Here’s an at-a-glance look at my schedule from late July, 2014 through the beginning of November:
July 21-27: Redlands, CA
August 25-30: Ann Arbor, MI
September 5-8: Interlochen, MI
September 19-24: Salt Lake City, UT
September 25-27: Spokane, WA
October 6-10: Omaha, NE
November 3-8: Austin, TX
If you’d like to schedule an appointment for any of these locations, feel free to contact me (steve (at) mossharpservice (dot) com). If you’re viewing this post after Summer/Fall of 2014 you can find an updated schedule on my calendar page.
There’s a new website called harptechguild.com, sponsored by the Lyon & Healy/Salvi Technicians Guild, that can come in handy when you need to know which technicians serve your area and when one will be coming to town.
While I wish everyone in the world would just hire me to do their harp regulations, obviously that isn’t possible. I simply don’t go everyplace. Or I do come someplace near you, but sometimes the timing of my visit doesn’t work for you. Now, you can search technician service areas through harptechguild.com.
The Lyon & Healy/Salvi Technicians Guild isn’t a guild in the purest sense. It is a group sponsored by the Lyon & Healy and Salvi Harp Companies. Technicians who are considered by these companies to be qualified to service their harps are admitted to the Guild. Members include technicians employed by both companies as well as independent techs like me who have extensive training and experience with these two brands. We get together periodically to share information and to learn from each other, and we regularly communicate about regulation issues and coordinate service for customers looking for technicians in their areas. The companies also use the Guild to keep independent technicians informed on advances and design changes happening in the factories.
The members of the Guild pushed for the creation of a website where customers could find a list of technicians who service their area and access their contact information, as well as an online calendar listing service trips for each technician. Lyon & Healy and Salvi responded with harptechguild.com.
The site is young, and admittedly not every member is using it to post a schedule, but you can find listings of highly qualified technicians who come to your area, and the listings cover the entire world. I encourage you to check it out. If you are connected to a harp society chapter or other harp group, i would encourage you to consider adding a link on your community website.
People often ask me if I’ll replace all the strings when they bring their harp in for a regulation. A smaller number of people assume that a regulation includes all new strings and are surprised (and disappointed) to find out that this isn’t the case. While I may replace a string or two at a regulation appointment, and I’ll often replace the bass wires, complete restringing requires a significant additional investment of time, and thus carries an extra labor charge. Then there’s the strings, which on a full sized pedal harp can cost close to $500 for a full set.
I am always glad when my customers are willing to invest in new strings. A lot of harpists tend to leave strings on their harps longer than they should. I often work on harps whose strings have lost much of their tonal quality and sustain. I am happy to schedule the additional time to restring a harp before regulating it. However, I can’t offer the same-day service I can offer for a standard regulation. In order to completely restring and regulate a harp, I generally request that the customer leave it with me for three days.
The reason for this time lag is that brand new harp strings don’t hold their tuning well enough for me to accurately regulate the harp’s intonation. Ideally, there should be a two-week lag between the day a harp is restrung and the day it is regulated, and someone should tune the new strings at least once a day.
Since my road service regulation stops rarely last two weeks, I have to compress this “string settling and stretching” period down to a couple of days. I do this by tuning the harp over and over, accelerating the settling process. After two days of intensive tuning, while the strings will still stretch to some degree, they will hold their tuning well enough to complete the pitch regulation process.
If you are interested in having your harp both restrung and regulated, please contact me in advance. We’ll need to work out a time for you to leave the harp with me, and there are decisions to make about which strings to order. You can use strings you already have on hand, but I caution you not to bother with them if they are more than five years old. Strings age even sealed in a package, so if your spare set goes back more than that, it’s better to throw them out and start fresh.