String Theory. We all have ’em. They have been a topic of every harp discussion since before the Internet. We’ve all had them break. We’ve all replaced them. Maybe this posting is redundant. But I have a few questions about strings.
Gut Feelings. I have a new L&H Chicago Concert Grand Extended. One string broke in transit and four other gut strings broke during the first week of her being in my home. L&H has replace most of them and now I have to put them on my harp. I’ve replaced strings before on my lever harp, but they were all nylon strings. What, if anything, do I need to know when replacing the gut strings on my CGX that I did not have to know when replacing the nylon strings on my lever harp?
Anchors aweigh! I know the wire strings are pre-anchored. And some of the gut strings do not seem to have an anchor. I’ve looked at some YouTube videos and various harpists use different kinds of anchors. Some use pieces from large-gauge gut string remnants. Some folks use wooden peg-like anchors. And I even saw one harpist use dental cotton rolls as anchors to eliminate the knot as a source of buzzing. What do you use as string anchors? What should I avoid?
Brands. I have heard that gut strings from Bow, including their Burgundy brand, have had some major quality control issues. But that’s been through word of mouth. My CGX came with Bow brand strings. Is there anything documented or any response from Bow about their quality control? I’ve also heard people say that Premiere brand is worth the extra cost (full set of pedal CG gut strings about $400 vs Bow $300 vs Burgundy $200) from two perspectives: quality of the string and length of the string (lots of leftovers to be used other places). What is your experience and perspectives on gut string brands?
Adjustment Disorder. Because my harp came out of regulation at L&H only three weeks ago, what is a normal length of time for the harp to begin settling down into its own rhythm — particularly, when do the gut strings stop breaking so frequently? I’m frustrated because I cannot play when I am missing several strings at one time. Any tips and tricks from experienced harpists that I can do to help my new harp acclimate to her new home?
Thank you! John