Hey pedal harpists …those of you who have used a 3-section transport cover (additional sections for the column and for the base), I’d like your opinion. I’m acquiring a gold harp, which I have learned from experience with harps I previously owned, requires more care of the surface than a varnished wood harp. I’m considering getting a 3-piece transport cover for this harp. I noticed that the different manufacturers have minor differences in their construction and look. The prices are also wildly varied. Some harpists say the 3-piece cover is a pain in the arse. I recall the first time I got a scratch on my previously-owned gold harp, I was pretty upset. What do you think? Is it worthwhile to get a 3-piece cover? Do the differences in prices among the brands actually reflect higher value?
I like the Salvi transport cover. Easy to use and secure plus about $1oo less than LH. I have a Syle 17 which came with a LH cover. I sold the cover. The base did not attach to the main cover. Plus, you had to lift the harp to get it adjusted into the solid bottom base cover. It was difficult to use. I like the two-piece Salvi base cover much better than the one-piece LH design. In addition, for the semi-grand cover, the LH base does not attach to the harp cover which makes it difficult to get out of the car. The Salvi cover is better padded and has stronger material. I am not sure about the design of the concert grand cover for LH. I believe the base is in two pieces.
If I had a gold harp, I would be sure to get the column wrap, too. It is available at Lyon Healey West. I would not move any harp without a transport cover. I have an ebony concert grand and you have to be careful about that finish (but not as much as a gold harp.)
I have used the Lyon & Healy transport cover set for years and really like it. The base cover opens in the front on the left. You don’t have to lift the harp; just tilt it forward and slide the cover under it from behind, set the harp down, and fasten the base cover. It does not attach to the large main cover. This has not been a problem. It is not water-proof but I have found it to be very water-repellant in a storm, to my great relief. I concur, definitely use a column cover. The set is expensive but it lasts a long time, and it’s a business expense, if you take that kind of deduction.
FYI, a L&H 17, though technically a semi-grand, is just a bit larger than other styles (the front feet stick out farther) so needs the concert grand size cover. A Camac Clio extended board will take a L&H semi-grand size cover.
Good luck on getting a reply from Four Seasons Covers! I contacted them about a year ago about a cover for an antique harp and have never heard back from them!
The Lyon & Healy and Salvi covers are all excellent, but several of my friends prefer the Camac covers. Have you checked them out yet?
I definitely recommend a three piece cover. I wouldn’t consider moving a gold harp without them. Personally I prefer Salvi covers and use them for my Lyon and Healy 23. I have used the same set of covers for a Camac Big Blue, LH 11 gold and also a Pilgrim Aldeburgh. I prefer the two part base of the Salvi version but I have an older cover which doesn’t attach to the main cover. I actually prefer this and sold the cover that came with my 23 (also Salvi rather than LH, but with attachment to the main cover). Having to attach the base was just an extra faff I didn’t think was necessary. I’ve never had a problem loading or unloading with the covers not attached to each other.
Camac covers are very padded and solid. They cost a fortune and while they are very good, they are heavy, very bulky, stiff and difficult to fold. This makes them tricky to store if space is tight and also difficult to hide away if you are at a gig. They aren’t the easiest to get hold of when loading either. Salvi covers are pliable and light but still offer very good protection.
Of course they all have the dreaded, tights eating Velcro (WHYYYYY???!!!) and Salvi covers are not reinforced at the top where you slide the harp into the car (I use a padded dog bed so the cover doesn’t wear at the top). They could also do with a more solid base to save holes being worn under the feet. I keep a waterproof backed mat in the car to stand the harp in when loading.
I have always used the L&H transport set and have never had a problem. The top of a concert grand I used to own hit the top of my car when I was unloading it. I was using the transport cover but not the column cover. I just knew there would be a ding on it, but nothing at all. I’m not saying that the other sets are not just as good, but the L&H set has always worked very well for me.
Emma, I saw your post on this thread and also another of your posts about a cover for a Venus harp. I checked on the Virginia Harp Center’s website, and the Camac three-piece cover for a concert grand costs $750, whereas, the Lyon & Healy set costs $795. I guess this differs for you folks in the UK. You made a good point about the different neck shapes between Camac and the other brands of harps, so I would also recommend trying the cover on the actual harp before buying it. It is hard to believe that Venus does not regularly supply transport covers for all of their pedal harps! I would not even think about moving any harp without a good transport cover on it. Brook, good to hear from you, as always!
My 2¢ on Four Seasons transport covers: I have owned several of them over the years. While delightful at first, unfortunately I noticed that after several years, the foam rubber that pads the whole inside degrades, and deposits a light dusting of black, sticky crud all over your harp. Yuck! Into the trash they go. I haven’t had this problem with the Four Seasons base covers because they are just fabric, not containing any foam rubber.
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