Harp camac melusine normal vs concert

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    byouke on #192327

    Hi everyone

    I’ve been browsing around on youtube and fell in love with the lever harps and their sound on songs that isn’t classic, and would like to learn it at a music school (currently in one). So I’ve been looking around at harp-website-stores from my country (Belgium) and their sounds on youtube. Not much choice here in brands: camac, salvi en 3 lever L&H.

    And I particulary enjoy the sound of the camac mélusine, feels more earthy to me, not so light and delicate. But their are two types: the regular and the “concert” version.

    Does anyone has experience with these models? Is their a big difference in sound? Because they only have the normal melusine in the music stores here (maybe possible to order a “concert”) and I can’t compare at the moment.

    Thanks in advance everyone!

    hearpe on #192329

    People like Camac but I can’t tell you anything never tried one. I’d love to hear the examples you speak of if you could post the links. It might generate more response.

    califa on #192334

    I highly recommend sone small lever harp makers in Germany.
    The quality and sound are much better than the 3 major harp makers.

    byouke on #192335

    Sure, no problem.
    Here are some youtube-vids

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw_ZpnEQOBQ (Another day in parade)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueSZMY7iNVs (cannon in D)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d-4siO6bdE (Comptine d’un autre été)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knpCl_ozvS8 (nightingale)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffyTgZcZSjY (daft punk – get lucky)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eqRk9UR9Dw (final countdown)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_YCH9rsGvs (o’ carolan)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-fobd5l57Y (listen to your heart)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SStRDAJJ0w (memory from “cats”)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eByVMCHsAqY (adele – hello)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzjcBD7YVBk (skyrim)

    PS You’ll see the logo’s are different sometimes on the harp, but camac has changed his logo 4 times through the years (a cloud with text, swirls, firework, and the recent one a modern small font text)

    What I don’t understand, is by some people the harp tends to squeek. Is this of technique or strings or older models?

    byouke on #192336

    Hi Califa

    Maybe after some years of practise, I could go visit germany and his harp makers. But for now, it’s already a 3 hour drive to the border of Germany I think, probably easier to start with a harp shop closer by.

    There is also a harp shop in the Netherlands who sell dusty strings and such (http://www.zingendesnaar.nl/), but it also a looooong drive for me (also 3 hours).

    Anonymous on #192345

    Hi Byouke
    I have Camac concert melusine, it has a nice deep tone to it. I love it very much. I have a youtube video if you would to hear the harp. Course I was naughty I didn’t tune it.

    Concert Melusine

    All the best,

    byouke on #192356

    Hi Liz

    Thanks for the video 😉 . Watched your other video also. Yes, the sound is indeed nice and rich.

    hearpe on #192369

    Great examples all. Keep harping. The Camacs ARE nice.

    karaskovalada on #192384

    Yes there is a huge difference between the concert and the other version, i’m used to the concert one (we have it in school) but they had the other one at a competition and it sounded much more quiet and the sound was quite dull. However, let me give you a very helpful piece of advice, never buy a harp, lever or pedal with nylon strings, always gut! Nylon strings are unnatural and don’t even resemble the beautiful sound of gut strings used for centuries.

    byouke on #192385

    Thanks for the reply everyone.

    karaskovalada have you ever used carbon strings? How do you feel about those? Because I’m looking towards a harp with more of a celtic sound, not a classic sound.
    Any advice is appreciated.

    karaskovalada on #192388

    No, i haven’t, but i heard that they’re very durable haha. The celtic sound is wire (clarsachs are all copper/silver), i’ve played some celtic music on my gut harp and it sounded way better than our nylon school harp. I’m thinking that playing prés de la table could make your desired celtic effect? Good luck and practise etudes! 🙂

    byouke on #192391

    thanks karaskovalada. Pfew, all those choices,… I guess I will have to compare some harps. Maybe gonna look into the “celtic isolde” or the “stivell” in the shop when school starts again. To bad their isn’t much video clips of these compared with the mélusine. Oh well, decisions, decisions, so difficult.

    Anna Steinholtz on #192866

    Hi Byouke,
    My teacher has a Melusine Concert and I’m totally in love with it. I have not had the chance to try the “normal” model, but I’ve been told that there is quite a big difference.
    If you are new to harping, I would strongly recommend that you try and compare different brands and models before you decide to buy a harp, because it’s quite an investment, and there are so many different kinds of harps around – difference in string tension,spacing, material, woods, etc etc. And there are to my knowledge no better place to do that than in the shop in Leerdam you mentioned – de Zingende Snaar. I travelled there from Sweden to do my comparative hands-on research, I’m jealous on your 3 hour drive there :-). The owner Jeanette is great, and she has a very diverse selection of instruments – a lot of Camacs, but also Salvis (but no L&H:s, I think? Check on her website!). Even more interesting, she also has lots of harps not made by any of the “Big 3”-pedal harp makers, but by makers specializing in lever harps, such as Dusty Strings, and at least one Irish maker. And also (sometimes, when they’re not out of stock) fabulous harps by the German Berlin-based maker Pepe Weissgerber. They have gut strings, soft tension and narrow spacing – a completely different animal than the Melusine. It’s very much a matter of personal taste, and of what kind of music you want to play…
    Just a few thoughts.
    Good luck with your playing and shopping!

    Biagio on #192867

    Sorry to be coming in late here…..

    With respect to “celtic” music that’s a pretty broad term: Welsh, Irish, several varieties of Scottish, Manx, Galician, Breton….some of those indeed are best played with gut if you want to sound traditional (Welsh, some Scots and Galician) but the majority not – they were originally composed for wire strings. If you prefer non metallic go with nylon as a closer choice. Gut has too fast a decay to sound authentic – you will end up playing long arpeggios. That can indeed be very pleasant of course.

    Two other points at the risk of sounding rude: first, copper is too soft to use as a music string and silver too heavy except for low bass. Second, it is as absurd to say that gut is the only way to go as it is to suggest that Sitka spruce is the only tone wood to use. Try different harps and choose what YOU prefer.


    byouke on #192884

    Thanks for your input everyone.

    Yes, I’ve been comparing some models like you guys said. There is indeed quite some differences in sound between models and/or brands.

    Been on the road these last weekends to the different shops in the country, pfeww what a drive. Been driving between the two shops a couple of times to compare.

    Salvi in Ghent, and Camac in Antwerp. (LH is in Mechelen, but they are famous for their pedal tension on lever harps, and I prefer a bit lighter tension)

    Been listening to the student Salvi Titan and the pro Salvi Egan. With Camac I’ve listened to the Mélusine (they hadn’t have to concert version in the shop, but they could import it if you really wanna compare the two), Isolde celtic, Korrigan, Excalibur, Stivell, and a classic pedal harp to compare.

    I, personally, wasn’t impressed with the Salvi harps. They’re good, but I didn’t fell in love with them.
    Then with Camac, I must say, I loooooved the excalibur. I heared it on the expo, and it was impressive to hear (partically because of its bigger soundboard, and the high walls of the chamber).
    I’ve listened to the other harps, and relistened to them again in another weekend in the shop, in a normal chamber, and I still prefer the excalibur to the rest (Mélusine came second for me).

    I ain’t that fond of the gutsound I must say after hearing them. It’s a good sound, but I like the sound a bit more bolder. So I’m very pleased with the excalibur and her carbon strings, and I can play it when it’s summer without worrying that a string will pop.

    So, a couple more months of saving, and I’m going back to the shop for my first harp. Yeaah, I can’t wait. 🙂

    >> a sound-clip (http://www.camac-harps.com/en/harps-eng/lever-eng/excalibur-eng)

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