I have thought about the cross-strung harp, recently, as it was mentioned a while back in response to one of my blog posts.
I’ve never tried a cross-strung harp, but it seems to me that, for accidentals in a particular piece it would be simpler than using levers. However, I think that for playing diatonically in various keys the lever harp would be simpler. This is because, in the former scenario you don’t have to be constantly flipping levers, just play the odd string on the other side of where they cross, but in the latter scenario it could mean playing several sharps or flats in certain places, that would just be played as if diatonic, in a set lever harp.
Another thing that seems a great advantage, to me, of the lever harp over the cross-strung harp, is the stringing and tuning. As if harps in general don’t have enough of that to deal with it, a cross-strung harp can make it about twice the stringing and tuning!
What are your thoughts?
Is Stoney End the most economical American-made cross-strung harp? http://www.stoneyend.com
Is the Harps of Praise Shepherd the most economical fully-levered American-made harp? http://www.harpsofpraisehf.com