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Fluoro carbon strings?

alternate harp strings Carbon fiber strings Harp strings

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#1 Tori_flute

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 15:32

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone had tried Savarez Fluoro carbon strings on their harp? They are nearly half the price of normal Bow brand gut strings. But on Clive Morley website they seem to sell one string fit for any kind of harp, am I reading that right? I play a Lyon and Healy Prelude 40 lever harp and usually use pedal light gut. According to the string chart they are slightly thinner than gut alternative so I guess if I was to replace one I would be best replacing the whole octave or more?

 

If you have tried them, is the life span much longer?


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#2 Collyermum

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 09:53

Hi Tori

 

I haven't used them personally but its my understanding that they will sound quite different to gut, so you will probably need to replace a swathe at once to keep the sound consistent. My understanding is that they will last longer than gut. (everything lasts longer than gut!)

However, they will need to be at a different tension to your gut strings so I strongly recommend that you check with Lyon & Healy first because your harp may not be built to withstand that tension and may buckle or otherwise be damaged. 

 

If Lyon & Healy give you the go-ahead I'd pay a harp technician to do it for you if possible because there may be more to it than just changing the strings.  Atleast contact one and ask!

 

HTH


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#3 dorfmouse

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 13:31

Excuse me butting in, as I can't help with your question. But I'm interested to know how often your (or anyone else who uses them) gut strings break. I've had my own gut-strung Camac Korrigan for over three years now and only last week did a third string break. It's played and lumped around in the car regularly. My teacher has told me that strings on the concert harps she uses only break infrequently.
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#4 Pickle

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 14:13

Hi Tori,

     Flouro carbon strings will last much longer than gut ones - as Collyermum says - everything lasts longer than gut! I have used them on a Camac Hermine and they work fine for that harp. The problem with changing the type of string on a harp is that usually that harp has been built to sound it's best with a specific string tension/diameter. If you change it, the sound will change. The tension will be different, and if you only change out one octave, it may feel a bit peculiar when you play a gut string followed by a carbon string. You might also need to regulate your levers - which isn't too difficult with a tuner and a large amount of patience.

I would suggest you have a chat with one of the harp makers or a harp technician. They are more likely to have the details of tensions of different string types versus soundboard strength/resonance of harp types to hand.

I have changed out the string types on two harps I owned  - once with a big improvement (in my biased opinion), and once (two string types later) when I went back to the original, poorer and wiser.

Good luck!


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#5 Pickle

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 14:23

Hi Dorfmouse,

   Only 3 string breaking in 3 years? Oooh! Lucky! Back in the days when I was gigging regularly, I would say I broke strings quite often - on average maybe one every couple of months say? A spell of warm and/or humid weather might see a series of breaks close together. Learning a jazz piece could account for serious wear-and-tear under the levers..... I would say on average, 3 to 5 strings a year perhaps?

Do you use coated gut strings - like the Concedos? I have heard that they last much longer, but I haven't tried them.


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#6 Tori_flute

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 15:30

Ah, thank you for your responses. It sounds like I should probably just stick to the gut strings for the time being! I just play for fun so it's not like my strings break regularly. Just in this hot weather they seem to 'go' more often.


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#7 dorfmouse

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 16:49

Crumbs, Pickle! That sounds expensive! Do you use the levers a lot then in jazzy pieces?
Mine are just normal Camac gut as far as I can tell from the packets.
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#8 Pickle

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 12:50

Yup, jazz tends to be heavy on the chromatics. Especially if you're trying to be "Cool". I should be old enough to know better, but somehow I don't. I found a version of 'Ain't Misbehavin' which has a lever slide which turns up ever so "Cooly" several times in the main theme, so naturally I was determined to incorporate it in the improv section. Improv is not my strong point, so I worked on it. Then I worked on it some more. Then...... you get the picture. The string behind that lever took some serious battering. And broke. I would say my string breakage rate went up quite a bit when I got the Jazz bug. Sigh!. But, hey man, it's Soooo Coooool.


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#9 AdLibitum

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 15:04

I recommend Deborah Henson-Connant's New Blues: seriously jazzy and no lever changes at all!
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#10 Pickle

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 21:27

Ah! New Blues! Love that piece. Have you seen the version of DHC and Ellie Turner playing it in Sydney in 2014 at the World harp conference? I think DHC probably put a bit of wear-and-tear on her strings with those lever slides. I hope this link works....


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