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Harp Strings

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Use the link in the left column to see products in the particular categories. Below are information and descriptions on the various strings we carry.

Vanderbilt Nylon

  • Strong, durable, and economical.
  • Best for the higher octaves on a harp or for harps that are made to be strung in nylon.
  • The only brand of nylon string that Vanderbilt carries.


    Over 1st octave    1st octave    2nd octave    3rd octave    4th octave    5th octave

Bow Brand Gut 

  • Has a bright tone.
  • Excellent quality, precisely gauged, imported from England.
  • Lyon & Healy and Salvi pedal harps come from the factory strung with Bow Brand Gut.


    Over 1st octave    1st octave    2nd octave    3rd octave    4th octave    5th octave

Burgundy Gut

  • These strings are manufactured by Bow Brand. They are the factory seconds, that is, they did not pass a visual inspection.
  • Same tone and life expectancy as Bow Brand.
  • Considerably cheaper.


    Over 1st octave    1st octave    2nd octave    3rd octave    4th octave    5th octave

Savarez Gut

  • These strings are manufactured by Savarez in France. Savarez is a small, boutique string house and they make batches completely by hand.
  • The tone of Savarez strings is similar in brightness to Bow Brand strings, so you don't have to replace all your strings!
  • Savarez has been making strings since 1770.


    Over 1st octave    1st octave    2nd octave    3rd octave    4th octave    5th octave

Tarnish Resistant Wires

  • Nickel plated wire strings that will not tarnish (turn black with age and use).
  • The Cs are red and the Fs are black.
  • Lyon & Healy and Salvi harps come from the factory strung with tarnish resistant wires.
  • Most harpists prefer to use tarnish-resistant wires.


    5th octave    6th octave    7th octave

Standard Wires

  • Silver plated wire strings that will tarnish (turn black with age and use).
  • The Cs and Fs are copper colored.
  • Some people still prefer standard wires and say that they have better sound than tarnish-resistant, most people cannot tell the difference.

    5th octave    6th octave    7th octave

 

Please call 812-333-5255 between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, or emailorders@vanderbiltmusic.com for these special strings carried by Vanderbilt Music Co.

 

Bow Brand Concedo Gut

  • Our most expensive gut string. Concedo strings have an extra layer of varnish on them that makes the strings a bright white color instead of clear. These strings are intended for dark venues like orchestra pits. These strings are not commonly purchased by most customers.


Bow Brand Lever Gut

  • Lighter tension strings designed for certain lever harps. Please note, if you have a lever harp that does not necessarily mean that your harp should use lever gauge strings. Only certain harp makers/models require the lighter tension.


Savarez Celtic Bass Wires (Aziliz)

  • Specialty Celtic Bass Wires. These metal wound strings for small harps were especially designed to fit existing models of smaller harps.


Bow Brand Lever Bass Wires

  • Lighter tension wire strings that are intended for specific Lyon & Healy and Salvi harps intended for lever tension wires.

 

General String Descriptions

Nylon Strings

  • Made from plastic, synthetic materials.
  • Cheapest, most durable, and lightest tension strings that we carry.
  • Some smaller harps are made to be strung only in nylon strings. If you put gut strings on a harp intended for nylon, it could damage the harp.
  • Most harpists string their first octave (top of the harp) in nylon because it is a lot more durable and cheaper.
  • Many harpists also put nylon in the second octave for the same reasons. Nylon strings do not sound as good as gut, however, and the lower you get on the harp, the more obvious the sound difference.
  • Lyon & Healy and Salvi pedal harps come from the factory strung with nylon in the first octave.


Gut Strings

  • Made from natural animal fibers.
  • Most pedal harps are made to be strung with gut strings, which are higher tension than nylon strings.
  • There are two kinds of gut strings: pedal and lever. Lever gut strings are lighter tension than pedal gut. Most gut strings are pedal gut strings by default, unless they have “lever gut” in the name.
  • Some smaller harps are made to be strung with lever gut strings, it’s not good to put pedal gut strings on a harp made for lever gut.
  • Lyon & Healy and Salvi pedal harps come from the factory with gut strings in the 2nd-5th octaves.


Wire Strings

  • Metal wound strings at the bass of the harp.
  • There are lever wire and folk wire strings that are lighter tension than the normal pedal tension wires. Some smaller harps are made for lever or folk wires. As with the gut strings, most wires are pedal tension unless the strings have “lever” or “folk” in the name.
  • Lyon & Healy and Salvi pedal harps come from the factory with pedal tension wires.



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