Where to buy an autoharp

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Joined: 20 Aug 2012
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Where to buy an autoharp

Hi All - this is my first post & I hope I have it in the right place. I want to buy an autoharp but don't know where to find one in my area. I will start calling stores that sell instruments soon - for the past few weeks I've been looking online but this doesn't seem like a fruitful method to me because I don't know what the different models sound like. I know the tone I want and will recognize it when I hear it. I live on the south shore of Boston (in MA) - do any of you know of a shop that sells them in the Boston area? Do any of you have any suggestions for buying one online? (I would not buy a guitar online but those are easy to find! Thanks very much!!

Commenting on this Forum topic is closed.

Joined: 8 Oct 2012
Groups: None
Autoharp

We just bought on-line an Evo Harp from Pete D'Aigle.

http://www.daigleharp.com/index.htm

Pete worked with us to customize the string setup and chord selection to meet our special needs.

The autoharp is beautifully made and sounds great.

Mike

AUTOHARP PURCHASED?

HI,

IF YOU AREE STILL LOOKING FOR AN AUTOHARP, PETE DAIGLE IS ONE SOURCE. CHUCK DANIELS IN KANSAS IS ANOTHER SOURCE. autoharpguy@minpin.com IN CASE YOU HAVE NOT HEARD, OSCAR SCHMIDT HAS STOPPED MANUFACTURING AUTOHARPS AND THEY WILL BE IN SHORT SUPPLY AND LARGE DEMAND REALLY SOON. IF I CAN HELP YOU IN ANY WAY DONT HESITATE TO CALL

BARBARA - 602-549-6205 TOLLESON (PHOENIX) ARIZONA.

I FOUNDED THAT ARIZONA AUTOHARP CLUB 8 YEARS AGO, NOW WITH AROUND 300 ON OUR CLUB EMAIL LIST. PREVIOUS MEMBER OF THE HEARTLAND HARPERS IN KANSAS CITY AREA FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

MY FIRST ADVICE IS TO PURCHASE A 21 BUTTON OSCAR SCHMIDT HARP FROM THE 70-80'S THIS WILL GIVE YOU THE MOST VERSITILE INSTRUMENT. DO NOT BUY A CHROMAHARP !! YOU WILL FIND THAT YOU WILL WANT TO CHANGE THE BUTTONS AROUND TO MAKE THE INSTRUMENT PLAYABLE. FACTORY HARPS HAVE BEEN SOLD FOR YEARS THAT ARE NOT COMFORTABLE, SENSEABLE, PATTERN FOR FINGERING. IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE CIRCLE OF FIFTH'S, LOOKING AT A HARP WILL TELL YOU THAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE BUTTONS. HENCE THE OSCAR IS THE EASIEST TO MODIFY.

TILL THE NEXT NOTE,
BARBARA GIAMALVO
ARIZONA AUTOHARP CLUB

Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Groups: Jersey Jam
Just a related comment

Just a related comment because I happened to stumble across 'em last week (right before Hurricane Sandy):

O DiBella Music, in Bergenfield NJ (several miles from the George Washington Bridge), has maybe a half dozen autoharps in mostly playable condition. Most are Oscar Schmidt & at least one is the '70s 21-button model (like my wife's) recommended above. Not that I was paying a LOT of attention, but the most common pricetag seemed to be $225.

No financial interest on my part - just thought that interested folks might want to know.

- Ed

Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Groups: None
Where to buy an autoharp

You're likely to have a problem finding such an instrument locally, in Boston or anywhere else.
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Ordering ANY instrument you can hear first is not the optimal way, but you're probably going to have to go online.

However, an autoharp doesn't have as much room for goodness/badness as a guitar, violin, etc. which reduces the Hear Before You Buy problem.

Or you can check with Elderly Instruments, to see if you can get one with a No Questions Asked return policy.
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Sam Ash (samash.com)carries a couple of Oscar Schmidt models, and has a 45-Day return policy. You'd want to call their 800 number to be sure there are no "Gotchas", like "Doesn't Apply To Autoharps" or anything. That will probably be your best bet.
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There are a ton of Oscar Schmidt instruments on Amazon right now 12-01-12), in the $260-$450 range.
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Also, Elderly Instruments is a good place to look for things like that (elderly.com).
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I see that they have SEVERAL Oscar Schmidt models used, all used "AS-IS", and needing work, though sometimes that's as little as needing to be re-strung. They also have some new OS models in the $375 on up to about $450 range.
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When shopping, note how many chords the instrument will play. Not all autoharps are the same.

Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Groups: None
Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who replied to my post. I ended up buying one on eBay and am very happy with it. I limited my search there to only sellers who accept returns in case anything was wrong with the autoharp - and none "as is." I have an Oscar Schmidt 21 chord 30-year-old autoharp in beautiful condition for which I paid $200. The comparable price new is just over $400.

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