QUOTE(erard @ Aug 10 2011, 07:31 PM)
If your daughter really prefers one instrument I am confident you will find a way to move it - I am pretty sure I could squeeze any modern harp into the car you have. When trying out harps listen to the whole harp in bs, nats and sharps, you want to like all three, and on some harps they sound like rather different instruments.
When buying 2nd hand do get someone who knows harp mechanisms to give it a once over, unless quite new or recently serviced by someone you can ask and remember to budget for new bass wires and a service. Are you able to avoid VAT by buying through the education system?
Thanks - useful advice, especially about trying it in different keys, which I will certainly get her to try when we have our next visit. We spent a couple of hours at Pilgrim on Monday and the same at Holywell Music yesterday and tried out 9 different harps, plus the one that was used in Westminster Abbey for the recent Royal Wedding (just for fun, it is way out of my budget)! Of the things I remember her having played, one piece was in C major, and one had 7 flats, but she didn't try out the sharps much as far as I recall.
All of our top three would fit in the car, which is reassuring. At Pilgrim, her favourite was the Aldeburgh. At Holywell, of the 6 my daughter tried, her top two were the Salvi Aurora and the Lyon & Healy Style 30, though there was no clear winner. Neither of us particularly liked the look of the 30 and - as that is the most expensive of the three - I think we've probably eliminated it. What we'd really like to do is try the Aldeburgh and the Aurora together but that will be difficult. Do you have any views on these two models?
I don't think we can avoid the VAT unfortunately, but I would prefer to buy new if we can afford to - I like the idea of the 5 yr warranty and the fact that we could order the finish we wanted.