Cases and Storage

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Cases and Storage

Postby Bob Lewis » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:14 pm

Q: Do I have to keep my autoharp in a case or is it okay to leave it out for display or handy to pick up and play?

A: Keep it in a tight, closed case when not being played. That will protect it from accidents, dust, and humidity fluctuations. The closed case allows the wood to react much more gradually to changes in the environment. This will reduce the chances of cracking, warping, and quickly going out of tune. It will also protect the strings and other hardware from condensation and the resulting corrosion.

Q: Do I have to spend a lot for a case?

A: The most basic case is quite a bit of protection. The more expensive cases are more durable and have a more secure closure. The big advantage with a better case is that it either has a shoulder strap, making the instrument easier to carry around, or it closes much more tightly for more protection from humidity changes.

Q: Should I have a soft case or one of the hardshell cases?

A: The hardshell is the best for storage but a chore to carry around. For all around use I'd recommend the semi-hardshell (Oscar Schmidt) or deluxe padded (Blue Heron, et al) zipper cases with a shoulder strap. When completely zipped, they provide good protection and are adequate for normal shipping inside a good box. The padded cases with no stiff shell provide less protection from dropping and gouging but are the easiest and lightest to carry. The Blue Heron is a personal favorite for an instrument worth many times more than the cost of the case.
Bob Lewis
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