How to Find A Repair Person
In the life of every stringed instrument there will come a moment of truth. Some instruments will have more than others but eventually, all come to the moment of reckoning - the moment when they need to be seen by a professional repair luthier. This is a dangerous time for your precious harp and, therefore, a time to be an especially cautious consumer.
Before you do anything else, call us!
Seriously. Reach out to us. If the repair is a warranty repair then the harp either needs to come back to us or we need to work with a repair person in your local area. For warranty repairs we will pay whomever does the work (or pay you back, whichever is easier for your specific situation) and carefully coordinate with the repair luthier doing the work. If the harp is coming back to us then we can help you make the arrangements to get the harp safely shipped.
Finding Someone Local
There's this strange phenomenon when it comes to finding someone to repair a harp who does not normally work on harps. The people most qualified to do the work are often too cautious to do it and the people who have no idea what they are doing are more than willing to take it on. This is for a simple reason. Highly skilled repair luthiers, usually violin and the very high-end acoustic guitar repair people, understand that pedal harps are a nightmare to work on and that concert lever harps are under enormous string tension and are very expensive. They are afraid that since they are not harp experts they may make an error that ends up damaging the instrument and they will be responsible for the replacement.
This is an understandable and incredibly reasonable position. It is also an indicator that you have probably found someone qualified. Probably the single best indicator is if you find someone who repairs the whole violin family including double bases. If the project is a warranty repair we will be sure to tell them that if the whole thing melts down in their hands, we will cover it and their time. Under our warranty we make the final decision about who does the repair. Anything major comes back to us and goes directly to the front of the line in our shop scheduling. For minor things, however, shipping actually presents the greater threat to the instrument and that is why it makes sense to have small things done by someone close to you.
If you are looking for someone local to do the work but you don't know where to turn, many local music stores across the country do have instrument repair shops. Most of them are guitar repair shops. Take a note: no matter what the guy in the mullet and the ten-year-old, black, Metallica T-shirt tells you, he is probably not the right person to repair your harp. You want the nerdy violin repair luthier with the pocket protector. Provided a violin repair luthier has a good reputation for quality, timely work on violins, he or she will usually have all the requisite skills necessary to work on a harp. If you have concerns, ask for references and call around. You might even contact the conductor or director of the local community symphony or other classical musicians you know and see where they have their work done.
Repair work is an art of its own. In many ways, it is more difficult to fix an existing problem than it is to build the instrument from the lumber up. Experienced stringed instrument repair shops are an invaluable resource. If you find someone good we recommend putting them on your holiday card list and dropping by occasionally with cupcakes. Consider it an investment.