Well, it involves firmer (higher) tension for one thing. A little like classical guitar as opposed to flamenco guitar. Some people prefer it even if they don’t intend to go on to pedal harp. Supposedly you can get a louder sound from such a harp, but there are plenty of reports of folksier harps that project just as well. There are differences in string spacing too. Folk harp tension is supposed to be easier on the fingers. In the end it’s just a matter of what you prefer. Try a Lyon & Healy Troubadour (for example) and then try a 36-string Dusty Strings (folk harp tension).
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