Thormahlen Harps

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    Michaela Braveman on #162460

    Dear fellow harpers,

    For about 3 months now I have been researching 36 string lever harps. I checked out the common models like Dusty Strings and Triplett. I really don’t care for the Dusty harps and while I like the Triplett Signature, I’ve gotten some questionable feedback which has made me drag my feet about making

    unknown-user on #162461

    I bought a Thormahlen Serenade in the first month I began taking lessons, and I can’t say enough good things about it. The tension is just slightly less than the L&H Prelude I take my lessons on.

    I’ve just started considering lessons on pedal harp, and only for that reason I haven’t purchased a Swan. You will not be disappointed.

    kay-lister on #162462



    unknown-user on #162463


    While I am not local and do not own a Thormahlen (yet!), I felt like I had to reply to this post. I went to the Southeastern Harp Conference last weekend in Asheville and tried pretty much every kind of harp there, and nothing compared to the Thormahlens in my opinion. I had wavered a lot before as far as what floor harp I should save up for, but I am completely set now. I am planning on buying a Serenade as soon as I can (don’t have enough $$$ for a Swan or Cygnet) and I am in love with the sound and look. I spent every free minute between workshops rushing back to the vendor hall to play their harps!

    I would, however, like to vouch for the folk gut strings. Personally, I found them more comfortable and the sound made a huge difference to me. They sound very warm and go all the way down to the second to last octave, so you only have one octave of wire strings. The nylong-strung harps (at least the Serenade, I’m guessing the other models are the same) have wire strings in the last octave and wrapped wire in the second to last octave. It’s a nice transition into nylon but at the same time it hurts my fingers a bit because it’s a lot of wire! Anyway, if you don’t mind the extra string cost, you like to play a long time in each sitting, and you prefer a warmer sound, go for the folk gut! I was very surprised to prefer it myself, but I am 100% sure I will go for that option when I am ready to buy.

    If you want a good sound sample, check out the Music page on the Thormahlen Web site. Sharon has some great music that she composed herself and she also has some CDs by other artists that were recorded on Thormahlen harps. I just got a CD yesterday of Laura Zaerr called A Thousand Dreams Away–it is one of the best CDs I’ve ever purchased! She plays a mahogany folk gut-strung swan. I would highly recommend buying it a) for some great music and b) to hear how beautiful these harps really sound. Cynthia Douglass is also wonderful on the harp, and she plays a nylon swan, so that might be a good way to compare the sound of the different strings. But, remember, it’s entirely up to you. All their harps sound great and I don’t think you could go wrong with any of their models or string types. I just thought I’d put in my two cents as far as what worked best for me.

    Good luck to you and I hope you get the harp of your dreams! Let us all know how it turns out. :-)


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