Semi Grand Harps: 44 strings

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    jujubee on #256743

    I have been looking at the possibility of purchasing a Camac Trianon 44. There are many aspects of Camac harps that I like in general. I am considering a 44 string harp mainly because of maneuverability. I want the most amount of strings with the greatest maneuverability and the greatest projection of sound. I am new to the pedal harp and an “older” harpist. I want an instrument that is of professional level quality since I will be playing solo gigs and with small ensembles. I don’t imagine that I will be playing in an orchestra setting. If that opportunity arises, it will probably be in a community orchestra. My questions are: does anyone have experience with the Trianon 44? Thoughts? Comments? Also, if one is not going to be playing pieces that are orchestral, are 44 strings enough? Some opinions I have gotten suggest that I will wish I had those bottom 3 strings! Comments?

    • This topic was modified 4 days, 23 hours ago by jujubee.
    catherine-rogers on #256747

    I bought a 44-string Camac Clio 22 years ago. It has an extended soundboard which is as wide as the one on my Lyon & Healy concert grand (I didn’t know that when I bought it but it’s a plus). I have used the Camac in orchestra for years and our conductor was very satisfied with its volume. If he had not been, I would have switched to the other harp. There has been very little orchestral repertoire that did not fit just fine on the 44 strings. As for solo harp music, it’s pretty much the same story. They are definitely high quality as far as reliability and tone, so you will likely be able to resell it easily if you change your mind. I originally bought it for a gig harp because of its lighter weight; I liked it so much that I bought a second-hand 44-string Trianon, too, and use them both!

    jujubee on #256750

    Thanks for the response! I was thinking that most repertoire could be played on the 44 strings but that some orchestral parts might be more problematic – though I don’t know much about orchestral music for harp. Appreciate your input.

    On another line of questioning, I would assume that the Trianon 44 projects more than the Clio 44 though the dimensions of both harps a similar. What are the differences that you notice between the Clio 44 and Trianon 44 in resonance, projection etc. I know that each harp is different. I would expect there to be a significant difference perhaps due to the sound board material or other factors?

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 13 hours ago by jujubee.
    balfour-knight on #256762

    Catherine, I would love to know how the Clio and Trianon 44 compare to each other, also. I know how my Atlantide Prestige and other folks’ Athena harps compare to each other, so it is an interesting subject.


    Philippa mcauliffe on #256765

    The 7kg and 16 cm height difference between a Trianon and the 47 strings would have to make it somewhat easier to move but its still 28kg, top heavy and 170cm so you would need a big car, a good trolley and be pretty fit to deal with it alone – especially on stairs which are all over the place if you want to gig. I have never played a Trianon but I have played and heard some 44 string Clios with excellent sound. I would love one to gig with one day to keep my Atlantide at home more. 30kg/170cm for one of those. How tall are you by the way?

    balfour-knight on #256766

    Hi, Philippa!

    So good to see your post. If you meant me, I am 5′ 6″ and still pretty strong and healthy at 66 yrs. old, ha, ha! I agree with you, it would be really nice to have a Clio to gig with, when our 47 string Atlantides really are not necessary. I have played some very good ones at the harp centers and at conferences, especially those with extended soundboards. The new “look” of the Clios is also very nice, like miniature Atlantides. I have never played a Trianon in either size, so I am interested in what Catherine knows about them. I wonder if they are actually an Atlantide-quality harp with additional carvings for those who like that look. They are indeed very beautiful!

    Thanks everyone. Harp Hugs,

    jujubee on #256767

    If Philippa, you were asking how tall am I – just about 5’8″.

    catherine-rogers on #256768

    Hi, all! Comparing the 44-string Clio and Trianon, both have the same dimensions, even the same decoration on the soundboard. The Clio is from 1999, the Trianon (I was told) from 2003, so it has some gold trim which Camac no longer adds, but I didn’t care about that. I was looking for a harp that kinda/sorta had a look similar to my Lyon & Healy 23.

    You all know that every harp sounds a little different, even two identical ones. Camacs seem (to me) to sound better to the listener than to the player, but that’s subjective. My husband (who is also a musician) and my harpist friends say they both sound great. Both are strung with Premier gut (5th through 2nd), some Pirastro nylons and some Vanderbilt and Atlanta Harp Center nylons in the 1st (working my way through my supply), and D’Addario wires. My personal opinion is this particular Trianon sounds a little brighter in the top two octaves than this particular Clio, but “your milage may vary.” I can’t compare them to other Camac models since my only other harp is a 23. They are very well constructed and probably two of the best investments I ever made. I use them interchangeably.

    They both project well (used them in orchestra, no problem) and very resonant, especially in the bass. If you look at my website you can see photos of both ( Another reason I like them is I’m (just barely) 5 feet tall. Small but scrappy!

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 12 hours ago by catherine-rogers. Reason: provide access to photos of harps for comparison
    balfour-knight on #256770

    Thanks, Catherine. You and your harps are beautiful on your website!

    jujubee on #256771

    Thanks for your input Catherine. It is very helpful. Checked out your website. Very nice!

    Philippa mcauliffe on #256787

    I meant jujubee! I am 5ft 8 so imagine Catherine plus 8 inches at her harp. Her right ear is at a perfect height with the lovely Trianon. You can lower your stool to get your head down but then your legs have to be positioned – preferably at 90 degrees from your body but reaching the pedals. It rather depends on your body/leg ratio how you would feel though and how your legs fit in when you are tall with a smaller harp. You can fiddle with your heels too – men tend to wear flats, many women favour heels but you might find flats easier. I don’t remember any major issues playing a Clio – I have a relatively long body and shorter legs. You would really have to sit at one or one of a similar size to see how it felt.

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