Fixing Up a Troubadour III

  • Participant
    justin-ortez on #76959

    I recently purchased an old used Troubadour III for a pretty good price that appears to be in pretty good shape. It’s missing a few strings, a few more don’t look like they were put on very well in the first place, and there are two broken levers. It seems to be the popular opinion on here that these old levers aren’t exactly to be missed, and from what little I’ve seen, I tend to agree. The missing strings and one of the replacement levers (the same old string-chewing ones) were included with the harp. I’ve ordered a full set of strings just to have in case of future breakage, and I’m kind of thinking I want to gradually replace the levers with newer, better ones as they break.

    Essentially I’m asking if this is a good idea, or if it will save me headaches and money in the long run to just have all the levers and strings replaced at once. I know any kind of work on a harp is expensive, but how much could I expect to spend on a total replacement? As a recent high school graduate, I’ll have to find out if it’s worth scraping up the money.

    As a side note, I’ve studied piano for twelve years, and will be going for a degree in performance next year. I’m hoping to be able to mostly teach myself how to play the harp. Are there any books I should look for aimed at adults with prior musical knowledge?

    Participant
    Tacye on #76960

    If the strings are ancient changing them all, especially the bass wires, will significantly improve the tone of the harp. You can keep the old ones for emergency use instead of having fresh expensive ones sitting around getting old.

    I would expect a mixed bag of levers to be at least as irritating as the old ones. I suggest you look at costs for replacing all of them, but there is no hurry to decide. You will manage fine for some months of beginning harp music.

    With your piano background you will be able to progress rapidly on the harp and I very strongly advise you to have at least an initial few lessons with a teacher who is good on technique. As you know, playing an instrument is so much more than the right notes in the right order, and the nuances of how to play is hard to get across even in the best book. I advise you commit to six weekly lessons at the start, and after that you will have a much better idea of what you can accomplish by yourself and when you need a teacher’s eye and ear. So much easier than pracitising in bad habits for a year and then hitting a roadblock.

    Participant
    catherine-rogers on #76961

    Several years ago I bought a used Troubadour III and had my favorite harp tech change out the levers. We chose Loveland levers because they were the most affordable and work very well. He ordered the levers (he knew how many of each size would be needed) and I paid for the levers and the labor, which included regulating the harp afterward. I had already replaced and tuned the strings so they’d hold their pitch for the regulation. The 36 levers and labor came to between $700 and $800 dollars, and this was a few years ago. You can price levers and get a starting idea of what those will cost. I didn’t ask him to fill in the old holes and refinish the harp; the old lever holes aren’t that noticeable. It’s definitely worth it to get a pro to put them on (they don’t go in exactly the same place as the old levers) and regulate the harp. Then you’ll have a decent instrument for years to come.

    Participant
    brook-boddie on #76962

    I bought an old used Troubadour I a year or so ago that had been retrofitted with Loveland levers. Also, the dealer had restrung the entire harp with new nylons, new gut strings in the third octave down, and new wires. The harp has an amazing sound and has turned out to be one of the best harps I’ve ever owned.

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