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We're starting to see signs of fall here in Seattle, and our thoughts are turning to the Southeastern Harp Weekend and the harps we're gathering up to take with us. We highly recommend attending the harp tasting on Friday if you can. We're challenging you to try and guess which 26-string harp we've entered in the tasting (don't look when you walk in the room!) and then stop by the booth and let us know how you did.
We're usually excited about the harps we make, but conferences like this give us an excuse to build a few particularly beautiful or unique instruments, and we're especially excited to share these ones with you! They are not all finished being built yet, but here is a list of what we're planning to bring, as well as a few sneak peek photos.
Hint: the numbers in the model names refer to the number of strings on the harp.
These are our most economical harps, with laminated soundboards and bodies and a comfortable stave back shape. We'll have a Ravenna 26 and a Ravenna 34 in the standard color, as well as a Ravenna 34 in all black. All come with a full set of Loveland levers and have optional stands and cases.
We tend to think of these as entry-level harps, but in some sound tests we were doing this morning, the Ravennas were consistently knocking our socks off! Sometimes we forget that they can be relatively inexpensive and also have a big, clear and professional sound.
A step up from the Ravennas in price, these harps have laminated soundboards and solid wood bodies. We generally feel that the more solid wood an instrument has, the more refined its sound is and the more it will mature with age. We're bringing one Allegro 26 and one Crescendo 34, both with full Loveland levers and an optional case.
The Boulevard Classic 34 is our new harp model, which is based on the Ravenna but has concert-tension gut strings and a very different sound and feel from our other harps. This one has a pickup installed, and we think you'll be surprised at the sound it can produce. Stop by and try out a piece from your classical repertoire! The Boulevard comes as a package including the case and stand.
The FHs are our all-solid-wood harps, and they are the ones where we occasionally indulge ourselves with extra ornamentation or special combinations of woods. So when we talk about a "regular" FH, we just mean that it's one of our standard wood choices, although there is quite a bit of variation from tree to tree and each solid wood harp is unique. The walnut FH34 we're bringing is especially pretty, with some striking stripes and grain figuration, including a little bit of light-catching curl on the front of the pillar.
We'll also have a walnut FH36H (our hybrid stave back model) and our popular bubinga FH36S with a sparkly abalone Celtic knot on the pillar, Camac levers and the Dusty Harp Pickup installed. So much sound, it practically plays itself!
You may have seen this one featured on our website already, but this is your chance to drool over it in person. It's an FH34 made out of red curly maple with a koa soundboard and accents, and quite frankly, it's stunning. The tone is a little warmer than our standard Eastern hard maple, but still has some of that mapley crispness. Oh, and it has Camac levers, a Celtic knot design inlaid in contrasting maple on the pillar, and a pickup.
The other unusual harp is an orphan FH36S. Normally, we make all the parts of an individual solid-wood harp out of a single board so that they match as well as possible, but sometimes a flaw in the wood will cause a part to be unusable, which means that the rest of the parts in that set are left without a mate. Sometimes these "orphaned" parts sit around for years waiting for the perfect match, so we've started rescuing them by combining purposely mismatched parts into orphan harps. As unique as our regular solid wood harps are, the orphan harps are even more one-of-a-kind, and we've really loved watching people bond with the few that we've made so far. This one is not finished yet, but check back in a few weeks for some photos!