First harp advise please!

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    Nat Shaw on #75343

    I’m excited to be buying a harp — for accompany

    barbara-brundage on #75344

    >Perhaps bubinga?

    I have no experience with either of the models you’re considering, but I just wanted to point out that while I’m a totally a bubinga kind of girl, it is about the heaviest of the possible woods, something to consider for healing type playing where you do a lot of lugging.

    Karen Johns on #75345

    Have you taken a look at these?

    They are ergonomically designed, and seem very portable and available in your choice of woods.

    Personally, the Dragonheart is my dream harp, after having heard the tone.

    Happy Hunting,


    sherry-lenox on #75346

    I’ve never played a Christina, and they look very nice. I do have a Nightingale, in cherry, and it has the most lovely sound.

    I believe I could safely say that the cherry Nightingale does have the sound you’re looking for. It’s also very nice looking.

    I had the opportunity to speak to Jeff Lewis after I bought my second hand Nightingale, and he did say that the Camac levers add weight. They are larger than Truitts.

    Good luck with your choice, and enjoy the journey!

    Michaela Braveman on #75347

    Hi Nat,

    I too own a cherry Nightingale and LOVE it! It has all you are looking for in a small harp: a beautiful rich tone, light weight and it is a beautifully crafted harp!

    I too looked at the Triplett Christina. My experience has been that the Nightingale has a better tone quality, is more resonant, has more strings and aesthetically, looks much, much nice than the Christina harp. In fact, my harp teacher owns a Christina and she too felt that after hearing and playing my harp, that the Nightingale sounds a lot better.

    I highly suggest going with the Truitt levers, which a light weight and will not alter the tone. Also, make sure you get a knee bone, which I believe is available directly from Lewis Creek Instruments.


    Chris Asmann on #75348

    I am fairly new to the harp, and have two new instruments. The first is a Webster with Camac levers. It has remarkably big, rich sound. the levers work flawlessly, operate smoothly and have required no adjustment of any sort in the year I’ve had the harp. There is no difference in the location of the string or it’s sound when a lever is engaged.

    When I decided to buy a smaller Blevins harp for travel and portable pracice, I decided to get Truitt levers (I had the option of any lever type I wanted) and I regret the decision. They are very pretty levers and their appearence is well suited to the smaller, more delicate harp. They are nowhere near as nice as the Camac levers in operation. They move the strings well out of alignment, and they operate with a faintly gritty feel. Their shaped heads are much harder to locate on the fly than the colored rings on the Camac. They lack the Camac’s positive feel too, they have to be moved up until they stop and you can’t casually ‘flick’ them on and off.

    Both lever types are very expensive,

    alice-freeman on #75349

    I have played both the Nightingale and the Christina. Although there is technically only a half pound difference when you look at the specifications and the Nightingale is 3 inches shorter, I bought the Christina because I liked it better. However, those Camac levers on the lowest C and D strings are really fragile if you knock the harp over on them accidentally (says one who has broken them several times). It’s all a matter of personal preference and really helps to be able to play them both side-by-side.

    cynthy-johnson on #75350

    I’ve owned 7 Nightingales in different woods, 1 Triplett Christina, 1 Triplett Avalon, 1 Triplett Zephyr and 2 Heartland Serenity’s.

    Comparing *only* the Nightingale vs. the Christina vs. the Serenity:

    1. Nightingale – 27 strings, Christina -25 strings, Serenity 25 strings

    2. Levers – Truitt Levers are often more preferable on a smaller harp; as Alice stated (above) – the Camac levers are fragil (on the ends) and can be easily damaged.

    3. Tonal Quality – in my opinion – the Nightingale has the best, overall tonal quality.

    Nat Shaw on #75351

    Thanks so very much for your everything you’ve shared!

    barbara-brundage on #75352

    > Am I hearing that there are more subtle adjustments possible with Truitts for modal playing?

    Levers make half steps. All properly working levers raise the tone a half step, regardless of brand, so no, I don’t think that’s what anyone was saying.

    Michaela Braveman on #75353

    You might want to call Mike Lewis (c/o Lewis Creek Instruments) and see if he can match you up with somebody in your area who purchased a Nightingale, so you can go and check it out yourself. It is defintely more challenging test-driving a harp made by one of the smaller, independent luthiers, as they don’t sell through retailers like Triplett and some of the other large harp manufacturers. However, the effort is well worth it, especially since you will end up with a truly unique instrument rather than one that is produced in the masses. He also should be able to send you sound samples to listen too…, most luthiers do! Mike Lewis is a pleasure to deal with!

    I really advise against Camac levers, especially on a small harp. They are much heavier, can make it difficult to balance your harp, especially a lap harp, and they are so big and metally looking that, in my opinion, completely distort the beauty of the harp. I have Truitts on both of my harps (lap harp and floor harp) and I LOVE them!


    Michaela Braveman on #75354

    Opps…, I was referring to Jeff Lewis, not Mike Lewis (who is harp technician). Sorry about that….

    Michaela Braveman on #75355

    I am sorry to hear about the difficulty you are having in regulating your Truitts. I have never had any problems like that

    barbara-brundage on #75356

    >I certainly would never want to big, heavy Camac levers on a small harp as it adds unncesessary weight and affects the overall balance of the instrument.

    Just curious, Michaela. Is this based on personal experience or just theoretical? If you’ve experienced it, which harp did they throw out of balance?

    Maria Myers on #75357


    I was wondering the same thing, if this is just repeating the experience of others.

    Michaela’s been playing the harp for a little over a year, according to her posts.

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