by myself. 2. I have to be able to reach all the strings. 3. Not too
    muddy, not too plinky and enough volume to not get lost in the
    ensemble. 4. Good workmanship. I’ve seen too many harps where joints
    didn’t match up well, etc. Is this being ‘finicky’? I think it is being

    Yes, there are impossible people out there. I once had a woman contact
    me about a wall hanging. She wanted a 2 1/2 foot by 3 foot custom
    landscape quilted wallhanging. She wanted that because the man she had
    talked with about a diorama had wanted $3,000.00 for what she wanted
    which she said was way more than it was worth. When I told her what I
    would have to do and what I would have to charge (around $800.00), she
    never called back. The woman had no idea what time committments and
    materials costs artists have. My point is, the pigeon hole should be
    “impossible people” not “amateurs”.

    My two cents,



    It’s your money Leigh and you have the right to have a good harp. Sure, a great player can make a silk purse out of a sows ear, but I bet they wouldn’t buy it if they had a choice!

    There is nothing wrong with expecting a decent harp, and wanting one that sounds good. Whether or not you can work around the problems a harp has, is immaterial –


    And Carlston, you have to stop using the word amatuer, it always gets you in trouble. Just say pesky harpist, or pesky person, as generalising always gets one in trouble…..

    Christian Frederick

    OK. I started this thread. I feel it’s been hijacked. I’d like to request that we bring it back to the original subject. Rosemary and Carl, I would love to see both of you start another thread, and then I can choose not to read it. In so many words, Carl had let us know he is NOT a gigging harpist.

    As a gigging harpist, I would like a concert grand harp, under 50 pounds, that I can play in outdoor venues in wet Central Florida, or play seaside wedding cermonies in Vero Beach. Then, if needed, all I would have to do is wipe off the moisture or sea spray. I can’t do this with a traditional wood instrument.

    Thank you Sherry Lennox for trying to bring this thread back to the original subject. Yes, YoYo Ma has played glorious music on carbon fibre instruments. From my personal experience, the carbon fibre instruments are superior to wood in many ways. I do, hopefully, see it’s use to develop in harps.

    PS. Saul, fyi, carbon fibre is NOT plastic.


    Temper temper…

    If you re read the thread you will see that at answer number 7 I did address the issue of carbon fibre boards in HARPS and why I did not like it.


    Go Ro!!


    Christian, you want a picnic harp!

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