What is the Difference Between the Acrylic and Wood Quartzophone
There are some slight differences between the two models. The H2 is about 1/2 lb lighter than the acrylic L1. The acrylic and wood version are about the same size. The wood frame of the H2 make the tubes easier see compared to the clear acrylic frame of the L1. The L1 is designed with a curved acrylic frame whereas the H2 has a straight frame made with Canadian Birdseye maple. Choosing wood or acrylic is a personal decision, the crystal tubes are exactly the same as are the incredible harmonics they create.
What Happened to the Crystal Lyre and the Crystal Harp?
The Crystal Harp and Crystal Lyre were predecessors of the Quartzophone L1 and H2 and are no longer in production. Over the years Gaudry has modified the frame to be smaller, lighter and ergonomically easier to hold. This newer design is called the Quartzophone. The high range of harmonics created by these instruments are the same.
How to Play your Instrument
Be gentle when playing your instrument. Quartzophone instruments are powerful tools, a little goes a long way! There is no need to beat the instrument like a drum or play it at a volume higher than 75 dBA; intense vibrations can harm the instrument and loud sounds can harm one’s hearing. Start by tapping the tubes gently.
- Never hold a vibrating tube near your face or ears. Let the tones come to you or the person you are working with.
- Do not use the instrument if it is damaged in any way.
- Not intended for use by children, unless with adult supervision. Ever see a child bang on pots and pans?
Traveling with the Quartzophone Instrument
If you have ordered the L1 or H2, keep the box it was shipped in. If your instrument will be in your possession during your travels then you will be ok traveling with the padded carrier only. If you will be traveling by plane or giving your instrument to someone else, use the box your instrument came in. The L1 or H2 will not fit in the overhead bin of an airplane.
Are the Quartzophone Instruments Fragile
They are crystal so there is always the possibility of breaking a tube however this is rare. Since a light tap is all that is required to create a tone, a tube will not break while playing. If a tube breaks it is usually the result of dropping the instrument or the cat knocking it over. If this happens, you only need to replace the broken tube and restring the instrument which only takes about 15 minutes. Replacement tubes are available directly from Mine Cristal and the L1 and H2 come with replacement string and instructions.
Cleaning your Instrument
Clean the instrument with a soft, moist cloth.
Your Quartzophone instrument is warranted to be free from any defects in materials and workmanship, for one year from the date of original purchase. This warranty does not cover tubes, strings, accessories, transport damage, accidents, normal wear-and-tear, abrasion, misuse, abuse or neglect, loss of use or other consequential damages. Any alteration voids this warranty. In case of a claim under warranty, Mine Cristal will supply you with parts and instructions. This warranty is limited and does not include any compensation for any loss arising. Our liability will not exceed the purchase price of the instrument.
What about those less expensive harps from China and Russia
The sound on the cheaper harps you have seen is at least 80% less resonant, with little or no sustain. This is due to the way the strings hold the tubes in place, they use strings or elastic that wrap around and strangle the tube, effectively ruining the sound. The Quartzophone's design is internationally patented and the knock offs, generally from Russia and China are either in violation of these patents or made slightly differently resulting in an inferior product.
What is a Mini Harp?
A harp referred to as "mini" is just a cheaply made and less expensive instrument. These have smaller diameter tubes which create lower volume, less resonant harmonic tones.