Resources

One of the best things about Harp·E is that you can truly make it your own.

Get to know your instrument by assembling it yourself. Customize it with paint, markers, stickers - the possibilities are endless!

Want to try electronics? Reinvent the harp sound with the use of pedals and amps!

Assembly manuals

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

Check out our facebook group for Harp·E owners to exchange tips and tricks, suggestions, pedal and amp recommendations, hacks, etc:
www.facebook.com/groups/harp.e/

Customize your Harp·E: COATING & HACKING

Whether you are assembling it yourself or getting it Plug & Play, Harp·E is a blank canvas for you to make it your own.

Collapsible content

Adding to Coated packages

Standard Harp·E coating is an eco-friendly 2k Oil which protects the wood from the elements. It’s easy to add paint, varnish, decals or stickers to this. All Harp·E packages come in Black, White, Mahogany or Natural Wood colours, the latter being a transparent coating. Through each of these colours you can still see the beautiful beech wood patterns underneath.

Because the 2k Oil coating has soaked a bit into the wood, you don’t notice scratches and you can still sand or polish it to become as smooth and shiny as you like. This also means you can still add layers on top of the coating. There are thousands of paints, varnishes, sparkles, etc out there that will work, just check with your supplier it’ll stick on a 2k Oil.  Oil based products are your safest bet. You could do a little test on a non-visible bit first, like the inside of the frame.

Coating the DIY Uncoated

This option is for those that feel confident adding the entire wood coating themselves, offering the greatest degree of freedom. You could for instance laser cut patterns into the wooden parts before coating and use many kinds of wood paint, stain, oil, varnish or paint and combinations of those. Do read the important notes on coating below though as there are some risks involved.

Important notes on coating

Coating:
- Altering / adding coating is at your own risk, so make sure you know what you are doing. Seek advice from your DIY savvy friend or join the Harp·E community. We've seen loads of successful truly amazing results, but also some people who took it too lightly and have spent a lot of time and energy correcting mistakes.
- Make sure you don’t alter the functionality of the moving parts (too much). Adding paint or sanding down changes part dimensions. The lever mechanism has been designed to be able to cope with some thickness variations by adjusting the regulator bolts, but best to be conservative with those. The surface of the levers should be smooth and non-sticky for them to work well. Best not to paint any metal parts.
- We don't recommend using coating that forms a hard layer on top of the wood, unless you're familiar using those. It will require skill to prevent a hard layer from cracking during assembly. It might also alter the sound of the harp or functionality of the mechanism.
- We recommend using protective coating (like an oil) that slightly soaks into the wood and does not form a (thick) layer on top of the wood as it will affect sound and functionality, especially on the levers.
- Work in sparse, evenly applied, thin layers as to not make the wood too "wet" at any point., which might cause warping of the wood.
- We use 2K Oil, similar to what you'd use on parquet flooring, because its hard-wearing, non-toxic, easy to apply and water repellent. You can use many other types of coating but keep those aspects in mind when deciding on yours.

Sanding:
- You'll probably want to do some sanding before coating, to your desired level of smoothness. We typically use first 240 grain and then 320 or higher. Even after lots of sanding your coating will likely still lift some wood fibres, so expect to do some more sanding and/or polishing afterwards, that's normal.
- Do not sand the top surface of the levers (where they touch the metal mechanism sheet) or at least keep it to a minimum. To avoid altering their functionality.

Doubting your skills?
Alternatively - a Coated DIY version is best for those who take pleasure in the self-assembly process or want to "hack" things along the way, but don't want to venture into coating themselves. You can still apply colour on top of the existing coating, at minimal risk. Just make sure the paint used sticks on 2K Oil (which we use).

Altering / adding to the construction

The Harp·E is a deliberately transparent design, allowing you to fearlessly modify it. You could assemble the whole harp mirrored to create a left-handed harp, you could combine 2 Harp·E to create a double-strung harp, you could integrate or bolt-on further electronics in the open spaces of the frame. The wood is strong, flat beech ply which allows for drilling additional holes. The unique centralised lever mechanism means there aren't a lot of bending forces going on, even though the strings are highly strung. This means altering the structure - within reason - is pretty safe. You can join the Harp·E community to bounce ideas off others that have gone before you.

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We’d absolutely love to see how you’ve customised your Harp·E! Please tag us on Instagram or TikTok @harp_e_harp

Learning resources

Loop Machine: Learn to use a loop machine with Ruth Lee

Learn how to use a loop machine & create your own tunes!

A step-by-step guide taking you through recommended items, setup, getting started, and onto making your own bass lines, riffs, melodies and percussion on the harp.

Register your Harp-E here to get a 25% discount on this course !

Get the course

Harp·E basics - tutorials

FAQ

Do I have a version 2 or 3 of Harp·E

Check the levers:

  • If your levers are flat on both sides, you have a version 2.
  • If your levers have a step on the right side, making their end thinner, you have a version 3.

Or, check the strap buckles:

  • If they have a snap button making them detachable from the bolts, you have a version 3.
  • If the strap buckles are not detachable from the harp without unscrewing the bolts, you have a version 2.

If you bought your harp before May 2022, you most likely have a version 2. If you bough your harp later than May 2023, you most likely have a version 3.

I’m hearing string buzzes when I play - how can I fix that?

How can I make the levers easier to move?

While many harpists enjoy our levers, some have a preference for even smoother operation. If this is you, continue reading.

First, make sure all levers are aligned properly with the metal fingers. If you are having trouble with this step, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw5AXE5EJZY&t=1415s

Once aligned, check that the top area of the levers that run against the metal fingers are smooth. If they're not, you can take some sandpaper and lightly sand it until it’s smoother. If this is not enough, you can add some paraffin (candle) wax to the top of the levers.

There’s a gap in my lever mechanism, is that normal?

Yes, this is normal. A little extra breathing room for the levers allows them to move with less friction.

The string pitch is not going down a half step after screwing in the regulator bolt all the way. What can I do?

This can happen when the strings haven't fully settled. We recommend waiting another week to give them more time to stretch, then try regulating again.

If after waiting that extra time some strings are still being stubborn, check out the video below: https://youtu.be/09bcVW1COLk?si=MexxtU8ZW2txLKZh

Can I use other strings?

We do not recommend using strings other than our standard SilkGut string set as it will affect the instrument's sound and performance. You're free to experiment and prove us wrong though!

Can I take Harp·E on a plane?

Yes! Its compact size and robust design makes it perfect for travel. 

We often get asked if you can take Harp·E as a carry-on. This is possible, but it varies by airline. Please check your airline for the allowed dimensions. The dimensions of the Harp·E bag are: 91 x 52 x 11 cm.

Other questions

If you have any questions our FAQ doesn’t cover, feel free to contact our dedicated customer service email and we will get back to you as soon as possible: support@harpeharp.zohodesk.eu