I have read a couple times that this was a bit of a “troubled time” for the company. So I do understand that, much like Steinway, there was a Teflon craze and it was used in the rivets of the L&H Harps much like how Steinway used Teflon in the bushings of the actions of their pianos. Are there other differences between a modern L&H harp and the harps made in the 80s? Are the dimensions of an 80s salzedo the same as a 2019 salzedo etc.? Anything else to be wary of? How would one know if the harp has Teflon or more importantly Teflon that is malfunctioning? thanks again!
Found info here:
This refers to Teflon bushings that were used in Lyon & Healy harp mechanisms from 1961-1986, or roughly from Serial Number 5120 through 10124. The reason for using the plastic bushings was to reduce friction in the mechanism and get a smoother action, which they have done, but when the plastic has eventually worn out they are difficult to replace, and Lyon & Healy has removed and replaced the linkages.
The Salzedo models today are slightly altered, those of the 1980s were exactly the original design, I believe. A number of them had structural problems, so the proportions and elements of the column were slightly altered. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. Style 11s also used to have a wider sounding board than a 23, but I gather that led to uneven tone, a fatter bass, and thinner above. In that era, the neck was closer to the board in the first octave. And there have been changes in string spacing. Now, the harps have matte finishes, rather than French polished, which to me makes them look dusty all the time. I can’t stand it. A harp needs to be glossy. The later 80s was a beginning of a golden time, when they had fine wood available and the construction improved greatly over the 1970s, when they had to rush things along to keep up with the demand. I waited three-and-a-half years for my harp, which finally arrived in 1979. Fortunately, through three major repair jobs, it has become a magnificent instrument. It was often used by Heidi Lehwalder for performances and recordings.
The “troubles” you refer to were in leadership and ownership. It happens from time to time, that not being the only time. Things seem to be on a very even keel these days. The last time I toured the factory, I was much impressed by the consistency of the harps, all sounding virtually the same. One group had a very organized overtones sound, the others had busy overtones that seemed more disorganized. There was an issue on some harps of apparently having the finish laid on too thickly, which I believe they corrected soon after that. It was clearly inhibiting the sound from coming out.
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