Limerick lap harp vs. Fullsicle

Home Forums Harps and Accessories Limerick lap harp vs. Fullsicle

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)
  • Author
  • #70876


    I’ve been wanting a small travel harp for a long time now, and have finally decided to save up a bit and go for it. However, I’m having problems choosing between Musicmaker’s Limerick harp and the Fullsicle harp. Both seem to have great sound for their small size. The Limerick harp seems to have (from what I can hear from sound clips and Youtube) a fuller, more mellow sound, and looks much better, but is very expensive compared to the Fullsicle. If I get a Limerick, I will also have to build it from a set to save money, and I’m not entirely sure of my own or my husband’s woodworking skills. I’m afraid of doing something wrong.

    Is there anybody out there with experience with either harp who can offer some advice?


    I’m also afraid that the tension of the Fullsicle will be too light for me, since I’m accustomed to a pedal harp. Does the Limerick have higher string tension?

    And what about the Ravenna 26? Is that easily portable for its size? I would need to be able to carry it around with ease, preferably on the back, and I’m quite a small woman (only 158 cm tall). But as far as I can tell, it sounds great.




    Hi Renate,

    I was at one time considering purchasing a Flatsicle harp (levers on C,B,F), but decided against it, after I heard one at my harp ring meeting, and after watching some YouTube videos. The tone didn’t sound good to me at all, kind of “twangy”.


    I can’t speak about the Limerick, but I own a Fullsicle and have played a Ravenna. I prefer the Ravenna. The string tension on the lower half octave on the Fullsicle is *very* loose, to the point that if you are not careful, the tone suffers. The only advantages I can think of to the Fullsicle over the Ravenna are that the Fullsicle is smaller and lighter (it does fit in an airplane overhead compartment — I have done it), and the price.


    Thank you so much, both of you. I have really decided against the Fullsicle now. From what I can see and hear, the Ravenna sounds like a good choice, but I’m afraid it won’t be as portable as I want. As I said, I want to be able to carry it around comfortably by myself.

    Anyone out there with exerience with the Limerick? I really adore the looks of that little harp.


    I have a Limerick in walnut that I use in day to day gigs. Its a great harp. I don’t think it sounds as nice as my Ravenna (which is portable but far too big probably for what you want), but it has a great sound and projection for the size (its louder than the Ravenna).

    I have played a harpsicle, but didn’t really like the tone of it. Having said that, I seem to remember it was smaller than the limerick and might do well for a travel harp. If you are going to do any performing with it at all, I would go the Limerick.

    Musicmakers staff seem very nice and there are guarantees on their site that you can put it together yourself. I didn’t trust myself and had it premade.

    The lap bar that they make as an accessory is a good investment and I can imagine it being able to be used on other harps.

    Here is a video of me breaking a string on one at a gig last night:


    Thanks, Adam. I have more or less decided on the Limerick now, because it is really a portable harp that I want, and the Ravenna seems too big, even if it sounds wonderful. I already have a wonderful-sounding harp, after all, and what I need now is a harp I can take with me everywhere I go.

    Thanks for the tip on the lap bar, too. I think I’ll definitely need one.


    The Harpsicle® harp was designed to be a very compact, light (4 – 5lbs), inexpensive, tough (this is a great harp to take to the beach or to bring on a hike), good sounding harp that could be carried on an airplane and stored in most overheads or garnet closets. It is roughly patterned after the Gothic and Renaissance harps with their narrow soundboxes and expressive, light tension. It is not meant to compete with thousand dollar plus harps or a large, much heavier Ravenna 26. (The Ravenna being of a size which is neither a lap harp or a floor harp, hence the need for the leg.) In case you are not aware, I do build a two thousand dollar plus lap harp, the Morgan Megahan, which has an incredible voice but is larger, heavier and, of course, vastly more expensive, than is the Harpsicle® harp.

    I have been making instruments for forty years. Neil Young and band members of the Johnny Carson Show have been some of my patrons. My Rees Concert Line Harps are played by Maíre Ní Chathasaigh, who is the top Irish harper, double Grammy® winning harpist Marta Cook (playing with Yo-Yo Ma, Grammy® winning harpist Carol Thompson (playing with Paul Winters), Ray Pool etcetera etcetera. I do not design nor make “twangy” sounding instruments (including the Harpsicle® harp) as Gloria misstates in two of her postings. It is a mistake to confuse poor playing technique or bad YouTube recordings with the qualities of the instrument. The Harpsicle® Harp is probably the most used harp the world in therapy programs. You cannot have a “twangy” harp in these programs. They are used by the Irish Harp Centre, Hong Kong Harp Ensemble, San Francisco

    Paul and Brenda

    Again, our Grands Harpsicles are fabulous.


    Correction to Re: 9. The YouTube address for the Asian Harpsicle Harp player is “chimarot”.


    Mr Rees, your posts belong under the classifieds section!


    Deb L

    What is shameful, is that inaccurate information that can apparently be spread with no thought of the background and the facts. Their is nothing wrong with gaining knowledge. If someone was to post that Deb L is a terrible harp player and has no worthy technique then you yourself should only reply in the classified for your own promotion and defense.


    Deb, I am sorry, but I think you must have misread mr. Rees’ posts. By your posts in this thread you are damaging his well deserved good reputation, both regarding his entry level ‘harpsicle’ series as well as his professional line.

    Just click on his name and you will find a list with all his messages. Then read the whole thread in order to be able to see which messages caused Mr. Rees to write to this forum in order to make the difference clear between his well built entry level harpsicles and his professional line of harps and to prevent damage to his business and good reputation.

    And when you have reread Mr. Rees’ messages you will understand that he never promoted himself in any of these forums! He just defended himself.

    I think you may be willing to apologize to him in public in this thread.

    Kind regards,


    Will, I agree – thanks for your words.


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.