Woods we use
We are very particular about the wood that goes into each Thormahlen
Harp. In our soundboards, we use only hand-split, clear, vertical-grained
spruce or cedar which provides the greatest strength and stability and
the clearest tone. For the body of the harp, we use the most beautiful
domestic and exotic figured hardwoods we can find. The various woods
we use produce a range of tonal characteristics as discussed below.
Cherry: a warm and sweet tone
that is very pleasing and mellow. It darkens with age to a beautiful
Mahogany: a big, warm voice
with a long sustain
bright tone that is well-balanced with good projection and a strong
Walnut: a medium bright, clear,
open sound, rich with overtones.
Bubinga: a bright, clear,
ringing tone with a lot of sustain, emphasizes the fundamental.
Rosewood: a warmer tone than Bubinga, not as loud,
has a lot of sustain, stronger on overtones.
Koa: a very rich sound with clear
bell-like tones especially in the high end. Our favorite.
With all of our exotic harps, we use Mahogany for the
neck and pillar. This greatly reduces the weight of some of the heavier
wood but also allows us to use the wood responsibly for the places
that matter. We can use the same wood for the neck and pillar for an
These days our soundboards are made of Spruce.
Spruce has long been favored for the soundboards of stringed instruments.
Spruce has a characteristic sound that is clear and not too resonant.
In the past we have used Cedar on some of our harps, but the current
cedar that we have seems to be more resonant and ringy so we are recommending
spruce and using cedar veneer if you want the dark look on the soundboard.
With so many wood choices available to us, we are able to tailor the
sound of the harp to your needs. If you would like to discuss the tonal
qualities that you are after in a harp, call us. We'd love to help
you figure out what would be the best harp woods for you.
PICK YOUR WOOD
If you would like, you can pick a wood set for your harp. There is
a minimum charge of
$100 to choose your own wood set. Depending on the wood set you pick,
there may be a further upcharge of anywhere from $200-1200 depending
on how "deluxe" of a set you pick.
The sets will be labeled with their price so you can pick accordingly.
We have some spectacular wood sets from time to time, so check with
us to see what we have available in the wood that you're thinking
of. We will give you an online link to look at a number of digital
photos of the possibilities along with their costs. They would look
something like this example in Koa on the right.
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