fluorocarbon strings

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    K2H on #158024

    Hello, I have a question about fluorocarbon strings. I am a new member, but I see there has been a bit of discussion about these strings already. I haven’t seen the answer to my particular question: how long can I expect fluorocarbon strings to last before needing to be replaced? I am considering buying a lever harp built specifically for fluorocarbon strings. A replacement string set is listed at $450! I am an “advanced beginner” hobbyist, so I wouldn’t be putting a whole lot of wear and tear on the strings. I’m wondering if I can afford to keep the harp in strings. It sounds like the fluorocarbon strings are supposed to last much longer than nylon.

    Many thanks for your answers,


    kathy-chanik on #158025

    Kristy, in your case I’d say around four years, give or take a year. If you like the sound and feel of these strings (not everybody does, it’s personal taste)-they’re wonderful. And on my harps they just never break, so maybe you’ll be saving on replacements. Will you share with us what kind of harp you’re talking about?

    K2H on #158026

    Hi, Kathy, thank you for responding.

    carl-swanson on #158027

    There’s a huge difference in the tension on the harp you are playing now and one strung with carbon strings. The carbon strings are much higher tension.

    kathy-chanik on #158028

    Good choice, Kristy-you’ll really like your Ceili. I have two of them myself and just ordered my third. Ain’t it awful? Talk about conspicuous yuppie consumption…

    K2H on #158029

    Thanks, Carl – I will have a chance to try a model of the harp with the strings, so I can see how they feel.

    K2H on #158030

    Kathy, I thought your name looked familiar – you are on the Thormahlen site with good words about the Ceili.

    kathy-chanik on #158031

    Kristy, you’re confusing the Ceili with the Ceili-Mor. The Ceilis are all made from mahogany laminate called okume, while the Ceili Mors are made from various hardwoods and are a good bit more expensive. I ordered a Ceili Mor, but found I preferred the sound of the Ceili. The Mor I had was made from koa and had a very nice tone, although I found the Ceili’s sound a little more…robust somehow. The same reason people like the Serenades so much.

    You need to get your hands on the various models, and try a Ceili with folk gut strings as well as one with fluoro strings. Some people prefer one or the other. I know they have a Ceili Mor there for sale now, so you should try that also before you settle on the Ceili. You’re lucky to live so close to the shop. And don’t wait too long, their wait list is getting long.

    I’m sure Carl is right about the string tension, but I find my Ceilis with the fluoro strings much easier to play and get a big sound out of than my pedal harp. The string spacing on the Ceili is very nice, very easy to reach an octave or a tenth. Good luck!

    K2H on #158032

    Thank you, Kathy, that is the kind of feedback that I need as I make my choice. I’ll contact them this week.

    Many thanks,

    deb-l on #158033

    I’m just curious, are fluorocarbon strings abrasive or rough on your fingers?

    kathy-chanik on #158034

    I think they feel smooth enough, but they may also feel thinner than what you’re used to with the Prelude and the Dusty.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #158035

    They can fray or shred, at which point I think they should be changed, unless they can be sanded.

    kathy-chanik on #158036

    That’s a really interesting comment, Saul. I wonder if there’s a difference between the pedal harp fluoro and the lever harp stuff, other than the gauge, of course. I have found that the Savarez fluoro can fray up at the point where they go thru the tuning pin, but unless the fray extends below the tuning pin there should be no problem. So you would sand them? Wouldn’t that affect the gauge?

    I believe the R-Harp Merlins use a different type of fluoro than the Savarez. They looked almost translucent and felt a bit more slick than the Savarez. Not sure of their name tho…

    kathy-chanik on #158037

    Kristy, Sharon Thormahlen told me earlier in the week you were coming by the shop today to look at harps. I’m just curious-did you like the Ceili Mor or the Ceili? Did you play my koa Swan (with the yellow rose inlay on the pillar) that’s there for some tweaking?

    bernhard-schmidt on #158038


    There is a different by the manufacturer of carbon strings.
    All manufacturers use the type of clear monofilament.
    Only Savarez uses a different composition of carbon strings.
    The strings with a diameter up to 0.96 mm are also the type of clear monofilament.
    But the diameter bigger than that are made of a composition of a core with a layer of thin parallel strings around the core. It is a different way of wrapping the strings.
    This you see when the string fray at the top.
    This is a very unique to Savarez and a very well engineering.
    This way the strings with bigger diameter have excellent vibration ability.
    But of course there is a texture.

    One more important information.
    The tension of Carbon strings is not greater than the stringing with Nylon as long as there is a correct calculation. Only if you change the diameter

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