How do I stop a buzzing harp string?
Your harp need not suffer the problem of rattling or buzzing sounds when you play. If you hear such noises, you can correct them. Here are some troubleshooting hints:
If the buzzing sound occurs only when the sharping lever is flipped up (engaged), then you need to tighten the lever more firmly against the neck of the harp. Use a ball-end allen wrench to turn the cap-screw clockwise.
If the buzzing occurs when the lever is flipped down (disengaged), the string may be vibrating against some part of the sharping lever itself. Look very closely at the position of the string as it passes through the sharping lever. It may be rattling against the plastic cam (the part that you flip up & down), or against the small post (the part that the cam pinches the string against when engaged.) You can change the position of the string by pushing in or pulling out the brass guide pin on which the string rests above the sharping lever. (Make sure the string is resting in the groove of that pin.) Use a pliers to gently push or pull on the pin, watching how that moves the string in relation to the sharping lever.
If the problem is not located around the sharping lever, you may have a loose end of string that is rattling inside the soundchamber. Put your hand inside the harp and touch the knotted ends while plucking the harp to see where the problem is located. Oftentimes we can solve it by simply trimming off a loose end of string or by twisting the knotted end in a different direction.
Some harps have stiffener battens glued inside the back of the soundbox, on either side of the access holes. Occasionally we’ve encountered a buzz or rattle on a harp when one of these battens has come loose at one end. Check for this situation by pressing on the side of each access hole and feeling the batten to see if it comes free at one end. If you find a loose batten, work some Elmer’s glue under it and clamp it back in place until the glue dries.
Our Limerick and Studio model harps have backs that are glued into a slot in the hardwood sides. Sometimes we have seen a buzz develop when the back panel is not securely glued all around the edges. Check this by tapping on the back panel. If it rattles, you may need to glue some corner strips along the inside corners of the back to silence the noise.