I am currently looking at the various pedal harps and trying to decide what would best fit me (and my budget).
Your teacher gave you good advice. I chose Lyon & Healy because the only alternative then was Venus or Salvi. I chose a 23 because my teacher insisted on it as the standard harp. She wanted me to get a natural, as I should have, but I went for the walnut. She knew what she was talking about. The Lyon & Healy sound has always been the ultimate harp to me, because it has such rich and beautiful overtones, which help it project. It is beautifully rounded and pear-shaped, as any instrument should be. I had heard Erards and such on recordings and did not like the muddiness. My teacher was concerned that we would get the best value if we needed to re-sell it, and to get the best workmanship. It took a long time to get there, but I have not been disappointed in my harp, it has an ideal tone quality now, warm, rich, full bass, projective and bright, as Steven Fritzman put it, “like a harp from the 1940s”. It could be bigger in sound, but I am not playing orchestrally and don’t need it. But in 20 years, it may get there. At that time, the Salvis I had played were small and did not ring well. I had not tried Venus, but I didn’t care for their designs. This was in the late 70s, and there were many fewer models than there are today. What tells me if a harp is good is the quality of the harmonics, the responsiveness to touch, the evenness of tone in the whole range. A lot of harps used to come with register shifts, which were not good. Like a big bass, a nasal middle and a bright but small top. I almost wanted to send mine back, because it lacked any outstanding characteristics, but because it was completely even, I decided it was worth keeping. Back then,
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