sharping lever comparisons

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    Geri McQuillen on #156990

    Can someone please explain to me the differences in the brands of sharping levers used on lever harps?

    Briggsie B. Peawiggle on #156991

    I can tell you that Camac levers compromise the sound the least of all the levers I have heard, and I find them easy to grasp in a hurry. Some don’t like that they are heavier than others. I don’t care. I LOVE them and the way the strings sound when the levers are engaged. Lovelands are harder to get my hands on quickly. I can’t be specific for others…..but on a double strung harp do you even need levers? (I don’t know much about double or wire strung harps.)


    barbara-brundage on #156992

    As a general rule, wire harps don’t have any of the kinds of levers you’ve mentioned, although there are blade levers for wire. But the levers designed for gut/nylon stringing would break wire in short order.

    Liam M on #156993

    Repeating what Barbara said, levers and wire strung do not mix. And as to double strung, is not one purpose of most double strungs to provide the accidentals?

    Tacye on #156994

    Brough levers are very elegant and said to work on wire though I have never seen this.

    barbara-brundage on #156995

    Yes, having more accidentals is a main reason for playing double strung, but the double strung harps that are strung in two parallel rows (as opposed to the cross strung harp) usually have a full set of levers on each row, so that you can have, say, F# on one side and F natural on the other, making it much easier (aside from the innate technical difficulties presented by two rows of strings) to play something like, say, the Albeniz Leyenda.

    Geri, if you are considering a double strung, I would definitely defer to the harp maker about what kind of levers they prefer, if they don’t give you a choice. Some makers do.

    michael-rockowitz on #156996

    Hi Liam,

    I was looking at the musicmakers site, and they sell a “universal” lever that they claim works with strings made of metal.

    Audrey Nickel on #156997


    Liam M on #156998


    Karen Johns on #156999

    I haven’t installed levers on my Limerick yet, but I do plan on getting the C’s & F’s at least. I find that much of the Irish & Scottish songs are played

    Geri McQuillen on #157000

    Thank you all for the information.

    HBrock25 on #157001

    I have actually used Loveland levers on my custom wire strung harps to great success! What I do is to use a number of the ones sized ‘OO’, that do not have fret pins, on the upper smaller gauge strings. And then as the gauges of the wire get bigger, I just punch out the pins on the larger sizes, so that all of the levers are a gentle one-point contact. If the wire harp is a larger model, with wound bass strings, then I just use the proper sized levers there, leaving the pins in place for those strings.

    Works like a very gentle-charm, with no crimping or breaking of the wire strings, and a nice clear tone ! :-)

    Glenn Hill on #157002

    I have used the Loveland`s in this way on both Bronze and steel strings, No problem ! :-)

    Shawnmarie S on #157003

    Just to add a little more information to the mix.

    Geri McQuillen on #157004

    I haven’t been posting (just lurking) on harpcolumn for some time now and was a little surprised to see my name again.

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