Chicago Petite 40 – Natural, Ebony, or Mahogany?

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    Linden Lin

    I’m planning to purchase a Chicago Petite 40 to play at church masses and weddings. In your opinion, what color would complement the scenery: natural, ebony, or mahogany? Too bad Lyon and Healy only have an ebony displaying on their website.


    That depends on the scenery, but all will look good, just differently as one might blend and another pop out. You’ll be looking at it more than everybody else combined, so I’d recommend whatever color you like best.

    If you buy a harp to match your church’s sanctuary, I promise that a year later they’ll get new rugs or something and it won’t look the same. If anybody complains about your harp not matching, suggest the church buy its own harp and you’ll gladly play it.

    Gretchen Cover

    If you plan to move your harp a lot, I would suggest mahogany or ebony so you can touch up any dings.


    Interesting- I would have said natural had the advantage as the dings don’t show as much.

    The natural does darken with time from white blonde towards a more honey colour.

    Sid Humphreys




    Philippa mcauliffe

    Whichever you love best


    I don’t know how hard you ding your harp, but the dents on mine remain the colour of the unstained wood and just need clear lacquer touch up to make them invisible.

    Why would anyone want an un-natural harp anyway?


    If the harp is your own property, choose the finish according to your very own preference, since you will probably play at different places than church, also. Where I live we have a lot of gray skies and rain, and lighter wood is often chosen for furniture instead of dark, to lighten up the interior of homes. Listen to the tone of several harps with different finishes and make your final choice on the tone that most pleases your ear.

    Sid Humphreys

    It’s just my preference Trayce.

    Jessica A


    Why would anyone want a natural?


    I agree with everyone who says you should pick the one that you like best. But ultimately, choose an instrument for its sound, not its appearance. I personally am not much drawn to the mahogany finish, but if I found a mahogany harp with an irresistible sound and feel,


    Definitely get what you want. Any of them will look great, but it reflect YOU, not the church or hall you are playing in.

    My teacher had a bias against ebony finished harps. So for a long time I only had natural or mahogany finished harps even though secretly I really liked the ebony finish.

    The last time I purchased a harp was about three years ago. I was without a pedal harp for a long time and really wanted one again. But this time I just got what I knew I really wanted. I feel far more comfortable behind my ebony finished harp now than I ever did with any of the others. It just looks right for me. And I get far more compliments on it’s looks than I ever did with any of the other harps I have had (with the possible exception of my electroharp which is blue with gold highlights, but that is kind of a special case).

    I’m not saying to get ebony. But get what you really want. It is YOUR

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