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     telephone :  603-943-1320 (NH, call any time)            e-mail  stu@electricharp.com

Table of Contents

  1. How can I get one ?
  2. What sound can I expect from an Electric Harp ?
  3. What are sharping levers and why are they on both sides ?
  4. What are the (most common) dimensions and specs of the harps ?
  5. What happened to the "Harmonic curve" - the deep bend in the top arm - on the SolidHeart Series ?
  6. What amplifier do you recommend ?

How can I get one ?

At this time, we are accepting orders for harps (approximately 1 year delivery, depending on type) without a down payment.  When the harp is nearly ready, we will contact you to verify the shipping address.  Prior to shipping, we will request full payment, using Paypal or check.

So e-mail to stu@electricharp.com .  We'll help you decide on type and details, get you on the list, and contact you as things move along.

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What sound can I expect from an electric Harp ?

By most people's standards, the straight amplified sound of one of our harps is close to an acoustic harp of the same size.  With a little sound enhancement (an effects box with slight chorus and reverb, for example), an electric harp can sound better than an acoustic harp of even a larger size.  In side-by-side comparisons we have done, it is hard for a non-harper to guess which is which.  Harpers have special ears, however, so I can't venture to guarantee this will be the case for you. 

Without any amplification, if you play or practice in a non-noisy room, you will hear the harp just fine.  What's even better is that your neighbors and roommates won't hear your harp at all, so you can gleefully practice at 2:00 am and no one will know.  If they want to hear you, they will have to stand in line and buy a ticket, just like everyone else.

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What are sharping levers and why are they on both sides ?

Sharping levers (or levers, or sharpers, or semi-tone levers, depending on my literary whim) are devices on each string (or less) that let you raise the pitch of that string by a semi-tone.  That is, you can take a string tuned to C and use it's sharping lever to make it a C#, or to take a Bb string and raise it to a B, for examples. 

If you are tuned to the right key already, you can play without any sharpers at all, most times. Levers are just an option and you can have fun and sound great even without any.

If you need to change the key of your harp to fit a song, you can set the levers before you begin and do just fine that way. If you can reach the sharpers quickly enough during a piece, you can sharp and/or unsharp a string while playing.  You may need to flip a lever as part of the melody on the higher strings, and left-side levers will of course work fine for that.

Sharpers on both sides just gives you a little more freedom. Sometimes your left hand is really needed 100% of the time while you also need to go between a sharp and a natural, in the middle of a song. As a recent semi-bizarre example, in playing "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin (I warned you it was a bizarre example !) and during the part that goes :

And as we wind on down the road.  Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know. Who shines white light and wants to show... 
(You know that part ? )

The bass has the repeating block chords A, G, F, G, A (repeat), so that you need a C# string to play the A chord, and then later you  need a C natural to play the F chord. With levers only on the left (bass) side, you could never do it. As it is, with levers on both sides, use the right hand (during the G chord) to flip the C back and forth between sharp and natural while the left hand stays free to work the strings. 

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What are the (most common) dimensions and specs of the 26 string harps ?

Our 26 string harps have these dimensions, generally :

  • String spacing : 0.600 is standard for our 26 string harps
  • Weight - Hardwood Elegance = 6 lbs, ClearTones = 9 lbs, SolidHeart = 4 lbs
  • String plan : C below middle C, to G 3 octaves above middle C  (C3 to G6)
  • String gauges : .018 nylon grading up to .060 mono nylon (or .035 SFN)
  • Tuners : Zither pins on all strings
  • Size : Length 27 inches, width 18 inches, thickness 2 inches
  • Patents pending on many of the innovations embodied
  • Output : 1/4 inch guitar jack, 100 mV into high impedance input
  • Power : No battery or power supply needed by harp 
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What happened to the "Harmonic curve" - the deep bend in the top arm - on the SolidHeart Series ?

There were no nylon strings back when the Celtic Harp was born, and electronic amplification would have been considered witchcraft.  Back in those days, there were breaking strength issues in that the soundboard would have to be very thick (and dull-sounding) to withstand the stresses in the middle octave area.  They accommodated that by reducing the length of the strings in the middle, which dropped the tension and allowed a more responsive soundboard.  Hence, the harmonic curve was born.

Nowadays, with modern materials and techniques, when we aim to make the lightest, most portable lowset-cost harp, we use straight-line plan.  Everything gets simpler to make, and the result is a fine harp that doesn't suffer from the lack of a curve.  

The harmonic curve is alive and well in our other Harp series - the Hardwood Elegance, Electric Elegance, ClearTones, Cross Strung, and MIDI Powerharp, for example. 

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What amplifier do you recommend ?

Any electric guitar or vocal amplifier will certainly work, but one that seems to be a good fit with our harps is the Roland Microcube battery / ac powered amplifier.  You can buy it online for about $150.00, or you can add this amount to your order and we will ship one to you along with your instrument.

We don't make any money from this endorsement, and we don't own Roland ( darn ! ), but because the unit 1) is portable 2) is cheap 3) has useful effects for harp ( reverb, chorus, etc) 4) is simple to operate and 5) runs quietly even near fluorescent lights, we think it is worth mentioning to our customers.  There's no sense in getting a portable harp if you need a truck to haul the amplifier.   

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or call Phil at 603-943-1320


 

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