My first harp – Camac Mademoiselle, Lyon & Healy Prelude 40 or Salvi Ana?

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    Mattias Johnsson on #159073

    Hi all! I’m new here at this forum. I have always wanted to play the harp before and it is very difficult for me to try harps becouse I live in Sweden and there are no serious Harp retailers here.

    I want my harp to make me almost cry when I play and it should feel magical when the notes vibrates through the air 🙂

    I’m thinking of a Camac Mademoiselle, Lyon & Healy Prelude 40 or a Salvi Ana. I would like to hear all comments about these harps. Are there any other harp that you can recommend that are in the same class?

    All comments are much needed and warm welcome

    Many thanx from me 🙂

    Tacye on #159074

    I think you should also consider the Teifi Eos as another similar contender.

    jessica-wolff on #159075

    I think Mattias (my brother’s name minus an h) is considering mainly lever harps that look &/or sound like pedal harps, though the Eos comes close to that category also, and I just listened to a video of one and really liked it. Wonderful sound!

    If Mattias is a little more flexible about that point, then I can think of other models too, such as the Josephus Heritage–but there the shipping from Canada would be a killer.

    Over here the Ana is slightly more expensive than the Prelude, but that might not be the case across the ocean. I think the Ana is a handsomer harp, but that isn’t exactly the most important point and is anyway just my opinion.

    karen on #159076

    If he wants a lever harp and looks, feels and sounds like a pedal harp than he should look at the Pratt Chamber harp (made by JOHN Pratt—not the one made by his brother, Carl). In my opinion, it is the by far the best made and as close to pedal as you can get and still have levers. The craftsmanship is impeccable and he uses Camac levers which are considered the best. Good luck and happy playing once you get it!

    Mattias Johnsson on #159077

    Thanx for all answers so far 🙂

    Nobody has said anything about Camac Mademoiselle. It is like 300-400 Euro cheaper than the other two. Will that be a good choice anyway? Will I miss something in sound or feeling if i choose the Mademoiselle?

    And yes, Jessica is right, i’m mainly considering lever harps that look &/or sound like pedal harps 🙂 Shipping from Canada/USA will cost $600 for shipping to Sweden and then around

    Haley B on #159078

    Actually “Harps International” carries Pratt’s and Camacs for that matter and they are located all over the world so check them out—that way perhaps no shipping from US to you.
    or even better, email the owner personally and see what he can do for you:

    jessica-wolff on #159079

    I just googled “camac mademoiselle harp” and found links to discussions here on Harp Column and various descriptions by vendors, but nothing about how it feels or sounds except from Camac themselves, and of course they think it sounds great!

    Mattias Johnsson on #159080

    Thanx again Jessica for the answer. But There are really noone that really says anything about the Camac Mademoisselle.. I think that harp is the most beatiful of the three I have in mind, but the sound and the levers are more imprtant to work out 🙂

    Hmm.. Anyone else that can give me some advice?

    jessica-wolff on #159081

    Sounds as if you’re already half in love with it.

    renate-kvalsvik on #159082

    Hi Mattias.
    I understand your problem, being a Norwegian myself. There are no harp retailers here, either.
    My recommendation is that you save up the extra money and travel to a harp retailer elsewhere in Europe, in the UK or if you really want a Camac, then maybe France. Take it as a holiday. You really should try a harp before buying, as not all harps sound the same, even if they are the same model.
    I know that’s what I will do when the time comes for me to buy my first pedal harp. I was a bit unlucky when I bought my lever harp, and really do wish I had tried before I bought it. I might have ended up with something completely different.
    For now, I’m lucky that I get to rent a pedal harp soon. Maybe that would be an option? Talk to your harp teacher, and maybe she/he knows someone with a harp for rent.

    tony-morosco on #159083

    I have never played a Mademoiselle, but I have played many Camac lever harps and own a Camac.

    So while I can’t address the specific issue of the sound of the Mademoiselle I can say that Camac harps are well built in general, and their levers are among the best out there. In fact I wish it were reasonably doable to replace the loveland levers on my other lever harp with Camac levers.

    All three of the harps you listed are made by companies with great reputations. I have played on both the other two and they are fine instruments. And while I haven’t had the pleasure of trying this particular Camac model I have a generally good opinion of Camac harps. I currently own one Camac harp and two Lyon and Healy’s and really, you can’t go wrong with any of these makers so long as the instrument appeals to you personally.

    As a genral rule I find that Camac harps sound a bit brighter than Lyon and Healy or Salvi. Lyon and Healy harps tend to have a mellower sound. Neither is better, just different. And this is, of course, a generalization.

    HBrock25 on #159084

    Hello Sweden :-)! Sorry to be inpolite, but here comes a Swedish reply:

    Mattias, har du kollat nordic harps?
    För ett år sedan köpte jag en Balder (which really is a “Voyageur” built from a MusicMakers kit) av Sally Sehlin, och jag är mycket lycklig med den- har ett verkligt magiskt ljud för överkomligt pris (jämfört med dem du tittar på! :-), och framför allt- kan provspelas här i hemlandet.
    Jag blev dock väldigt förvånad över att det kan vara så stor skillnad mellan dessa byggsatsindivider, millimeteridentiska och i samma träslag… Alla hennes harpor lät vackert, men att jag köpte just denna modell berodde på att just det exemplaret sjöng som det gjorde (hade egentligen siktet inställt på en annan modell). Så alltså- provspela, vilket märke du än satsar på!
    Kanske tänker du dig ett par strån vassare och dyrare… men jag kan inte låta bli att tipsa!
    Happy harping and shopping :-)!

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