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Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)

WindhoverWeaver 01 Sep 12 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,alex s no cookie 01 Sep 12 - 07:13 AM
Leadfingers 01 Sep 12 - 12:58 PM
Leadfingers 01 Sep 12 - 01:02 PM
WindhoverWeaver 01 Sep 12 - 01:09 PM
John MacKenzie 01 Sep 12 - 01:59 PM
Brian May 01 Sep 12 - 08:21 PM
Bill D 01 Sep 12 - 10:35 PM
Brian May 02 Sep 12 - 02:35 AM
Brian May 02 Sep 12 - 05:31 PM
WindhoverWeaver 02 Sep 12 - 05:49 PM
Brian May 03 Sep 12 - 04:20 PM
Judy Dyble 04 Sep 12 - 04:37 AM
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Subject: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: WindhoverWeaver
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 06:54 AM

We have a friend who has an older autoharp and would like to start playing it again. However, it needs to be re-strung and serviced first. Does anyone know of a good person/place that could do this? She is near Luton, so local would be best, but it could be sent further afield if that is best. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: GUEST,alex s no cookie
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 07:13 AM

Steve Curtis at PMT Manchester, Regent Rd, Manchester is very good with stringy things. 0161 877 4962


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 12:58 PM


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 01:02 PM

OOOPS ! Sorry ! Slip of the finger there

IF its just restringing , that's NOT a difficult job , though not a five minute excercise ! String Sets are one source , though a decent tuner would help too


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: WindhoverWeaver
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 01:09 PM

Thanks, guys. Leadfinger: I haven't seen the autoharp yet, so am not sure if it needs more than the strings redone. If it is just strings, I'll offer to do it for her (found some web sites with tips, so can probably handle it).


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 01:59 PM

I restrung an autoharp once. I'm better now.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Brian May
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 08:21 PM

I have one beside me just now as I re-strung it yesterday and am stretching the strings - it's an old unbranded 32 string autoharp manufactured on 20th March 1975 so a label says on the inside.

Not too difficult and the bleeding has stopped . . .


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 10:35 PM

Unless an autoharp is VERY old and strings seem rusty, etc... it is not usually a good idea to totally restring it all at once. Buy the string set and start with only 'bad' looking strings.... then gradually, or when a string actually breaks, replace them carefully.

Oh... and be SURE the strings are the same gauge as the originals. If it is a REALLY old instrument, they may be lighter than newer strings, and replacing them all can be more than it will take! Old (usually black) 'harps can warp and distort and be ruined by trying to bring them up to pitch.
In all cases, remember that 36 strings put a lot of tension on the wood, and it needs to adjust fairly slowly to serious tinkering.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Brian May
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 02:35 AM

37 years old was old enough and it's been in the loft for 20. So, in my case, was I prepared to punt with a set of strings . . . hell yes.

The old strings looked like the originals and would have been better off on the top of the Berlin Wall.

I've yet to refit the chord bars (15) but the strings ring beautifully already. Today I'll increase the tension towards pitch.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Brian May
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 05:31 PM

Anyone know what h/b means on the musical scale. I presume it means Bflat but can't confirm that.

Presumably fis is F sharp, equally cis C sharp?


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: WindhoverWeaver
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 05:49 PM

Brian, I thought I recollected that h=b in the German system. Found the following on wikipedia :

Another style of notation, rarely used in English, uses the suffix "is" to indicate a sharp and "es" (only "s" after A and E) for a flat, e.g. Fis for F♯, Ges for G♭, Es for E♭. This system first arose in Germany and is used in almost all European countries whose main language is not English or a Romance language.
In most countries using this system, the letter H is used to represent what is B natural in English, the letter B represents the B♭, and Heses represents the B♭♭ (not Bes, which would also have fit into the system). Belgium and the Netherlands use the same suffixes, but applied throughout to the notes A to G, so that B♭ is Bes. Denmark also uses H, but uses bes instead of heses for B♭♭.

Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Brian May
Date: 03 Sep 12 - 04:20 PM

Only a huge difference!

I assumed that h/b was B flat. When I tuned all (4) strings h/b to B, then suddenly everything else fell into place and it sounds sweet.

Thanks a bunch for the help, much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp repair/re-string (UK)
From: Judy Dyble
Date: 04 Sep 12 - 04:37 AM

Chris Younger made a lovely job of repairing and sorting out my autoharp, and he is in Northamptonshire which is closer to Luton than Manchester :-)Plus he's a very kind and helpful man
Contact Chris on (01327) 830476 or e-mail him at
chrisyounger@amserve.com.

Judy


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