DIY

1. Assembly

Now anyone can assemble their own harp without any specialist skills or tools - just a pair of hands and the allen keys provided, following the straightforward assembly manual. Assembling all the parts before you can string the harp will take something between 25-90 minutes depending on your skill level, whether you've done one before and whether you have for instance and electric screwdriver at hand. PS - for people that don't enjoy DIY so much, or struggle with IKEA furniture for instance, we would recommend the String & Go package - still very affordable but fast-forwarding to the stringing.

2. Stringing

Learn to string the harp in a fun and rewarding way when assembling your (child's) very own Harp·E. Putting all the strings on takes about one or two hours depending on whether you've done it before and how much you're chatting over tea in between...

3. Tuning

After stringing the harp, the strings needs tuning until stable, just tune with the tuning key provided, simple tuner apps are available. This is very simple, taking a few minutes each time but daily over 10 days. The strings settle into the frame, the frame finds its equilibrium.

4. Regulating

This step was completely redesigned too. Simply screw in or out the regulating screws with the tool provided, to adjust the lever position when flat. Some finishing touches and voilà the Harp·E is ready to rock.

The electronics

Native amplification system

The electric amplification system is not a passive pick-up, nor simple piezo elements, but a fully self-shielding and integrated novel amplification system spanning all strings.
This means you won't get any feedback problems like you would with a pick-up, nor low hums like you would with piezos.
A built-in, smart pre-amplifier ensures high signal-to-noise ratio, zero latency and full compatibility with any effects, stage amps and studio equipment. You could also just link it to a mini interface with your smartphone or tablet and record and edit on the go.

Connecting the Harp·E

The electronics are fully compatible with professional PA systems, monitors, effect processors, guitar pedals, mixing desks. Sound engineers will love that it's just plug & play: no feedback, no mics, no complications.
You can connect to a small amp setup, on battery or mains, connected simply with a mono jack. Or via simple interfaces you can connect to your smartphone and access all sorts of free digital effect pedals and use Garage Band etc. to create a mobile digital audio workstation to compose on the go.
The Harp·E is also fully compatible with digital audio interfaces/ sound cards, linking it to any DAB on your computer.

Specifications - READ ME!

Strings 24 Premium Sipario (aka Salvi or Aquila Corde) SilkGut strings.
These are superior strings (much better than your standard nylon) with long sustain and a very good overall feel, tension and tension distribution.
The string spacing is similar to the top end of a pedal harp, good for fingers & hand sizes of all ages.
Range Optimal range for learning: 5C-2E see string table below (scroll down to bottom of this page)
Depending on naming convention used...in piano terms the lowest string would be a 3C (to avoid confusion, this is 130.81Hz, one octave below the "middle C" on piano).
Electronics Fully native all-string pickup and built-in pre-amp. Superior Delta harp bass response.
Adjustable height 3 heights: 87, 101 and 107 cm
Dimensions The harp is 7 cm deep, 87 cm long by 48 cm wide.
The stand & feet fully flat-packs inside the harp frame.
The flat-packed position with levers down allows for stacking, storing and/or transporting many Harp-E on top of eachother.
We've fit about 60 Harp-E inside a Fiat 500...
Carrier bag Sturdy fabric bag with handle to carry as bag, as well as 2 comfortable straps to wear as a backpack.
Fits snugly around the harp.
Extra pocket with zip for spare strings, battery, hex keys, lesson printouts, etc.
Weight Harp: 3.6 kg / 7.8 lbs
Stand: 1.2 kg / 2.6 lbs
Levers All levers C5-2E, revolutionary patented lever system, simple materials, ultra durable. Uniquely allows for pitch bending and microtonality.
Volume ±75 dB acoustically.
Unlimited dB when plugged in...
Materials The harp is very, very sturdy. We've used high grade beech plywood and solid, stainless steel fasteners.
Only parts that do not carry any load we've made out of aluminium to keep the weight down.
PS. We've trown in a strap to be able to carry it like a guitar/Delta harp, that's the only bit that has plastic connectors, but hey - it's a freebee... For frequent use you could get yourself a more luxurious guitar strap or your liking.
Finish Please note high-end wood finishes are very labour intensive and therefore extremely expensive, therefore we dropped it down the features wishlist. The finish is no-frills and can be a bit rough here and there, it's non-polished, non-gloss, with a single layer of heavy duty coating (Monocoat), just enough to protect the wood from the elements.
This helps us direct the funds where we believe it matters most: premium strings and electronics for good sound and playability. And as a bonus the simple finish allows you to get creative and (optionally) apply your own secondary finish on top as you please.
The two options are "Natural Wood" (transparent Monocoat) and "Black" (opaque black Monocoat, which leaves the wood grain pattern visible, resulting in a "black wash" effect).
Packaging The (recycled & recyclable) cardboard box that sits around the harp and bag on delivery to your doorstep is about 50 x 90 x 10 cm, you could reuse it later on for transport. We've avoided using styrofoam as it's so harmful for the environment. This means however that the cardboad box takes all the punches and might end up with minor punctures, especially customs officers in the US and UK can be quite rough with goods. We've packed the harp inside in such a way though that all parts are well projected.
All parts sit within the carrier bag which sits within a plastic sleeve to protect from moisture along the way to you. Small parts are packed in sealable bags that could be reused for other purposes.
Some metal parts might be a bit greasy from the machining process. This is harmless oil, just wipe it with a bit of tissue.

FAQ

Collapsible content

Are there other colour options?

In our standard packages we have done the coating of the wood for you already because that can get a bit messy to do at home.
Of course you add your own colours / patterns on top of that prior to assembly - customise it!

For large orders/organisations we can make a bespoke arrangement or colours of your choosing. We've got two standard colour options to choose from: transparent or "black wash" lacquer.

How do you determine your prices?

The whole point of this project is to achieve the lowest price possible without compromising quality, as per our mission to democratise the harp.

We do this through re-imagining the harp, aiming for a certain scale and counting on community support.

For instance, the Harp·E was produced for and with the Leerorkest. Because they are a charity (and awesome), because they actively participated and contributed to the development, because they are doing important things like stock management, assembly and fulfilment themselves, and becasue they ordered 300 in one go, we could give them a price as low as €450 per Harp·E.

We're running bare minimum margins and, even though recently prices for raw materials and logistics have skyrocketed, we're aiming to keep the prices the same. We hope you keep this in mind when working with us, we're in it for the love of the instrument and we hope you'll support us in this.

Can you tell me which amps and pedals to get?

There are many, many options, depending on what you're looking to do and price range you're looking for (it ranges from a few quid to thousands). Check the videos on the "getting started" page, we'll be adding more. We've created an online community group page as well that you'll be invited to if you have bought a Harp·E, there Harp·E owners exhange all sorts of ideas and recommendations, including pedals and amps.

Can you give me precise electronics specs?

Yes.
Sensor specifications: Self-shielding singular transducer along all strings.

Pre-amp specifications: Custom designed low power, very low noise FET input 2 stage amplifier with contour filtering and rail to rail performance.

Also includes dual mode battery monitoring with 4 level state warning via RGB LED. Battery: 9V included (lasts for hundreds of playing hours, standard battery, easy replace).

How does the amplification work?

The electric amplification system is not a passive pick-up, nor simple piezo elements, but a fully self-shielding and integrated amplification system spanning all strings. This means you won't get any feedback problems like you would with a pick-up, nor low hums like you would with piezos.

A built-in, smart pre-amplifier ensures high signal-to-noise ratio, zero latency and full compatibility with any effects, stage amps and studio equipment.

You could also just link it to a mini interface with your smartphone or tablet and record and edit on the go.

What can the amplifier connect to?

- Nothing: play acoustically, OR:

- Small amp setup, connected simply with a mono jack

- PA systems, monitors, mixing desks

- Multi-effect pedals

- Studio equipment: plug directly into the mixing desk

- Smart phone, hifi, headphones and with digital audio workstations like GarageBand

How compatible is the Harp·E with stage gigs?

The electronics are fully compatible with professional PA systems, monitors, mixing desks. Sound engineers will love that it's just plug & play: no feedback, no mics, no complications.

How to use guitar effects with the Harp·E?

The Harp·E can be plugged in multi-effect pedals: enjoy endless experimentation with thousands of guitar effects that work perfectly with the Harp·E electronics. We love all time classics like delay, wah wah, distortion, looper...

See our "getting started" page for some videos with inspiration and tips (more to follow).

How compatible is the Harp·E with studio equipment?

The Harp·E electronics are compatible with all professional studio equipment, just plug directly into the mixing desk.

Can I plug the Harp·E into my smartphone or headphones?

Smart phone, hifi, headphones: the Harp·E, connected to a tablet or smartphone can be turned into an ultra portable setup. A small interface is needed for that, just like with electric guitars, for example the iRig or sonic Port. All sorts of effects pedals can be added via free apps, controlled on the screen or wirelessly with extensions. Combine this with a free digital audio workstation like GarageBand and you've got a complete mobile recording studio. Of course you can also plug this into your HiFi or headphones.
Check our "getting started" page for videos and tips. More to follow.

Where do I get spare strings? And can I use other strings?

Some spare lengths are included in the DIY and String & Go Packages for most strings.
We will also start selling spare Harp·E sets soon, you can also buy individual sets from various suppliers, see string table below (scroll down on this page).
Using other strings than the SilkGut strings will affect the sounds and we don't recommend it.

What about contact sounds?

As with all electro-acoustic instruments, you will hear contact sounds with the harp's body, this is something to get used to and when you get the hang of it you can play with it (e.g. looping tapped rhythms)

Can you give me the blueprints?

Yes and no. The harp comes with an assembly manual so you could do the assembly, tuning and regulating / fine tuning all yourself. Also, hacking it is easy and fun. As for “blueprints” for manufacture - there isn’t much point in that. Although we’ve created the harp’s components to be easy to self-assemble and repair (and hard to break), the core parts inside the harp are machined with extreme precision by specialist manufacturers across 5 countries. This took years to get right and it would be difficult to reproduce, but also very expensive, which then isn’t much use to you. (And it’s patented.)

Gallery

String table

harp-E string # Sipario Silkgut diameter (mm) colour
1 2E 0.6 -
2 2D 0.62 -
3 2C 0.68 red
4 2B 0.68 -
5 2A 0.73 -
6 2G 0.78 -
7 2F 0.82 black
8 3E 0.88 -
9 3D 0.88 -
10 3C 0.94 red
11 3B 0.94 -
12 3A 0.94 -
13 3G 1.04 -
14 3F 1.08 black
15 4E 1.08 -
16 4D 1.12 -
17 4C 1.24 red
18 4B 1.24 -
19 4A 1.32 -
20 4G 1.40 -
21 4F 1.40 black
22 5E 1.50 -
23 5D 1.65 -
24 5C 1.65 red

We will soon sell Harp·E sets here, setting that up now.

For now:
Sipario Silkguts strings can be purchased from various other suppliers, for instance here from the Salvi store