Salvi Ana vs Egan, help!

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    balzac on #229557

    I am currently looking to buy a full-sized harp, and cannot decided between the Salvi Egan or the Salvi Ana, both are currently available in new condition, and priced aproximately the same (the Ana would be 400$ CAD more than the Egan). It is my intention to move on to a pedal harp in the next 3 to 4 years, if all goes well (it’s hard though, to predict the future…!)
    I love the classical repertoire, I’ve played the piano for 20 years, but also have a love for celtic/folk music and sound.

    I like that the Ana has the cords’ spacing and tension of a pedal harp. I believe the transition to the pedal harp would be easier with an Ana as a harp (compared to the Egan). In a couple of years, when ready to move on to the pedal harp, I could also trade it in with a 10-20% depreciation (per store’s buy-back program).

    Since I would buy the Egan at a different store, I wouldn’t have that buy-back program available, and would have to buy my pedal harp full price (that is, if I decide to buy it new) in a couple of years (if I ever move on to a pedal harp). The Egan though, would allow me to later have both a celtic harp and a pedal harp (with their respective repertoire and sound). Also, the Egan has been discontinued since 2017, and it seems very hard to find/will definitely get harder to find as well. So being able to buy a new Egan does looks like a rare occasion/rare find, in my humble opinion.

    I love both the Egan and Ana’s sound. Some days I prefer the sound of the Ana, some days I prefer the sound of the Egan. They both seem like good harps, and I’m sure I’ll be happy with either of them, but unfortunately I’m the eternal undecided one. Help!!!

    I’m also wondering how hard it is to go from a celtic harp like the egan, to a pedal harp (with different cord spacing and tension)? Part of my liking of the Ana is because it seems to ease that transition. Is it hard to play celtic/folklore pieces on the ana? is the ana more suited to the classical repertoire? Thank you so much in advance 🙂
    It’s a happy problem, but a problem none the less haha.


    wil-weten on #229559

    I think the transition from the Ana or the Egan will be more or less the same. Both are harps with a medium string tension which requires the virtually same technique for playing the strings as pedal harps.

    Nowadays, Salvi Ana’s are strung with lever gut. I don’t know when Salvi stopped with putting pedal gut strings on Salvi Ana’s. Also, depending on its age, the Salvi Ana will have the old Salvi levers (the earliest of this version not easily regulated) or the performance levers (like on the L&H lever harps) or the new Chinese levers. Depending on its age, the Salvi Ana may have 38 or 40 strings, all of them levered, or the lowest and/or highest not levered (can’t remember which of the strings were not levered in earlier versions).

    As to ‘the’ sound of the Ana: I heard several and they all seem to sound a bit different. I liked the old Ana’s with their pedal gut strings better than the modern Ana’s.

    As to the Salvi Egan, frankly, I only heard two of them in real life and I preferred both of them to the Ana. I wonder whether the Egan would have a different string spacing from the Ana.

    If you are thinking of a pedal harp in the future, I would think of a L&H lever harp. They seem to have very nice ‘upgrade’ possibilities to a pedal harp, but perhaps this depends on where you live. By the way, I put ‘upgrade’ between quotes, as I think a professional lever harps is in its own way just as great as a professional pedal harp.

    balzac on #229566

    The L&H Prelude looks interesting, but I don’t know why, it kind of leaves me indifferent in a way. It’s like, I like the sound, but the harp doesn’t speak to me as much as the Egan does. The Egan has been manufactured in 2012 (brand new, never rented), so it would also have the older levers as well, I believe.

    What’s the problem with Salvi’s older levers?

    Veronika on #229575

    All the technical questions aside, it sounds to me from your posts as if you would prefer the Egan but are trying to persuade yourself the Ana would be a more “sensible” choice? (I may be completely off the mark here, of course! 🙂 )

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Veronika.
    wil-weten on #229577

    I agree with Veronika: it sounds like your heart prefers the Egan. It’s a sturdy harp with a great sound and a nice look.

    I think an Egan from 2012 may have the nicely adjustable and silent L&H performance levers, which in my opinion, function way better than the old Salvi levers and the new so called plug-and-play (Chinese) levers) which give a bit of click-clack noise when you flip them.

    One important thing: you really needs to sit behind the harp to know whether you can sit comfortably behind it. Some harp models ‘feel’ better when you play them than others and I think, that’s a mainly personal thing. Also, the sound when one sits right behind a harp differs from the sound the listeners hear.

    Edit: Though I prefer really nice levers, if the sound of a harp with not so nice, but still adequately functional levers was really great, I would still buy that harp. But if I had to choose between two harps of just about the same sound quality, I would choose for the better levers.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by wil-weten.
    brook-boddie on #229584

    I have a new Salvi Ana that was just built late earlier this year at the factory in Italy. It’s strung in pedal gut, and it has a new version of Salvi levers that are some of the best I have ever seen (I’d put them right below Camac). I think it will depend on the age of the Ana you’re looking at, but if it’s brand new, it should have the better levers and pedal gut. I can honestly say that it’s the best lever harp I’ve ever owned, at lease lever harps that are meant to sound like pedal harps. The levers look exactly like performance levers from far away, but when you take a closer look, you’ll see that they are built differently. There is almost no change in timbre of the strings when the levers are engaged. Mine are very quiet when engaged, so I’m wondering if Wil may be talking about a different kind of lever. I’m definitely not saying he’s wrong–only that perhaps the newer model I’m playing has undergone some changes. The levers are actually gold-colored and look stunning. The harp has a huge, warm, rich sound. I’ve owned a lot of lever harps in my life–trust me–and this one really is one of the best, if not the best. The Egans use lever gut stringing, so there would be some automatic differences right there. I’ve played an Egan before as well and much prefer the sound and feeling of the Ana. Good luck with your search!

    balzac on #229588

    Haha, veronika, you might be right. Truth is, some days I love the Egan more than the Ana, and some other days, I love the Ana more than the Egan. There is something with the Egan that appeals to me. At the same time, the Ana also makes my heart ache with desire 😉 So I’m face with a hard (happy) problem. The Ana I’m looking at would be brand new / out of factory 2019. The Egan is a 2012 or 2013 Egan, but after seeing pictures, it looks like the older model (with the decal on the soundboard). Not sure about the levers, though. If I could, I would buy both, haha. Thank you so much for all the information provided. It is near impossible for me to try the harps, there are no harp store near where I live (I would need to drive 7 hours to get to the nearest store). That would make things much more easier, though, I totally agree.

    edit : I could drive 7 hours down to the nearest store (in Virginia, not even in Canada haha – I’m from Canada)…they don’t have the Ana or the Egan in stock though 🙁

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by balzac.
    Veronika on #229590

    Could you rent either of them?

    I wonder if the 7 hour drive (ouch!) might be worth it – if you don’t try the harps out, will you always wonder whether you should have gone for the one you didn’t buy?

    You say you saw pictures of the Egan – are you sure that the recordings you’ve heard are of the same model? It would be disappointing to buy the harp and then discover it sounds completely different.

    Or here is an idea: why not phone the shop shop that has the Egan and ask them to play the actual harp they’d be selling you for you to listen to over the phone? Not ideal but better than nothing.

    wil-weten on #229592

    Hi Brook-BoddiePerhaps in the US they still use pedal gut for the Salvi Ana’s. In Europe, lever gut has been used for more than ten years now on these harps… E.g.:
    Good to hear that the Salvi levers on your harp function nicely.

    Hi Karine, Just a thought: Virginia Harpcenter does have a 34 strings Dusty Boulevard lever harp with pedal gut tension. It’s rather affordable and, due to its compact model, more easily transportable than a Salvi Ana.

    Virginia Harpcenter also has the 3 L&H lever harps with pedal gut tension. For me, the 40 L&H Prelude looks a lot like the Salvi Ana, but it sounds more mellow. I read that the Prelude leaves you indifferently, I wonder whether that has to do with the colour of the wood (mine has a natural maple finish, it can also be had in mahogany colour finish or ebony colour finish). By the way, you can easily remove the ‘golden’ crown and claws).

    I think it’s definitely worth while to drive the 7 hours to Virginia, as it would give you very valuable information about how these harps feel. Before you go, you could ask whether they are expecting a Salvi Ana any time soon.
    I just wonder whether the harp shops in Canada would be even further from where you live. Perhaps another thing to consider is that you may have to pay duty, tax and other importing costs when you order from the USA.

    Danamarie on #229593

    Hi there

    I read your note with interest. I did my research as well, when considering to purchase a 38 string lever harp, when I started learning the harp.
    As I am also in Canada, and no where to try a harp out, I rented a L&H Troubadour for 1 year from Ottawa Ontario. I paid for it to be delivered and taught myself. I discovered afterwards I would like to purchase my own harp and found the Salvi line which I prefer the touch and sound of. I purchased a Salvi Ana in Walnut, from the factory in California, who then sent it to The Gramophone Music Centre in Alberta (cheaper for me, less taxes, rate exchange, duties at the border). I actually had The Gramophone order it for me out of the USA, California to be exact, when it was ready, they sent it to the Gramophone music store in Alberta and I paid for shipping to Ontario Canada. Easy, pleasant and professional transaction and the owner of the Gramophone Store in Alberta goes the extra mile to make sure the transaction is complete, no damages etc. My Salvi Ana 38 string arrived promptly without any damage, packaged for ultimate safety and I have enjoyed it ever since! It has a beautiful strong bass, clear and expressive treble line, but you do have to work it a little harder to get the sound you are looking for. As it is a 38 string harp, it is heavier than a lever harp. The levers are the ‘Salvi slicers'(my harp is 10 yrs.old) as everyone calls them, however I just didn’t let it bother me and kept extra strings handy. It wasn’t all that easy to transport and I needed a smaller levered portable harp to fit in my vehicle. I decided on a 30 string Triplett Sierra also in Walnut and it is fully levered with Camac levers. It is a strong, little harp which produces a clean, clear voice and it is easy to get a good sound. My goal, as yours, was to get eventually onto a pedal harp. This past year, I changed over to a Salvi Daphne 40 string pedal harp, which I rent currently. It was a bit of a challenge to get used to making a switch to learning off of a pedal harp. No more levers, was great! however now I had to learn the 7 pedals, memorize their locations and also learn where a sharp and flat and natural were on a specific pedal and where my foot would have to be placed. I have done a good job, I think, and the transition is getting easier. It is my goal now, to sell my Salvi Ana 38 string, in Walnut, to purchase a Daphne 40 string pedal harp. The Triplett 30 string will be my traveling harp. (I had a bit of a challenge this past month, having to use my Triplett levered harp for a wedding, instead of the pedal harp. The transition back from pedal to lever took a good 2 weeks before I felt comfy once again with it.
    PS. If you are looking for a Salvi Ana in terrific shape, no scratches, dings, falls, marks or scrapes let me know. It has not gotten outside of my home, only twice for a wedding and a workshop. It has a dust cover and tuning key plus extra strings and delivery may be possible if you are in Ontario. Hoping to get $5100.

    balzac on #229598

    Thank you so much to all of you guys for your input! Lo and behold, I managed to find a harp store about an hour of driving away from my home, that sells Salvi, L&H, and Dusty Strings. So I drove there on a whim this afternoon (they were available, I had called after lunch), and tried their harps. They didn’t have any Ana in stock, but told me the Prelude sound and Ana sound were very near to one another. I inquired about the levers, as pointed out by some of you. Unfortunately, the Ana now comes with the new start&play levers, which I’m not a fan of (thank you wil-weten for pointing that out). The store owners (a professional harpist and her husband) told me how they would need to touch up the Salvi levers once in a while on their rentals, but don’t remember when they had to adjust L&H levers (only this once when someone had dropped their harp on the floor! Omg!!). SO I BOUGHT A PRELUDE in mahogany. I alsmot bought the Egan, but it was six years old out of factory, and I didn’t know how it had been kept (I was also a little wary of an Egan not being sold after six years?). Plus imagine buying a harp you think you’ll love, only to find out it isn’t quite the sound you’re looking for. Anyhow, I do believe I’ll be happy with the prelude as much as I would have been with the Ana, perhaps even more. I love how the sound booms and unravels when playing the lower keys. I was hesitant between the natural and mahogany finish, but went with the mahogany and I’m quite happy with my choice. They also had the ebony finish in stock, but it reminded me too much of my piano haha. So thank you everyone for helping me buy my first harp! 🙂 Renting a harp was an awesome way to start, but nothing compares to having an amazing harp in your house that is yours.

    wil-weten on #229610

    Congratulations with your Prelude, Karine. I’m sure you will enjoy many happy hours with it.

    You will notice it’s sound will even improve in the next months of your playing. That’s what mine has been doing and I got it ten months ago. Frankly, I think the Prelude has a mellower sound than the Ana, which one hears most clearly in the highest register. That is one of the things why I bought the Prelude.

    Veronika on #229611

    Congratulations! Enjoy your new harp.

    balfour-knight on #229688

    Too bad you didn’t closely examine the Dusty Strings harps! I am a professional pedal harpist and lever harpist, and my personal preference is the Dusty FH36S in figured cherry with Camac levers. I have absolutely no trouble changing from this harp to a Camac Atlantide Prestige concert grand pedal harp, since I play both of these harps all the time and I am used to them. Good luck with your new Prelude!

    Best wishes,

    balfour-knight on #229692


    I hope that last post of mine did not sound like “you should have bought a Dusty.” I have played very nice L&H Preludes at several different harp centers and I have harp friends who love them. I am sure that yours is a very beautiful harp! Congratulations on your new harp purchase!

    Harp Hugs,

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