New L&H Drake harp

  • Participant
    rc on #252772

    I just saw the announcement for Lyon and Healy’s new Drake lever harp, and it seems to be exactly what I was looking for! Does anyone have feedback on the Drake harp — body, strings, sound quality, etc? For comparison, I own a Dusty Strings Ravenna 34 and occasionally play a L&H Ogden at someone else’s home. I wanted to find an affordable ideal L&H lever harp with non-pedal-harp-level string tension that had at least 34 strings and was light enough to carry, and came with the right attachable legs by default (instead of having to buy separate sets of legs like the Ogden where it includes useless 8 inch legs for me).

    I don’t have a store for Salvi harps nearby, but if I do in the future…would the Salvi Mia be the closest match?

    Participant
    Ada Prince on #253253

    I very briefly played this yesterday. I don’t have much harp experience (about one month in learning), so I can only offer a beginner’s view.
    The tension is lighter than L&H Troubadour, but it felt like it was still higher tension than what other light tension harps feel like. There was more of a noticeable difference in tension between another light tension harp and the Drake versus the Drake and the Troubadour.
    The sound is full and carries well. If I’m comparing it to the Troubadour II, which is what I normally practice on, the Troubadour has a slightly richer sound. On the high end the sounds were nice and clear, not at all thin sounding.
    It’s very lightweight and easy to maneuver and it is very beautiful.

    Participant
    wil-weten on #253254

    Ada, thanks for sharing this information. What ‘other light tension harps’ were you thinking of when comparing the L&H Drake to them?

    Participant
    Biagio on #253332

    The Drake harp looks nice and I am intrigued by the new string material. WRT “tension”: many people find this confusing, believe it or not.

    When harp makers refer to tension they are referring to static tension – i.e. the force prior to the pluck.

    Many players on the other hand think of the force required to pluck the string for a good tone. This is more accurately a different physical term – “resistance” – but it is very difficult to come up with a non-confusing way to measure that so we use instead the ratio of tension divided by length. Unfortunately few makers publish the data needed to evaluate this so if in doubt it is always best to try the harp yourself.

    This confusion between static tension and resistance can lead to fallacious ideas; here are two common examples:

    -“Gut strung harps are at higher tension than nylon strung” Not necessarily, you can replace nylon with gut, assuming appropriate diameters, without altering the static tension but gut is less elastic so the resistance is greater.

    “Wire strung harps are at very high tension” Again, nope. It is true that a wire harp may have the strings closer to the breaking point than with gut or nylon but again that is a question of the material’s elasticity (and density). I have two 26 string harps, one nylon, and the other bronze and silver. The nylon one is actually at higher static tension.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by Biagio.
    Participant
    wil-weten on #253336

    As the annoying automatic spam function of this forum removed my post with link, I will post it again without the functional link…

    Some additional information on the question of putting other strings on one’s harp than the harp was designed for: https manufacturing dot dustystrings dot com slash blog slash can-i-replace-my-nylon-harp-strings-gut

    Participant
    Ada Prince on #253362

    wil-weten, when I tested out the Drake I had told my teacher I wanted to try some lighter tension harps. She had me try two or three others in comparison to the Drake though I wasn’t asking the names of the harps. I believe one was a Webster that she restrung specifically with lighter tension. I’m sorry I don’t have more specific information.

    Participant
    wil-weten on #253529

    I just found a nice videoclip of the L&H Drake harp in which Ms Kilby plays Boundless by Kim Robertson (ABRSM Grade 8 Harp non-Pedal).

    Unfortunately this post won’t get uploaded when I add the link to the clip.

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