Salvi harps in general are really good, and especially the Iris. Are you thinking the Gold version? One of my friends has one that is truly beautiful, and we have used it and my Atlantide (Camac) to perform together on. They complement each other brilliantly! The tone of the Iris is a little darker and more mellow, whereas my harp is brighter. Hope you hear from Gretchen, here on the forums, since she loves Salvi harps.
Hi Balfour. Must be ESP that l checked HC now. There are no cons to a Salvi Iris. The sound is clean and clear. The harp will sound better and be easier to play if you change the gut and wire strings to Vanderbilt gut and wire. Mine is a 2012. I know there have been some soundboard changes since then but the Salvi sound is generally very consistent.
You seldom see an Iris for sale so that says something about the harp. I would feel confident about buying an Iris I heard over the phone and on a YouTube clip. The only other harp I would be so casual about buying is with a Salvi Apollo. Apollos are very consistent. I just helped another harpist buy one that way. I have an Apollo, as well.
In another coincidence, a harp friend is buying an Iris. She sent a video late this afternoon of another harpist demonstrating the the Iris. It has looks and sound to die for even just listening on an iPad without headphones.
I just looked at photos of them on Salvi’s website. The natural ones with hand-painted soundboard art are just as beautiful as the gold version! I love the blue accents they work into the gold artwork.
The cons are the weight, increased size, heaviness on your shoulder, and whether you like the sound or not. Even with the improvements, I still find Salvi harps lacking when compared to Lyon & Healy’s, particularly in the treble register. On the other hand, a Salvi is very sturdy.
Guzzie, even if I could afford the gold Iris, I believe I would still opt for the natural one! The beautiful, intricate, carvings in the maple wood really show up. I agree with you, I am quite taken with the blue flowers and gold design on the soundboard. This harp will not be heavy on the shoulder, since it balances so well. The new, larger design of the extended soundboard is like my Atlantide Prestige, and it sounds gorgeous, even profound.