A harp’s soundbox shapes its tone, supports the tension of the soundboard, and makes it comfortable to hold the instrument. Our soundboxes are crafted of beautiful solid hardwood with artfully bookmatched sides and backs and the following features:
Tapered, flat surface construction. There are a wide variety of soundbox shapes on the market today. Some harps have round backs, others have staves and still others have flat sides and backs and square corners. In general, flat surfaces transmit vibrations more effectively than arched surfaces, so from an acoustic perspective it is desirable to build a soundbox with broad flat sides and back. However round-backed harps are usually more comfortable to play than square backed harps.
Because we value tone above all other factors, we are committed to flat surface construction rather than round-backed or staved. However, comfort is an important consideration as well. Our solution to this problem was to taper the sides and back of the harp quite significantly. Our soundboxes are trapezoidal in cross section, not rectangular, and the sides taper both from the soundboard to the back of the harp, and from the bass to the treble. At the shoulder our harps are only 3″ deep and 3.25″ wide, so even small-framed musicians can hold them very comfortably. All the edges of the soundbox are carefully rounded for comfort as well. Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it too!
Carbon fiber and fiberglass reinforcement. Harps are placed under a huge amount of stress by the tension of the strings. While a certain amount of soundboard “belly” is normal and even desirable over time, keeping the frame of the harp largely rigid is critical to an instrument’s longevity. Carbon fiber, when laminated to wood, is as strong as spring-steel, but weighs very little, and is therefore an ideal material for bracing your harp’s soundbox.
Open bases. Our harps are open at the base, both to reduce the weight of the instrument, and to facilitate the projection of its voice when the harp is tilted back to playing position. The effect of the open base on the harp’s projection is particularly noticeable on stage. When I play weddings with my own harp, I very rarely need to use any amplification at all!