trying to buy a nice lap/travel harp

  • Participant
    haeddre on #189751

    Hello everyone!
    This is my first time posting on this forum and I came because I really need some advise. I have been playing the harp for 7 years and am currently playing a 40 string pedal harp from Lyon Healy. I’m now looking to buy something smaller and more portable to bring to college with me so I can stay in practice. I am looking for something with good sound (I’m not a big fan of the therapy harps I have heard) and pretty standard string spacing. Also, I am a petite person (5’2″) and I really do want this to be a harp that can rest pretty comfortable on my lap.

    I have found many harps online and I really don’t know how to choose so I’m hoping that I can get some feedback on them:
    Niamh 27
    25 String Lap Harp from Another Era (scroll down a bit)
    Juno 25 from Salvi
    One of the Stoney End harps
    Allegro from Dusty Strings
    One of the Blevins Harps lap harps such as this one
    one of the Harps of Lorien lap harps

    I am anxious for any feedback people have on these harps or any other recomendations/input that you might have!

    Many thanks

    Participant
    susan-ash on #189758

    I play a 36 string level harp…and when looking to buy a small harp was frustrated with the the string spacing, tension and tone of most lap harps. Finally I purchased the Niamh 27. The spacing and tension is the best I have seen in such a small harp. But, I will say that the bottom of the sound board is wide….at 14″. But that is the reason it has such good tone and tension.
    Although I highly recommend this harp if you really want a small harp, I encourage you to try the lap harps. I find them more difficult to play because it can be awkward to find a comfortable position with which to hold them. However, the Niamh has a beautiful stand that puts it in a good position to play without having to balance the harp on your lap.

    In a larger level harp…have you tried a Dusty Strings Boulevard? I tried one and was really impressed with the string tension, etc. Larger than a lap harp but certainly not as heavy as a pedal.
    Another brand with wonderful sound is the “R-Harp”. About the size of the Boulevard.

    Good luck,
    Susan

    Participant
    Biagio on #189764

    The harps mentioned cover a pretty wide range of tone tension and physical sizes so I can only suggest which I’d choose for myself and my personal preferences. Staying within a pedal harp’s characteristics – the Niamh, hands down.

    All of the others are lower tension. If that’s ok, I LOVE the Harps of Lorien Raphael – although designed as a “therapy” harp it still has plenty of volume.

    I don’t like, personally, the Allegro and would buy a Ravenna instead. Why pay for looks over performance? Some will quibble over that view but again, this is just me.

    They also cover a fairly wide range of cost, and don’t neglect the used harp market. For instance I have a Clark model A which would be perfect as a small second harp -except for the fact that it has blades instead of levers!

    If you plan on keeping whatever you buy for a long time and getting into the higher end, take a look at David Kortier’s electro-acoustic Irish 32.

    Best wishes,
    Biagio

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #189768

    I own a Ravenna 34 and LOVE her! The only thing I would change about her is that I would have 36 strings, going all the way up to C, but I have gotten used to the range ending on A. Ravenna always travels with us on vacations and business trips, and I find that my fingers stay in good shape for playing the pedal harp by practicing on Ravenna. The string spacing is the same as my L&H pedal harp, and almost as firm, although they specify “medium” tension. I honestly cannot feel much difference in the higher strings, although the bass does feel not as firm. I wanted to try the Boulevard, but have not been fortunate enough to see one yet. So be sure to check out Ravenna and the Boulevard–they are so much harp for the money! Also, Ravenna fits across the back seat of almost any car, and comes with a stand so you don’t have to hold her in your lap.

    Best regards,
    Balfour (and Carol Lynn)

    Participant
    duckspeaks on #189785

    If you are used to higher tension and wider spacing, assuming no desire to change on your part, pls take look at Camac Bardic 22 and 27. I would guess you may find dusty strings too bright, narrow and loose. The pitch is also less stable compared to your larger one. Bardic is wider, tighter and with more stable pitch (when the finger leaves the string the note won’t sway too much). the 27 is reasonable if you want it smallish. I wanted it smalleR and went with the 22. OR would u consider a 30 something string one which is just marginals smaller than yours?

    Member
    luanne-oreilly on #189819

    I also own the Niamh and subsequently bought the 36 string Llyr made by Timothy Harps. Love both harps, but I find the string spacing in the Niamh is tighter/closer than what I have experienced as standard spacing. I had difficulty at first going from my pedal harp to the Niamh, but it gets easier as I get more used to it. I picked the Niamh from a small “Harp Tasting” at Somerset at few years ago. Its sound won, in my opinion, hands down.

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