harp mechanic in poor condition, how come?

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    Hello! I brought my pedalharp to the store recently to get a taxation of the value, since I want to sell it to buy another harp.
    My current harp is an Aoyama Orpheus 47a with extended soundboard, approx. 15 years of age (I bought it ten years ago second hand, so I don’t know the exact age).
    In the store they told me my harp was in very poor condition (though they said the exterior looked just fine for the age of the harp, nearly no dents), and if I continue to play it for very much longer I will play the mechanics to death. The bottom line was I have to sell my harp quickly before it has no value at all anymore. My harp was only good for amateur beginners and no good anymore for professional harp playing.
    I was in a bit of a shock because I didn’t see that one coming. I always took good care of my harp. It is true that the last service was a while ago, but I also have not played for a while after the last servicing. Does anyone know how come my harp is in such poor condition.
    Is it because I had to put in much more servicing?
    Is it because Aoyama is maybe not a good brand and makes “bad” harps?
    Is it because of environmental issues, such as moist (I have


    Margareet- I don’t have nearly enough information to advise you on what is going on. Where are you? Who told you the mechanism was in poor condition? A master harp rebuilder? Or a store clerk trying to sell you something else? What exactly is wrong with the mechanism? To simply say that it is in poor condition doesn’t tell me anything. Ask the person who told you this for a list of specific problems. The list should include anything and everything that this person feels is wrong with the instrument. And I also want to know what the qualifications are of the person who told you this.

    I recently was asked to submit a proposal to do major repairs to a harp belonging to one of the military bands(here in the United States). The harp was too far away from me to simply go see it myself. The person who read me the list of things wrong with the instrument was a finance person, and probably had never even seen a harp. As he read the list, I thought to myself, this harp was examined by a regulator who does not rebuild harps. The man reading me this list didn’t know where the information came from, so I asked him to have the band harpist call me. She did, and sure enough, the harp had been examined by a traveling regulator who, while he’s a good regulator for whom I have a lot of respect, does not and never has rebuilt a harp. The point here is that it is important to know who made this judgement on your harp and what their qualifications are. The person may have insufficient knowledge to make such a judgement or appraisal, or is just feeding you a line of *&(* trying to make you buy something else.

    In the case of the military harp, I gave the harpist a very specific list of questions I wanted answers to. She called me while she was standing in front of the instrument and we went over it on the phone. After that, I submitted my proposal, and got the job!


    Hello Carl,

    Thank you for your reply. I live in the Netherlands and my harp was examined by the owner of the major harp store in this country. She is also responsible for the taxation for insurances etc. I didn’t ask her what was wrong exactly, because I was so flabbergasted, but my harp is going for a servicing on 20th of October and I am going to cross examine the service guys (from Camac). Also the store owner told me she didn’t tell me this to sell me anything and I was also free to do whatever I wanted, play on on this instrument, or buy a harp elsewhere… And I got the impression she did not want to trade in my harp for another although a clerk whom I had on the phone earlier in the week told me a fine second hand was good for the business.


    If you are playing, or going to be playing professionally, then you should certainly have the best possible instrument. Our first instruments are often only the first and not the only or last.


    Carl- how did the military harp turn out? Was it very old? Just curious.


    Each harp needs service every souple years. The wood “sits down”, stratches, plates move and can get out of tune, etc. If the instrument wasn’t serviced for 15 years, no wonder it got disbalanced. The pedal felting gets old too and trushes.

    Usually, I noticed, some service technitians try to tell


    Steven- I haven’t received it yet. I had to put in a bid to do the work and to be honest I assumed from the beginning that they were asking me to do this just because they were required to get several bids and they had already decided who was going to do this. But that turned out not to be the case. I’m in the process of arranging the shipping now and I should have the harp here in the next week or so. it’s about 20 years old and was made by a major manufacturer.


    Carl – you’ll laugh, but I always think in the most grand and romantic ways imaginable. I had pictured some old WWII era harp that helped motivate the troops in Normandy or Okinawa with thrilling glissandos to “Stars and Stripes Forever”. But it’s got to feel great helping restore any harp that represents our country’s finest!


    I’ll let you know Steven. I should be getting it sometime this week. I’m praying right now that what’s wrong with it is what they said was wrong with it.


    Hi Katerina,

    Thank you for your response. Off course I did have had some services on my harp in the last 10 years. But the last one was about 5 years ago. That is too long, but then, I didn’t play on it for very much for about 1,5-2 years. At the last servicing, (including new felts) the repairmen said they did not have to do much on it… And now I got this terrible verdict! At present my harp doesn;t have much buzzes or anything, except for the pedals. They really make a lot of noise and it is not the spring coils, for I greased those.
    As a matter of fact I

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