"Liberty harps"

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    randal on #236940

    Hello! I’m thinking Biagio would know about this. Someone local is selling one – looks like an early Triplett to me. Has anyone tried stringing one with wire?

    Biagio on #237192

    Hi Randal,

    If it is the model I think it is it might be possible with brass or bronze, probably dropping the range 3-4 steps, but then you might be very well getting into wound strings in the bass or, better, half hard silver or even 14k drawn gold. The tension under that scenario might also be unreasonable. On the other hand, if you can live with steel, probably.

    There are a few gigantimous wires out there but personally I think that 30 is the biggest I can would want to have, and that is with doubled Gs in the mid and the lowest string a D with narrow 11mm spacing. OUCH!! At that point I’d just design and build from the beginning, LOL, it would be a lot easier.

    One problem when going from nylon/gut to metal is that one had best replace all the grommets with stainless steel; brass is just too soft. Going the other way though…

    I’ve converted a Cunningham 30 string from wire to nylon which was a lot easier. I’d suggest doing some digging into specifics with Debbie and Steve Triplett. They were at first skeptical when a friend converted a Zephyr to wire but were OK with it when she showed them the proposed strings.

    Haha that was a long answer that might be better put as “I’m dubious, but heck, take a look; why not?

    Best wishes,

    randal on #237211

    Ya I’d heard of someone or two converting a zephyr – which was why I asked. I’m very tempted…

    Meanwhile, check out the old Waltons wire harp on ebay.. 🙂

    Biagio on #237214

    Honestly, a wire strung is not too hard to make from scratch if one does not get all “traditional”: you know, hollowed out box, dry mortise and tenon, willow aged in a peat bog, faeries carving the wood only on nights with a new moon.

    If one does not wish to go all the way nor buy one from
    William MacDonald (who makes gorgeous clarseachs) or an Ardival, James Skeen at Folcharps makes excellent but “nontraditional” ones (ie not carved out box) at very reasonable cost. Alison here has one of his.

    After some prodding from yours truly he made at least one 26 with narrow spacing. A friend bought that and it is just fine, better than I could do. That admission comes hard, haha:-)


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Biagio.
    randal on #237218

    I very nearly purchased William’s last offering 22-string “Antiquity”…but got a hardingfele instead (as I’m also afiddler). But of course, I was arranging to acquire Harriet’s large French harp and surely would have if I could have arranged shipping from Netherlands.

    I’m only looking at this as it is local and inexpensive (I already have two triplett wires).

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