Triplett harps

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    Biagio on #237889

    Edit (late): I misunderstood Balfour’s comment about “reversed winding” – I thought he meant the direction, rather than where they were in relation to the peg hole and neck. Whoopies!

    That does bring up a difference though between the two makers. Dusty came up with pegs that are not tapered but straight and threaded; Triplett uses tapered ones that are similar to those on a pedal harp and most wire strungs. The DS pegs are easier to tune in that you don’t have to push to keep them firmly set in place. OTOH tapered pegs can be more finely tuned as they do not stick as the threaded ones sometimes do.

    Sorry for the confusion but I think Balfour’s observation about both how the strings are wound and my own regarding the different kinds of pegs are relevant to you. Bottom line: Tripletts are good harps, so are Dustys, both makers have been in the biz a long time.

    Happy harping whatever you choose!


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Biagio.
    Anonymous on #237892

    From the Musicmakers blog:

    “The tonal shading between harps is infinite. Don’t worry about it. If you are sitting in a harp shop going back and forth between 3 different harps trying to find the one that sounds best – that’s fine. But don’t agonize over it. Keep in mind that when you get home, you’ll only have the one harp. You won’t have other harps to compare it to and you’ll fast forget what the other harps sounded like. If you want to play the harp, you’ll spend a lot of time with your first harp and you will become intimately familiar with its tone. Developing this intimacy will provide you with a baseline against which to measure the tone of other harps. Until you have done this, you just don’t really know what you are looking for.”

    Not going to make it easy for us, are they. That’s exactly what I did yesterday: swap around 3-4 instruments. First I liked the Triplett better, then the Ravenna, then the Merlin (sorry, Una!) I’m attending a Celtic harp event today and there will doubtless be another couple brands I’ve never encountered. A bit like ice cream: always the chance your friend’s flavor is better than yours.

    Biagio on #237899

    Yeah. And to make things even more interesting there is the fact that even two harps of the same model may sound different, sometimes significantly, depending on the wood used. Just do not buy one that looks nice and is made poorly. Fortunately those are well known in the harp community.

    It is helpful to have a teacher’s guidance but failing that, also instructive to consider the harps teachers often use for student rentals. Some of those often found in the US are the L&H Troubadour, Ravenna 34, Rubarth Merlin, Musicmakers Voyageur and Triplett Sierra.

    Happy harp hunting:-)


    Anonymous on #237910

    T’anks. The shop here rents Ravennas and others. Renting an Ogdenyears ago sealed my fate. /g

    balfour-knight on #237915

    K–maybe you would like to rent a Ravenna 34 in order to live with it a while to see how you like it over time.

    B–that’s quite okay about the “confusion” over the windings on Tripletts. I have never understood why they wind them on the pins toward the outside instead of toward the neck. I do know that one can restring them the normal way since I have seen a Christina done that way. Dusty and L&H seem to do the neatest job on stringing, and I try to duplicate that when I restring. Complete stringing instructions can be found on the Dusty site.

    Have a great day my friends!

    momtodandt on #239022

    I’d love to jump in here and explain why Triplett’s strings are wound the way that they are…. I have a maple Triplett Signature, so this is how my harp is strung. The winding begins closest to the neck because of the location of the hole on the pin thorough which the string is positioned. With the hole on the “inside” the only direction there is for the string to wind is towards the “outside”, ending up directly above the sharpening lever. See the photo below. The pins are tapered as was previously mentioned. My harp holds a tuning beautifully….
    Hope this helps!

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    kryptoleadonium on #243353

    So here I am with my new used Signature. One thing that’s problematic is that the (wrapped?) bottom strings are quite resonant, so I’m buzzing all over the place. That wasn’t a problem on my Ogden, that I can recall. Looking for tips on how to handle it.

    Biagio on #243380

    Do you mean that you are experiencing a good deal of sympathetic vibration? That’s the case with one of my harps and the only “solution” is damping.


    kryptoleadonium on #243399

    There’s that, which is expected. I’m talking about twangs and buzzes on fingernails, like I made when I first picked up the instrument.

    balfour-knight on #243401

    K–perhaps play with a “flat” left hand, damping just before you grasp the next string/strings you are about to play. My friend, Josh Layne, has at least one video on the Internet about how to avoid buzzing on the strings, some great ideas. Hope this helps.
    Best wishes,

    kryptoleadonium on #243405

    Worth a shot, thanks.

    Biagio on #243407

    Ah, gotcha. I’ve altered my technique since my nails are trimmed to also ply wired strung. This might help: turn the upper edge of the hand in somewhat more and allow the fingers to angle down.

    People talk about “Salzedo” and “French” technique but really, it’s about small alterations that work for each individual IMO. Whatever the technique, keep the hand relaxed – a tense hand is my major cause of buzzing, especially on those bass strings.

    kryptoleadonium on #243415

    T’anks. Will give it a try tomorrow. It’s funny that you mention French technique; my grad-student pedal harp teacher advised me to make gestures (I’m working on the “Premier Prelude”) and when she showed me, it looked very Fransh.

    Biagio on #243425

    Oh, drama. It looks lovely, those gestures, but I would submit more for an experienced concert harpist and even then only maybe. For my money the recent masters of this are Harper Tasche and Caitlin Finch.

    His view: “there are many good reasons for the raise but drama is not one of them.” Her view: “play the instrument as if it were your lover, whatever it is.”

    Joselyn CHang’s view (my first teacher): “until you can place firmly and accurately with your eyes closed do not worry at all about anything else.” which leads to my next suggestion: put aside some time to just play in the dark or with eyes closed.

    I promise, it will be a wonderful and amazing experience.

    If you can, watch some videos of Harper, and of Ms. Caitlin – some of the smoothest and most confident playing I’ve ever seen. Joy too but she is no longer with us.

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