Don't purchase Pakistani/ chinese harps - a waste of £

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I am so glad that someone has written about buying cheap harps with dubious beginnings! Last year I proceeded to buy a £250.00 rosewood harp from a UK seller who is also a teacher of the instrument... I stated that I had read about the harps made in Pakistan and didn't want to buy one- she assured me that they were Chinese... I found out through detection after placing an order with her - thank god the order was held up- that my order was indeed from Pakistan. I didn't become the owner of one- I plumped for  a wooden welsh made harp suitable for beginners at £235.00. I have been so pleased with it... I know who manufactures them- they have a Website and even though it is triangular in shape and isn't so pleasing to the eye- it has a lovely sound from gut strings and safely and easily tuned.

You can spot Pakistani manufactured harps , usually made of rosewood, inferior levers and usually priced below £300.00 - some though are retailing at £800.00 and UK sellers of these  harps are now turning up at harp festivals- under the gusie of ' designed' in the UK... They are also being sold on the internet with 'from Germany' and other european countries attached, even though they are manufactured in Pakistan.I wouldn't have any issues in purchasing a harp from Pakistan if I was sure that their craftmanship was on the scale of Camac and others- but they aren't and people are being injured whilst trying to tune them- strings snap, customers can't purchase replacement strings, soundboards bend and break... I have heard stories of people keeping them held together with string, re-gluing them etc... The harps themselves are very pleasing to the eye- with ornate flower borders on the soundboards, celtic knots... Need I go on...

When I  originally placed the order for my 'chinese' harp, I was asked what type of finish I wanted - natural wood I replied.... It was suggested that I picked a coloured finish because it would be stronger... Why didn't alarm bells start ringing then ?  Because I was swept away by the look of the harp and the price. Having spoken to a teacher with integrity about purchasing a  larger harp in future, I feel armed with a  little more knowledge and always discuss in full with the seller of the harp- and try it out- rent it if necessary before you buy...That is what I intend to do... I won't be hoodwinked a second time! I intend to play the harp- not look at a £250.00 broken ornament!   

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