What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Harp?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2015
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The pros and cons of buying a used harp generally regard the overall condition of the instrument, its comparative price, and other related factors. Shoppers who want to get the best purchase for a harp should consider how buying a new or used model affects the final sale price, and how much they are getting for their money, something finance professionals often refer to as “value for cost.” Evaluating these pros and cons will help beginners make the decision about how to source their harps and other musical instrument purchases.

One of the biggest advantages in buying a used harp is the price. Some buyers have reported finding used harps at a fraction of the price of a new model. When these used harps are in good condition, they can present much better deals than a buyer can get from ordering a new harp through a catalog or from a music store.

Another advantage of buying a used harp is that these instruments will be seasoned. Pros explain seasoning as a harp being “worn in.” Where a new harp can have a sharp, tinny sound, a used model may have a more resonant, sweeter sound after it has been played extensively.


Along with the benefits of buying a pre-owned harp, buyers have to consider some significant drawbacks to this kind of purchase. One of the biggest disadvantages to buying a used harp is that the buyer is left vulnerable to issues of hidden damage that may affect the used instrument. Some buyers of used harps have reported finding cracks in the pillar of the harp, the main piece that supports the frame. In some cases, hidden damage is related to stress on the strings; over time, pressure on the strings can loosen particular strings in their housings and interfere with play.

Hidden damage is not the only drawback of buying a used harp. There can also be problems with dirt or debris built up at the ends of the strings where they connect to the frame. This and other kinds of normal wear and tear can reduce the overall value of a used harp. Arranging to have an expert examine the instrument prior to purchase may help to reduce this risk.

One additional thing to think about when considering buying a used harp is the warranty or guarantee that new harps may carry. In many cases, a used harp purchase will not include any kind of warranty. As with other large purchases, buying harps and musical instruments “as is” can always be a risky proposition.


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