Electric Lever Harp

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    meredith-kohn-bocek on #227898

    Hi, I am looking to purchase either a Camac DHC 36 or a Lyon Healy Silhouette. I would like to hear opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of these harps. Any thoughts? Many thanks!

    Gael Kathryns on #228144

    I may be able to help you with some observations, since I’ve messed (briefly) with both types of harp. As usual, your mileage may vary.

    Both harps produce a fine sound. Don’t expect the warmth and resonance of wood, of course, because they have no soundbox and the strings are simply activating piezo pickups. Modifications to the sound will have to be done after the fact with equalizer pedals (or chorus, phaser, reverb, distortion, etc.) alone with the type of amp you choose to use. It’s been a few years and I can’t remember if either harp has a headphone jack or a “base-midrange-treble” equalizer built in.

    The Silhouette is built to be attached to a heavy-duty stand, but it has a tendency to wobble a little because, physically, that makes it a weight on top of a pole. This may or may not be bothersome to you. If you’re strapping on and moving around, of course, that’s another situation entirely.

    The Camac Electro-36 I played was their old style, made out of wood rather than the carbon fiber the DHC uses. So it was heavier. If you’re intending to strap on the much lighter DHC 36, though, I think its size might prove to be a little clumsy. A sit-down performance would seem to be best. There is a consideration here, though: given that the legs screw on and form a tripod arrangement with the base of the harp, you have to fit your chair and yourself to the harp when playing: tipping the instrument back to rest on your shoulder is not an option, nor is using your knees and thighs to dynamically adjust the position of the harp. I suppose that with the harp stationary as it is, you can move your upper body around it rather freely, leaning right, left, back, or forward as needed without influencing the position of the harp. This may be desirable or undesirable, depending on your preference.

    Best of luck.

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