Kit Harps, how good are they?

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #161477

    I am considering building a harp for my wife from a kit; probably a
    36 Clarsarch or something like.

    unknown-user on #161478

    Hi Jeremy

    I’m afraid I can’t comment on kit harps, but you might check out Denwar harps in Australia (although at time of posting the site wasn’t responding). There are some excellent comments about his harps on this board.

    Also try Harps & Harps who are in NSW. They have a very comprehensive website and stock a good range including Camac harps. I have just acquired a Camac pedal harp which I love, but have heard great things about their lever harps too and may consider one in the future. I also find their UK prices very reasonable at the moment and the euro/pound exchange is not especially favourable.

    I’m sure you will get plenty of comments about building harps too – hope this is a useful alternative suggestion! Good luck, Jen

    unknown-user on #161479

    From experiences of the harpers in my area, I haven’t heard very good feedback about Kit Harps.
    If your wife is /wants to be serious about the harp I would keep searching.. if it is a romantic gesture /gift a Kit Harp would be fine.
    I’m pretty sure that harps are duty free..

    evelyn-tiffany-castiglioni on #161480

    You might also try Andrew Thom Harps in Tasmania.

    unknown-user on #161481

    If you go with one of the reputable kit makers, you can get very
    good results.

    unknown-user on #161482

    Greetings Jeremy from DENWAR HARPS

    unknown-user on #161483

    I would suggest Musicmakers.

    unknown-user on #161484

    I’ve built kits from three different companies, and the Musicmakers are by far the best.

    john-durgan on #161485


    I built a music makers kit several months ago as a starter instrument.

    william-weber on #161486

    A kit harp can be superior, but expect to take a week or more to assemble and glue the many parts. The Gothic Harp kit from Maryland-based based James Cox, Luthier. Ltd

    Liam M on #161487

    Well Jeremy I see your post is from 2004. I would suspect you have either built a kit or moved on.

    However, commenting on Kits, Plan Builts, in the whites and scratch builts; there is a certain additional level of enjoyment that comes with playing an instrument that you have been intimate in bringing to voice.

    I would recommend it highly to all who wish to try. Start with what you feel comfortable with and progress as you wish. I believe Audrey’s Tony has possibly one of the most interesting stories here with the Franken Harp… But it is her tale to tell…..

    Audrey Nickel on #161488

    Yep…Tony build “Frankie” out of PVC parts, following plans he bought from John Kovac:

    Here’s the finished result:

    Karen Johns on #161489


    You might be interested to know that the Voyageur can also be strung with wire strings, in case you want a larger wire-strung in the future. If you want to go with nylon, I recommend getting the performance set. The gut strings in the baritone range have a beautiful warm and mellow sound. You really can’t go wrong with the Voyageur model- it was the first harp Dave & I built from Musicmaker’s kits and it turned out great.

    Audrey Nickel on #161490

    Thanks for the input, Karen.

    Karen Johns on #161491

    Isn’t there a synthetic gut string? I think it might be called Burgundy? I’ll check on these…

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