Grand Harpsicle? Thoughts?I

  • Participant
    cindy-lajoy on #76334

    Hi! I am on the fence about getting a harp. I do not know how to play, but do have a little music background from playing clarinet all through school…way too many years ago 🙂

    I want to play mainly for myself, and if I manage to learn enough maybe for church once in a great while. I am usually a firm believer in not buying something of lower quality, and would prefer to buy it once and buy it right. However, if I can manage to afford a harp it will be a real stretch for us financially and I simply don’t have to have “the best”, but decently made and pleasing.

    I have checked out the various rental programs, and researched a little. I know I don’t want to go for a smaller number of strings, so am looking at the 30+ stringed harps, which of course means more money. I also know I want full levers. I really don’t think I’d need to pay $2500+ to enjoy playing, but I don’t want to buy junk either.

    So, I am wondering what anyone thinks of the Grand Harpsicle. It has the features I want, and when listening to an online sample the tone is perfectly acceptable to me. Is there something I should know before getting serious about this particular harp? Does it sound to you who are more experienced as if it would be something I should consider?

    Would appreciate any input!

    Thanks,
    Cindy

    Participant
    lyn-boundy on #76335

    I do have one of the smaller versions – the Sharpsicle – and I’m delighted with it. I’ve also found the people who manufacture and sell them very helpful indeed, even though I had to have mine shipped to the other side of the pond. That doesn’t tell you what you want to know about the Grand but I hope it will help a little to start you off. Good luck in your search!

    Participant
    jessica-wolff on #76336

    33 strings, which is what the Grand Harpsicle has, is just about right; that’s what I have on my (much larger) Troubadour I.

    Participant
    robert-hanson on #76337

    I’d like to tell you a story when I was at the WHC in Vancouver. I walked into the vendor hall and heard what I perceived was a wildly great harpist playing on an amplified pedal harp. I was right about the first but wrong about the latter. Head popping over the crowd I spotted Jakez (Pres. of Camac) playing up a storm on ,yes, a Grand Harpsicle. When he was done he said, “You can really play this thing”. I guess so. You should of heard him. Also in the booth was Marta Cook (Grammy harpist and Irish champion). She told me she twice took a Grand as her primary harp on two tours in Europe because it weighed only 11lbs, was easy to take on a plane, bus, taxi etc. and she had the option to play it acoustically or plug it in.

    That being said the rest of this is probably too much info but this is the part that interests me. The Grand does not have a pickup on every string like other electric harps so I don’t think it would work will with Midi systems. It uses a single L.R.Baggs strip pickup when in conjunction with the narrow soundbox gives a really well balanced acoustic sound, not an electric sound, when plugged in. It has a built in preamp. All preamps I know of need a 9 volt battery that wear out at the worst time have to be changed. Their preamp has no battery but uses a capacitor that will never wears out. Just charge it for 60sec. and it lasts for 18 hrs. “Cool”. The amp they were using was a 250 watt Fishman Stick that weighs only 25 lbs. No wonder why it had such a big sound.

    Participant
    danielle-matl on #76338

    Hi Cindy, I was in almost the same boat as you. First, if you are thinking of playing the harp, you should go for it. I did, and now can’t believe I ever hesitated. I love it. I am renting a sharpsicle, and it has been good for me. I am now thinking about buying a harp. You may want to look into the Ravenna 26 by Dusty Strings. It is reasoably priced, and I have heard good things about it. You can hear a recording on the Dusty Strings website. Good luck!

    Participant
    jeffrey-mcfadden on #76339

    I don’t know about the Harpsicle, but I know I started on (and still have) a 26 string.Dusty Strings Allegro, and I sure wish I had started with 33 strings. I’m all the time crashing my left hand into my right because of lacking the next octave of bass.
    disclaimer: I’m a rank rookie at this, and 65 years old. Go for the harp, it’s beautiful. I had over 30 years on guitar and will never go back. 🙂

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