Opinion on Harpsicle harps?

  • Member
    eliza-bourgault on #188949

    Hello Harpcolumn community!
    I’m quite seriously considering getting myself a Fullsicle, but before I proceed with making an order I’d like to hear what other harpists think of it? Any of you guys own a Harpsicle harp? What is your general opinion of them?
    I think I came across one one day and it seemed to go out of tune really quickly, which was both annoying and worrying – has this ever happened to you?
    Would you recommend this harpmaker?
    (I’m looking at getting a light, transportable harp to go busking with and things like that)
    Cheers for the help! 🙂

    Participant
    Allison Stevick on #188951

    If you do a forum search for “harpsicle” you’ll find lots of entries. 🙂
    Recently, there’s been talk about them in the “Roosebeck harps” and “Cardboard harp kit quality” threads.
    Good luck, and happy harp-shopping! 🙂

    Member
    Angela Biggs on #188952

    I have… actually, I don’t know off the top of my head how many Harpsicles I own! Eight? Two or three are usually out for rent and I have to keep five on hand for workshops. I use them for teaching, rentals, and Christmas caroling in my neighborhood. Recently I played an outdoor funeral in the POURING rain and used my Fullsicle (there was no way my performance harp was leaving my car). I told the family about the rain caveat ahead of time; nobody else there knew the difference and everyone loved it.

    I keep one Harpsicle set up on its stand because I use it to give lessons. It holds its tune very well, though I only use it one day a week. After their strings were stretched and soundboards bellied, I’ve found that the several harps I use once every couple of months for workshops hold their tune well during that workshop hour. I go through and rough-tune once, then start over again and fine-tune and they’re good to go — after two months without being touched! If the one you tried was going out of tune, it is a fluke flaw, the harp was never given that initial tune-every-day period, or it went a very, very long time without a tuning.

    The Tasty Harps Company is very helpful. My first Harpsicle was one I bought for super-cheap because it had a blown soundboard. Even though I didn’t buy it from the maker, they told me how to fix it, and that was the start of my fleet. Most recently, I bought back a previously sold Harpsicle from a student who was having financial trouble. I didn’t think to look for bent tuning pins initially…. but when I discovered one, THC sent me a couple of replacements no charge. They’re really nice, helpful people.

    If you want to busk and your budget is about the size of a Fullsicle, I think it’s a good choice — and get a guitar strap. I always feel really cool playing a harp while walking around. I mean seriously, how many people on this planet are lucky enough to do that? 🙂

    Participant
    karen on #188956

    Do try one first. The tension is VERY light; you might love that, you might not.

    Participant
    Paul and Brenda on #188959

    We have found that if we play closer to the soundboard the tension doesn’t feel as light. It does change the tone though.

    Participant
    Biagio on #188961

    As many have said, the tension is light but I only find it really objectionable in the last half octave with the stock strings. Rees offers a string set with wound strings down there to address that complaint; they are a great improvement.

    Biagio

    Member
    czenzilee on #189033

    I bought a Flatsicle as my first harp. I know I’m new so I haven’t got as much basis of comparison to other harps on other points. But, since it is a concern of yours, I can say that mine keeps tuning incredibly well.

    Participant
    Rachael Rosenbaum on #189045

    About two months ago I played one in a shop. I actually kind of liked it. The owner of the shop said it was a newer version, which was an improvement upon its predecessor. I thought it had a nice enough sound and the tension didn’t seem excessively light to me. I play a Salvi Livia which has, I think, medium-high tension. I love the tension of my Livia but didn’t find the “new” harpsicle objectionable. Hope that helps.

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