R Harps

Now in Stock at Summerhays


R-HARPS The Merlin Harp


The Merlin’s pillar is reinforced by a powerful adjustable truss rod system to ensure rigidity. This unique design eliminates the need for the massive pillar found on traditional harps and promotes lower and mid-range frequencies. The sound board is reinforced by nine suspended non-fatiguing struts. These braces counter-balance the massive tension created by the string pressure without adding sound deadening thickness to the sound board, as in a traditional instrument. Thanks to these braces, the sound board is relaxed and ready to respond without being choked by its own string tension. It’s possible that the Merlin may be the first harp ever to be tension balanced. Some well-built harps will last for decades. This harp will sing for generations.


  • 8-sided coopered maple staveback
  • Aircraft-quality birch soundboard (5 laminates per 1/8 inch)
  • Baltic birch neck and column
  • Truss rod system inlaid in column
  • Mahogany and nitrocellulose finish
  • 9 non-fatiguing suspended struts
  • Honduras mahogany center string strut
  • Walnut perfling

Merlin Harp size graphic

Weight: 22 lb.

Range: 35 Strings – A down to B

Strings: Bass: Silk with steel wrap     Mid: Flouracarbon     Treble: Nylon.

“I’m a very fortunate man. I derive a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction from the conception, designing, building and refining of all my harps.For many years I had been building harps two at a time – with only one variable between them – to truly compare a tweak here, a design change there. Does this harp sound better than that one? Which one “sings?” This is called “A-B testing.

Through years of A B testing, theory has been replaced with knowledge. “I think” has been replaced with “I know,” – at a huge cost in terms of building and burning. But twenty years of experimental building pays off when my customers recognize what they love about their R Harps. I just have to smile because I know those qualities were deliberately placed there in that instrument.

All the harps I produce now are the best I’ve ever made. I am still so thrilled when the sawdust settles and I hear my customers produce beautiful music on my creations. These are the moments that make all that hard work worth it.


Rick Rubarth Signature