When did autoharps start being made in China?

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When did autoharps start being made in China?

Postby Bob Lewis » Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:39 pm

Q: I bought an Oscar Schmidt autoharp, and I notice it was made in China. I asked the Oscar Schmidt company when they started making them in China, and where they were made prior to this. They didn't know offhand and referred me to you. If you happen to have this information, would you please let me know.

A: All musical instruments except professional grade are imported. Autoharps were last mass produced in the US in 1983, then to Japan, then Korea, and finally to China in about 2001. The autoharps that are still made here cost $1000-2000.

I expect Chinese production will last a few more years and then be moved to a cheaper labor market, as before. Nevertheless, the quality is excellent, generally better than US production. The sound of the model B instruments is not as good, but the fit and finish is better. The Model A Reissue, OS73, is better sounding, certainly louder, than just about any of the US vintage.


Thanks, that makes me feel better. I did get the reissue OS73, but the model B (15 chord).

Bob Lewis
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