I’ll just state the facts here and let you draw your own conclusions. I just got a call from a harpist on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean. The E pedal on her harp wasn’t functioning. After lots of questions and her going to the harp and then calling me back, several times, here’s what happened. It wasn’t a broken rod, nor a disconnected or broken pedal spring, both of which can happen on any instrument. What had happened was: The rivet that holds the steel pedal bar to the pedal bar fulcrum(at the opposite end of the pedal bar from the brass pedal) had come out and so the pedal bar was floating around freely! This happened because the MAJOR COMPANY that makes this instrument used a super hard rivet material that was simply press fit into the fulcrum, without hammering out the ends into a mushroom head that would lock the rivet into place. So the rivet got loose and worked its way out, thereby liberating the pedal bar and rendering it useless. Remember, this harpist is on a ship in the middle of the ocean.
It doesn’t seem to be enough for this MAJOR COMPANY to have the parts cheaply made and assembled in China. In addition, even with slave labor making these parts, they have to cut costs further and assemble the parts incorrectly, setting the harpist up for a disaster that they may not be able to fix.
This is not the first, nor the second time that I have heard of this happening. In addition to the pedal fulcrum rivet coming out, I’m also aware of steel pedal bars breaking into two pieces, again because they are not only making these parts in China, but also using inferior metal to make the part.
It doesn’t seem to concern them that these harps could suddenly stop functioning when the harpist has no access to a repair facility. Malfunctions like this never happen on older harps. But the newer ones from this company have this and other things go wrong that never happened in the past. I have one of their most expensive models here in my shop right now because a rivet came out of the main action of the F chain. So the F sharp chain works, but not F natural.
Do you really want to be in the middle of a recital or symphony concert and have something like this happen? Or be on tour as harpist with a show, or like the call today, on a ship, and have a malfunction like this happen? If your harp is made by this MAJOR COMPANY and is less than 10 years old, then it might happen.
But this MAJOR COMPANY has such a strangle hold on the American harp market that they can make their harps out of 2 X 4’s and plywood and harpists will still buy them because they know the name. But as time goes on, there will be more and more of these disasters to report.