Has anyone ever bought a harp secondhand from a ways away, hiring another harpist/teacher local to the area to check it out first (I’ve heard of this being possible, but not sure if I’ve ever actually heard of it happening)?
However, this is a few hours from me… further than I would prefer to drive just for purposes of looking at something that may turn out to not even be any good (especially with an older car whose mileage I would like to limit as much as possible). (And, since I wouldn’t know enough to evaluate it well, there’s little point in me doing so myself anyway; I’d still have to find someone else who could go with me to have a look, so I might as well just find someone to look at it for me and then decide whether I want to drive there or look into shipping.)
I am not sure what to think of the instrument, I admit. The price is quite low. There could, of course, be explanations– the seller just needs it gone, for example. He says it was made by his uncle, who was an instrument maker, which, of course, tells me little (for example, was the uncle a successful maker of harps, or was he a maker of PVC pennywhistles who tried his hand at a harp one day?). For an unknown maker, that could account for the low price, even if the instrument was good. But would I have issues finding replacement strings?
I’m also a bit wary of the “has rarely been played” bit. I assume this means it has possibly been out of tune for years, which I’m sure doesn’t bode well for the instrument. I’d be willing to slowly bring it up to tune, but are there lasting repercussions for a harp that hasn’t been played much?
Of course, there are a lot of questions I would still need to ask the seller if I decided I was really interested, before I’d even hire someone to look at it for me. I haven’t really got my heart set on buying anything to replace the HSO, just that I happened to see this ad and wondered if the instrument could be worth it. If not, I’d be fine with passing it up and continuing on the HSO.