I am in a deep conundrum…
John Kovac has a 36-string paraguayan harp kit that can be had for $725 (not including shipping). He is even willing to modify the harp neck to accommodate sharping levers for me. The levers will cost about $500. If I pay a local luthier to put all of these together for me, all of these will cost me about $1575 for the harp (assuming the shipping for the kit were $100 and shipping for the levers were $50 and luthier fee were $200). What do you think? Is this a good deal? I love the prospect of being able to play the paraguayan harp with all those special effects it is capable of. But we all know this would take a couple of years of dedicated study, and time is something that is not a luxury for me at this time (unless I quit all my choral activities and free up some time to fully devote to it). So right now, it really feels like I am chasing a pipe dream. But I think a harp would be nice thing to have around even if just for display and a conversation starter piece. If I am going through with this, then I would have to do this fast while the CDN dollar is on par with US dollar. But I am also having reservations because something inside me is telling me that my money may be better used somewhere else (e.g. travel and vacation).
I need someone to bounce off these ideas to. I need some clarity and right now my mind is fogged by desire for this harp. I need someone to talk me out of it if it is going to be impractical to buy one. I’ve paid $2000 for a japanese keyboard that I still haven’t learned to play even after three years, and so far I have no regrets, and happy with it (of course I would be even happier if I could play it well and show off to my family and friends).
On the other side of this coin is a 30-string cross-strung harp by Stoney End music shop in Minnesota. It is $1799 fully built or $1099 sold as a kit. Shipping is around $100 according to the owner. To build the kit will require some woodworking knowledge and tools. The shop owner’s wife offered that if I drive over to their place (since I live in Manitoba which is 10 hours away), they will put me up in their guest room, and for an extra $100, they will build the harp kit for me with me helping out in the gluing, making all the bridge pins the correct length and learning the technique for stringing, shaping and sanding. It sounds like a sweet deal to me. What do you think?
As you can see, I am quite torn — both harps sound lovely (check them out on Youtube) and just look at all the great deals I am getting. But I really need some clarity. Can you talk some sense to me please?
All of these started because I just wanted to buy a cardboard dulcimer (which links to a cardboard harp which links to folk harps which links to Youtube of all these fantastic paraguayan harpists which sparked this wild craving to own one myself).
Help! What should I do? Do you know anybody who can talk some sense into me?
I would appreciate any advice you have to offer!! Please!