No matter how tenderly you care for your harp, from time to time you may be visited with some unmusical and irritating noises.
When a string becomes worn out or frayed from use, you should replace it because it will be false and will not give you a true tone. If you rub your thumb and index finger down the string and feel it narrowing, it is also time to replace the string. Also check your strings where they engage with the discs. If they are wearing, replace the string.
It isn't a good idea to mix gut and nylon strings in the same octave because gut and nylon strings have different tensions, but you can certainly use both kinds of strings on your harp. In an emergency, it is all right to replace a gut string with a nylon string. Just make sure to replace the nylon string at your earliest convenience.
If you have a disc with a broken pin, it can easily be replaced. First remove the string from the adjustable string nut, without taking it off of the tuning pin. You may want to loosen the tension slightly, but it is not really necessary. With a 1/8 inch bladed screwdriver, loosen the screw in the center of the disc and remove it from the disc. Now you can easily remove the disc from the action. Turn the disc clockwise for removal. On the back of the VENUS harp discs there will be one or two letters. The letter(s) will determine which size disc you will need for replacement. You can also tell the factory which note the disc is from and if it is a natural or sharp, and they will know which disc is needed. If the disc has a letter and the letter is S (i.e. Vs, Ms, Os) it is an offset disc. With offset discs, one side is fatter than the other. Depending on how the string lines up in the center of the disc, the offset disc will be offset to one side or the other.
When you receive a new disc from the factory, replace it on the harp by turning it counter-clockwise. All American discs have left-handed threads so they will stay on the action securely. Now you can replace the screw in the center of the disc. Camac harps have actions where some sharp discs move counter to the natural disc and need to be placed on the action clockwise.
Once the disc is on the harp and the screw is tight, you can put the string back on the adjustable. To determine if the grip is sufficient, move the pedal into natural (or sharp) and look at the disc. If the string appears to be crimped too much, you need to lesson the grip on the string.
To loosen the grip, insert your screwdriver behind the string, through the center of the disc and turn the disc very carefully clockwise. This will help the screw hold the disc better as well as ease the grip on the string. If more grip is needed, remove the string again and turn the disc counter-clockwise with the screwdriver between the disc pins. Remember to tighten the screw before replacing the string and checking for proper grip. This is a fairly simple procedure and all harpists should know how to change discs in an emergency.
When you transport your harp, you should make sure that the harp is lying with the disc side up. If you put your harp in your vehicle with the disc side down, the discs could be damaged and the strings can break. And although it may seem like common knowledge, always use your protective case when transporting your harp.
When not in use, your harp should be kept covered. This will ensure that the harp is kept clean and safe. It is also better to keep the pedals in the flat position when the harp is not in use. This takes extra tension off the strings. With proper maintenance and good common sense, your harp will look new for a long time.
Remember if you have any doubts or questions just give us a call. That is what we are here for.