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23 comments

1 calochortus  Mar 9, 2015 3:09:34pm

Beautiful!

2 William Barnett-Lewis  Mar 9, 2015 3:28:03pm

Beautiful. Much nicer than the one I had - which wasn’t a bad harp either! May you enjoy it as much as I’ve been enjoying my new guitar :D

3 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 9, 2015 3:29:22pm

re: #2 William Barnett-Lewis

Beautiful. Much nicer than the one I had - which wasn’t a bad harp either! May you enjoy it as much as I’ve been enjoying my new guitar :D

I’m doing some recording on her (second round is tonight, ack!) and my hope is to share one of the mp3s with the Lizards once it’s all done properly.

4 CuriousLurker  Mar 9, 2015 3:38:30pm

I don’t know what a bunch of those instrument-related words mean, but my eyes can appreciate excellent craftsmanship when they see it. Gorgeous!

5 Drive By Commenter  Mar 9, 2015 3:46:39pm

Looks to my eye to be nylon strings. How long do they stay good enough to maintain proper tone? All string wear and go dead. Don’t get a heart attack when you check out new string prices. Beautiful instrument. Nice Trinity inlay.

6 Great White Snark  Mar 9, 2015 3:58:28pm

Wow, how beautiful! Gorgeous before it makes a sound.

7 Great White Snark  Mar 9, 2015 4:02:02pm

Sorry wrong thread!

8 A Cranky One  Mar 9, 2015 4:11:47pm

Very nice. Beautiful instrument. Anxious to hear the recordings when they’re ready.

I’m not familiar with lever harps. Is the purpose of the levers to allow you to play in different keys?

Thanks for posting these!

9 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 9, 2015 4:22:29pm

re: #5 nines09

Looks to my eye to be nylon strings. How long do they stay good enough to maintain proper tone? All string wear and go dead. Don’t get a heart attack when you check out new string prices. Beautiful instrument. Nice Trinity inlay.

The bottom octave is wire, and then nylon. In general they only need to be replaced when they snap (which does happen). I will at some point order a replacement set - I meant to order when I got the harp, but it fell through the cracks and I can probably wait a bit on it. :)

re: #8 A Cranky One

Very nice. Beautiful instrument. Anxious to hear the recordings when they’re ready.

I’m not familiar with lever harps. Is the purpose of the levers to allow you to play in different keys?

Thanks for posting these!

Yep. Compared to pedal harp, which is what you see in orchestra, lever harps use levers to move the tone up one half step. My harp is currently tuned in Eb, so if I am playing a piece in C, I have to set the levers on E, A, and B strings.

Of course, I can always change the tuning if needed, but generally not in the middle of a song, while levers can be flipped much more quickly. ;)

The red strings are Cs, and the blue strings Fs.

10 A Cranky One  Mar 9, 2015 4:42:35pm

Glanced at the manufacturers website, noticed that soundboards are made with different materials. Did you get a chance to listen to both the spruce and cedar top version? Curious as to the sound difference from your perspective. From what little I could tell from your previous cell phone recording, it sounds like the harp had beautiful tone and sustain.

Do you have to do a lot of string muting when playing? Don’t know anything about playing harp, but I would think muting would be necessary to reduce dissonance.

Build quality looks excellent. Bet it’s a joy to play.

11 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 9, 2015 4:45:41pm

re: #10 A Cranky One

Glanced at the manufacturers website, noticed that soundboards are made with different materials. Did you get a chance to listen to both the spruce and cedar top version? Curious as to the sound difference from your perspective. From what little I could tell from your previous cell phone recording, it sounds like the harp had beautiful tone and sustain.

Do you have to do a lot of string muting when playing? Don’t know anything about playing harp, but I would think muting would be necessary to reduce dissonance.

Build quality looks excellent. Bet it’s a joy to play.

The soundboard doesn’t have as much effect on the tone as the wood for the harp itself, is my understanding; the pairing is normally done based on the wood used. I had a preference for the lighter color of the spruce. :)

There is some amount of damping necessary during play, which is …a skill I am working on. :) You hear it much more in person than on a properly done recording.

12 HappyWarrior  Mar 9, 2015 5:09:53pm

Beautiful instrument.

13 William Barnett-Lewis  Mar 9, 2015 5:31:44pm

re: #9 klys (maker of Silmarils)

The red strings are Cs, and the blue strings Fs.

I remember being told that in the old days, most of these were strung with wire only (gut not lasting long enough) & both the C’s & F’s were blood red - the harper dying them with his own blood O_o

I’ve since read that’s probably only legend but I always thought it was an interesting legend :D I suppose Woad would have worked for the F’s too…

14 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 9, 2015 5:49:13pm

re: #13 William Barnett-Lewis

I remember being told that in the old days, most of these were strung with wire only (gut not lasting long enough) & both the C’s & F’s were blood red - the harper dying them with his own blood O_o

I’ve since read that’s probably only legend but I always thought it was an interesting legend :D I suppose Woad would have worked for the F’s too…

There’s a few wire-strung harps in the local group and man, they sound nice. That is a very different beast, though.

You really need good light to be able to see the color, and it wears off quickly too.

15 CleverToad  Mar 9, 2015 6:15:48pm

Don’t have the technical knowledge to appreciate this properly, but can appreciate the visual beauty and the craftsmanship. Looking forward to the recordings.

you promised, cross your heart, right…? :)

16 Drive By Commenter  Mar 9, 2015 6:24:30pm

re: #9 klys (maker of Silmarils)

Cool! I learned something! Now the $64,000 question. You said it’s in the key of Eb, So how do you tune it? And what I mean is where do you start and what do you use? Such as, with a guitar I would start with the low “E” either from a tuner or recorded song or Youtube, and tune the others from that. Plus octaves? 12 string guitars drove me CWAZY! You have 36………hahahahahahaaaaa….

17 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 9, 2015 6:41:13pm

re: #16 nines09

Cool! I learned something! Now the $64,000 question. You said it’s in the key of Eb, So how do you tune it? And what I mean is where do you start and what do you use? Such as, with a guitar I would start with the low “E” either from a tuner or recorded song or Youtube, and tune the others from that. Plus octaves? 12 string guitars drove me CWAZY! You have 36………hahahahahahaaaaa….

Well, the lowest note on the harp is C, so I normally start there. :)

Harps use a tuner meter that can detect what note you are going for and tell you how close you are to it, using the 440Hz reference scale.

I actually had a pickup installed so I can plug the tuner into the built-in pickup once I get the right cable. But in the meantime I just clip the mic in, like the pictures there show.

18 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 9, 2015 6:42:49pm

re: #17 klys (maker of Silmarils)

Also, I have a tuning key, and so each and every one of those pins gets a visit as I work my way up and turn as appropriate to adjust the note. (It typically goes flat.)

19 Amory Blaine  Mar 9, 2015 7:07:00pm

Beautiful. Do you have to maintain humidity with it?

20 Drive By Commenter  Mar 9, 2015 7:31:14pm

re: #17 klys (maker of Silmarils)

Yep. Starting with the lowest (thicker) string. I know about the key for tuning the strings. And you have a tuner. Nice on the eyes. You could mic it and run it through a processor (cheapies abound) and add some vibrato or chorus or dare I say flange just for giggles. Bit of delay, and a tremolo and some hall reverb? Have fun.

21 A Cranky One  Mar 9, 2015 9:40:48pm

re: #20 nines09

Yep. Starting with the lowest (thicker) string. I know about the key for tuning the strings. And you have a tuner. Nice on the eyes. You could mic it and run it through a processor (cheapies abound) and add some vibrato or chorus or dare I say flange just for giggles. Bit of delay, and a tremolo and some hall reverb? Have fun.

Fuzz petal and a wah-wah. Now we’re talking. ;)

22 klys (maker of Silmarils)  Mar 9, 2015 9:47:34pm

re: #19 Amory Blaine

Beautiful. Do you have to maintain humidity with it?

It is recommended.

I’m still working on long-term easy access storage that is not the closet. (Because cats.)

I did get my first full complete recording done tonight, of a song called “Rikud Began Eden,” by Sharon Thormahlen. Part of a set I am doing for a friend who is expecting, aiming at songs that are appropriate as lullabies. Now I have to figure out what is the best way to put it online in some form for sharing.

23 Drive By Commenter  Mar 13, 2015 5:45:53am

re: #22 klys (maker of Silmarils)

I use Soundcloud. You can keep tracks private and only allow who you mail the link to hear it or make them public. It’s free for the first couple of hours. I also use Audiocopy to recrord and upload to Soundcloud. Both are apps you can put on your iPhone also. YouTube is simple to set up also. You could position a camera along with a mic if you have software like Cakework or similar. Quite a few good lessons on T
YouTube just show the instrument and hands. You can remain anonymous. It’s all free except the software. Have fun.


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