I am in the US. I have been thinking about buying a lever harp for several years and am ready to add one to my collection. I do not play the harp. I would be using it for personal enjoyment. I specialize in a different instrument.
I found a used Camac Mélusine recently. However, unlike the Mélusine currently advertised on the Camac site, this one offered to me only has 36 strings and has a carbon soundboard instead of 38 strings and a spruce soundboard. I am curious about a few things:
First, how does a carbon soundboard affect the sound of a harp? It seems to me that most harps I have looked at use wood soundboards.
Second, does anyone know how much this sort of Mélusine sold for new and/or how much would be a fair price for a used one? I searched online a little in English and in French, but could not find many with precisely 36 strings and carbon soundboard to compare against.
Third, are two strings extra strings on the more current 38-string Mélusine important enough to go for that instead of a 36-string Mélusine? I noticed that people are usually advised to go for more strings but that seems to typically be when someone is trying to decide between 22 and 26 or 29 and 33.
Last, I suppose does anyone have recommendations for other lever harps in the less than $2,000 range?