Daphne EX or Chicago CG? Please help!

  • Participant
    ohyesitscarys on #220801

    Hi everyone!

    I’m looking into purchasing a harp because I’m hoping to study music at university next year, and I’m about to start working on my grade 8 and the small 3/4 pedal harp I’m renting at the moment really isn’t doing the job anymore! After looking into harps around my price range and ability, I’ve been advised to get a full sized concert harp as I likely won’t be upgrading anytime soon, and I’ve come across both the salvi daphne EX and the Lyon and healey Chicago CG. On paper they are almost identical in terms of height, soundboard width and price, ect. however I know that harps can differ in sound quite a lot. I definitely prefer the look of the L&H however sound is more important than looks! Ideally I’d like to go and play them both, however due to stock and lack of showrooms, I’m not sure if this will be possible. If anyone has any info that they think I’d find helpful I would really appreciate it!

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by ohyesitscarys.
    Alison on #220808

    You have to play them yourself, to establish whether the feel, spacing and tone are right for you.

    Gretchen Cover on #220809

    Would it be reasonable for you to rent a concert grand harp for a while? That would give you more time to decide what harp you really want to own. This is a very expensive decision to make. Agree with Alison to try before you buy, if possible. Whatever way you go, be sure to have a full replacement musical insurance policy for your harp, especially while at the university.

    brook-boddie on #220812

    Hi Carys,

    At some point in my life, I have previously owned both of these exact makes/models. Please hear me when I say: take the Daphne 47EX and run!! It’s a much superior harp in every regard. The Chicagos are inexpensive (when compared to other L&H harps) for a reason. I’ve heard from a very reliable source that the boards are made from spruce that has not been aged nearly as long as their professional models. The Chicagos also have a different body construction. Because of both of these, their sound is quite dull, even dead. The particular Daphne I owned wouldn’t compete against a 23, but it was definitely miles ahead of the Chicago when it came to sound. I have since played some D47EX’s that have been very nice. I also think the Chicago 40’s are nice harps, much like the Daphne 40’s. It’s when you get to the larger Chicago’s that the sound tends not to be up to par.

    Of course, there are always exceptions, and the litmus test is being able to play the harps in person from which you are choosing. But as a general rule, stay away from the Chicago 47’s if possible. If you can swing an 85, I don’t think you would be disappointed, but I know they are several thousand higher than the D47’s, at least here in the USA. L&H harps are backordered right now, but if you look hard enough, you may be able to find them. Best of luck to you!

    Tacye on #220821

    Are you in the UK? If so, are you eligible to get it without VAT?


    ohyesitscarys on #220824

    Thanks everyone for the replies, you’ve all helped so much! I do live in the UK, and part of the reason I’m able to get a harp issue to the assisted purchase scheme. I’m now looking into the possibility of maybe getting an 85 (depending on my parents, they’re loaning me the money until I can begin paying them back!). Using the assisted purchase scheme, it would bring the cost of an 85 down by about £4,500 which is obviously a huge opportunity that would be a shame to waste. We’re just concerned in case the constant moving around of a harp which comes as a part of being a student may prematurely decrease the lifespan of the harp, although I obviously will be taking every measure to keep the harp in perfect condition. Do any of you guys have any experience relating to harps losing quality due to moving them around? x

    Tacye on #220827

    Professional performers move their harps more than most students.

    Philippa mcauliffe on #220831

    All harps move around a lot unless all you do is play at home! That is indeed why you insure them. You will be very lucky indeed if you keep a well played and travelled harp perfect for very long – pick a finish that doesn’t show every tiny ding and fork out and use a decent 3 piece cover set. Stand guard against your orchestra colleagues knocking over their stands and pushing their chairs into it and don’t let other people move it for you unless they are your family and equally careful! You relax more after the first tiny blemish though. No one except the owner notices them. I have played some of both these makes and think both are quite variable so there is no way I would choose without playing. I have played one Chicago which I thought had good sound for the price (others were not nearly so nice)! Perhaps the Daphnes have less intervariability but still they do not all sound or feel the same.

    Alison on #220839

    There is one snag to the UKs assisted purchase scheme, which came to light !ast year : you have to be learning in a state school and taking the instrument into school, so I hope you can substantiate this. As I teach someone privately she couldn’t get past this red tape.

    Alison on #220843

    BTW Morley’s have imported Salvi’s and possibly Lyon and Healys so have Daphne’s etc

    JackieHarpFan on #230737

    Reading your questions and the answers piqued my interest. 🙂 Did you end up buying a harp?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by JackieHarpFan.
    ohyesitscarys on #230756


    Yes, we did end up getting a harp and I absolutely love it! We went to a showroom where I played the 85 and the daphne and whilst I fell in love with both (I loved the mellow tone of the 85 whilst the Daphne was so lovely and bright) I couldn’t justify the extra money for the 85 when the daphne was so beautiful.

    I’m so lucky to own my own harp, and can’t wait to take it with me to university when I start in 2 weeks!

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.