Will you please share your opinions with me regarding “Levers”?
Truitt, Camac or Loveland? Which ones do you prefer?
Posted In: Amateur Harpists
Not familiar with Truitt, but the difference between Camac and Loveland are like night and day. The Camac are GREAT. They are easy to grab on the fly, and they are smooth. They do not compromise the sound. Perhaps the Lovelands don’t either, but they are harder to get hold of when I’m changing levers quickly, and I have read that they move around more than other levers….requiring adjustments and regulation more often.
I’m with Briggsie. Although I very much dislike the current handle design for Camacs, they are definitely the levers to get if you use your levers while playing.
Lovelands are okay on lower tension nylon harps (I’d never turn down a Dusty because of the lovelands, for example), but they are major string eaters, especially for gut, and the sound is pretty bad on higher tensioned harps with the levers engaged. You really want a metal lever.
Truitts are at least metal, and they are probably the prettiest lever of the three, but I find the handles insubstantial (and sometimes sharp edged) for making fast changes when playing. The intonation is good with Truitts, though, so if there is an extra charge for Camacs and you mostly play Celtic, they’re an okay budget choice. I think Camacs are more adjustable in a regulation than truitts, but I’m not 100% certain about that.
I definitely think Camac and Truitt are both better than Loveland. They sound better, look better, and don’t break!
As for the differences between them, it’s kind of a toss-up. I have harps with both and like them both. My sister prefers the Camacs because they are easier to get ahold of. They are the older handle style, though; I have no idea what the new ones are like. Some people think Truitt handles are easier if you have to move two levers at once. I think Truitts are prettier 🙂
I have a hard time telling a difference in the sound quality, but if one is better than the other I think it’s the Camacs.
One big difference is ease of installation! My dad is a harpmaker and I have helped him install tons of levers. His harps are now all Truitt-levered, unless someone wants to pay for custom levers. Camacs are so much more difficult to install (and therefore would cost more to install!). Truitts have more intonation adjustment. Camacs adjust side-to-side, Truitts don’t. But it’s easier to get a Truitt on straight the fist time.
That’s what I know! Hope it’s helpful-
I have to dispute your Camac review. The levers which were brittle and broke easily I believe were the early ones. The newer ones are very sturdy. They are not brittle and do not break easily. Additionally, mine DO line up with the strings, so I don’t know what harp you saw where they didn’t. Yes the lever is on an angle….so if that’s what you mean, okay, but I don’t just look at the tip of the lever anyway. I see the whole thing.
My Camacs are “strong like bull.” I’m not sure why yours are breaking……very odd. I move my harp around a lot inside it’s padded case and never stored down on the lever side. I can’t even imagine one breaking.
And I played the same model harp as mine with Lovelands and found them almost impossible to get on the fly. The Camacs stand out ever so much more to my eyes.
Something for everyone…….I think the OP needs to try all these levers individually. Our input obviously conflicts.
After reading all the comments and doing a lot more independent reseach, I totally agree with you, Karen!
From what I can tell, Dusty Strings is about the only harp maker out there that still uses Loveland levers as their standard levers. Most luthiers
Just to add to the Camac, Loveland and Truitt Levers topic a few additional thoughts …
The type of lever you choose depends upon the harp and harpist/harper; so it is as much of a personal choice as it is a mechanical choice (hardware and operability choice).
For example, people with various forms of arthritis often prefer the Camac levers, and my Occupational Therapist (who is a hand specialist for musicians) suggested Camac levers for me, for larger harps because they have a “shorter throw”.