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Top 8 Best Autoharp On The Market 2019 Reviews & Buying Guide

What is an autoharp? Well, even if you don’t know what it is, you should be able to deduce its roots from its name. It’s an instrument, a harp more precisely, which comes with over eleven strings stretched along a soundboard.

The instrument also comes with holes all across the metal bar that, by default, spreads across the strings. Each hole is a chord so changing chords is as simple as moving your flapstick across the different holes.

Okay, too much to take in right now? That’s okay. Our buying guide will help you understand. Make sure you don’t skip that aspect part of this article if you need better understanding.

And now, without further ado, let’s get straight to our review of our 8 favorite autoharps right now.

Top 8 Best Autoharp On The Market Reviews In 2019

 

Best Autoharp
Photo by David Hilowitz

Top 8 Best Autoharp For The Money 2019 Reviews

NameBodyButtonsChordsDimensionsWeightColor/Finish
Body
Maple
Buttons
Not specified
Chords
21
Dimensions
25 x 13 x 5 inches
Weight
10.3 pounds
Color/Finish
Gloss
Size
Mahogany back
Power
3 rows
Impedance
21
Dimensions
Not specified
Weight
Not specified
Weight
Black Satin
Size
Maple
Power
3 rows
Impedance
21
Dimensions
36 x 11.5 x 4.5 inches
Weight
5.1 pounds
Weight
High gloss
Size
Maple
Power
2
Impedance
16 Ohms
Dimensions
24.5 x 14.3 x 5.7 inches
Weight
4.56 pounds
Weight
Sunburst
Size
Maple
Power
3
Impedance
21
Dimensions
41 x 16 x 5 inches
Weight
10 pounds
Weight
Natural and Black
Size
Maple
Power
3 rows
Impedance
21
Dimensions
25.2 x 13.4 x 5.1 inches
Weight
9.65 pounds
Weight
Sunburst gloss
Size
Maple
Power
2 rows
Impedance
15
Dimensions
13.8 x 4.8 x 25.1 inches
Weight
9.6 pounds
Weight
Sunburst gloss
Size
Mahogany back
Power
3 rows
Impedance
21
Dimensions
Not specified
Weight
Not specified
Weight
Gloss

1 Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp

The Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp is a beautiful instrument from a top tier manufacturer – Oscar Schmidt. We love this instrument, and we trust the quality and construction the makers put into creating this model.

This autoharp comes with 21 chords which work great. You’ll be able to play this instrument over a wide range of about 11 keys. Each key comes with impeccable quality and the craftsmanship is also quite obvious. Of course, we didn’t expect less from Oscar Schmidt.

It looks good too. This is a good looking instrument on every count. You’ll be proud to carry this around. Just try to get a strap as it will make it a bit easier to carry this around. Plus, it’s great for brandishing your autoharp.

Especially for such a decently priced instrument, this autoharp sounds great. You’ll definitely have loads of fun playing it. It’s also easy to tune and is altogether a delightful instrument.

Plus, Oscar Schmidt autoharps are famous for their flexibility. That is, you will be able to arrange the chords the way you want. That’s fantastic if you ask us. Also, the chord bar button Oscar Schmidt makes this easier and smoother to play.

On this autoharp, you get a maple design as well as a maple pin block. Plus, it’s sizeable enough to make this comfortable to play. Note though that, this autoharp is significantly heavy. So like we initially advised, don’t forget to get a strap especially if you intend to play this for long hours at a time.

In the durability department, this autoharp scores high points. It will definitely serve you a really long time. That we can assure you of. If anything, the 5 year warranty on all Oscar Schmidt products should give you some assurance.


Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros
  • Great sound.
  • Quality, durable construction.
  • Easy to tune and play.
  • Quality strings.
Cons
  • Not very loud.
  • Does not come with the advertised tuner.

2 Oscar Schmidt 1930’s Reissue Original Design Autoharp

The good old days bring a strong feeling of nostalgia to everyone who ever lived in that era. Well, frankly, even to those of us who never lived in that era.

This is easily one of the greatest autoharps to ever grace the world of music. No wonder, there were requests for the brand to make it available again.

In fact, of all Oscar Schmidt’s autoharps, the Oscar Schmidt 1930’s Reissue Original Design Autoharp is possibly its best selling autoharp. The makers drew the inspiration for the creation of this autoharp from the chorded Zither.

This Reissue version screams quality. Oscar Schmidt handcrafted it to perfection which is why it looks so great and why it sounds excellent too. The top of the instrument also comes in solid spruce. Solid spruce feels really smooth and comfortable which of course also impacts greatly on playability.

The mahogany back gives this autoharp its really lovely tone. It’s warm and rich and a lot of fun. Now, with the satin finish this autoharp sports, this instrument is not just excellent in performance, it’s also a truly decorative piece. It draws and holds the attention of anyone that beholds it.

Right here are 21 chords and every single one chord functions great.

Alright, now to what’s in the package… This autoharp comes with a tuning hammer which helps you to conveniently switch your style while maintaining your tune.

This package also contains fingerpicks that makes your playing much easier.

And then there’s an instructional book that beginners can begin learning the autoharp with. Lastly, with a polishing cloth and gig bag, your instrument is going to maintain its good looks for a long time to come.


Oscar Schmidt 1930’s Reissue Original Design Autoharp

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros
  • Warm rich tone thanks to quality wood and construction.
  • Comes with several useful accessories.
  • Truly versatile instrument.
  • Quite durable.
Cons
  • Just a little high end.

3 ChromaHarp 21 Chord Autoharp

The ChromaHarp is super easy to play which is why this autoharp is a friend to all kinds of players. it produces a really unique sound that kinds makes you want to think of Christmas. And we all love that, don’t we? Right.

As you’d observe when you get this harp, there is a high level of quality in the construction of this instrument. The brand obviously put its foot into making this autoharp. It’s reliable and feels like it’s going to last a really long time. Plus, it feels smooth and comfortable to play.

As for the chords, they were pretty fast and quite accurate in our books. This is especially due to the lightweight design of the bar. This is part of what makes the autoharp really functional and quite versatile too.

For tuning purposes, this autoharp comes with torsion tight-tuning pin. It makes it really easy for you to tune your instrument. So, using this you’ll be able to tune your autoharp to an impeccable level of precision.

One other thing we found quite impressive is the looks of the autoharp. It looks simply magnificent with its pre-pressed maple frame design. The top and back are all maple which improves tone. But the high gloss finish makes this instrument even more appealing.

And to further ensure that this autoharp lasts even longer, the brand gives you this autoharp with a 5-year warranty for the frame and a 3-year warranty for the chord bar. Definitely, this will long enough to serve you well.


ChromaHarp 21 Chord Autoharp

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros
  • Solid construction. This instrument will last.
  • Lovely sound.
  • Easy to tune.
  • Chords are pretty fast and accurate.
  • Visually appealing.
  • Come with several accessories.
Cons
  • Might need to get strings.

4 ChromaHarp 15 Chord Autoharp

The ChromaHarp 15 Chord Autoharp is the 15 chord variety of the 21 chord model we just looked at. It’s also probably ChromaHarp’s most popular autoharp in its lineup. The top and back of this instrument comes made from maple which is a high quality material.

The material gives this autoharp a really impressive tone and projection. You’ll love how this instrument sounds and the way it projects and resonates.

Furthermore, to make this autoharp even easier to tune, just like the last model, this comes with torsion tight tuning pins. This makes it easier for you to tune this instrument to precision. Plus, the nice chord bar here also makes this autoharp really easy to play.

Just like a piano, this autoharp features a tempered scale. This means that you find some of the same strings in the some chords. So, in practice, it means that the even when you tune the strings correctly with one chord, they might still sound kinda flat on another chord.

If you’ve always wanted to learn to play the Zither instrument, then you’ve hit a home run with the ChromaHarp 15 Chord Autoharp. Best part is that you won’t have to invest so much into getting this.

Plus, being a 15 chord instrument, it’s a great choice for children and teenagers, especially those interested in zither instruments.


ChromaHarp 15 Chord Autoharp

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros
  • Solid, rich tone.
  • Impressive projection.
  • Looks great.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Great for beginners, children, and teenagers.
Cons
  • Tends to sound out of tune sometimes.

5 Oscar Schmidt OS45CE the Appalachian Electric Autoharp

Now, take a look at this beautiful autoharp. It’s from Oscar Schmidt again, and of course, we can’t get enough of the brand. Oscar Schmidt knows the business of making autoharps and making them well. Its Oscar Schmidt OS45CE is another testimony to that fact.

It’s truly elegant with its beautiful finish and flower-shaped sound hole. It’s a really attractive autoharp and will easily win any contest in that category. Get ready to receive loads of compliments for this guy.

We love the fact that this autoharp comes super versatile. You’ll be able to play this either as an acoustic instrument, or you can just plug it into an electric outlet and play away. And if an outlet is not so close by, that’s not a problem. This also works with batteries too.

And there’s yet more… Do you know this autoharp also comes with its own EQ system as well as a volume control? Well, it does. These features will especially come in handy when you’re using this instrument in the electrical model.

Altogether, this is an elegant, reliable, and high performing instrument.


Oscar Schmidt OS45CE the Appalachian Electric Autoharp

Our rating:3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)

Pros
  • Gorgeous instrument.
  • Great sound.
  • Versatile – plays both acoustically and electrically.
  • Also works with batteries
Cons
  • Strings could be better.

6 Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

First of all, let us say here that the Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp is a thing of beauty. The body of the harp is made of maple and finished with sunburst gloss. Just hearing this, you should be able to picture the beauty.

What’s more? This autoharp is a 21-chord harp which is basically the most you’ll find on any autoharp. This gives you the leeway to play as many variety of songs as you want.

Furthermore, the Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp offers three rows of buttons. This is awesome because it allows for easy transmission among chords and notes.

The sound board is another laudable thing on this instrument. It is really solid and does a fine job of for a few lapses that the Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp might have with its pitch.

There is also a rock maple pin block. This feature is there to ensure that your autoharp remains in tune. However, while this autoharp can retain its tune, you will probably need extra help (like a tuner) to get it to the right tune.

Anyway, the pin block also helps in providing strength and stability to your instrument.

The Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp weighs about 9 pounds which is a nice enough weight even if you want to carry it on your lap.

The fact that the Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp comes with a five year warranty is another plus for it.


Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

Our rating:3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)

Pros
  • Relatively lightweight.
  • It is a 21-chordautoharp which allows for a variety of songs and music styles.
  • It comes with a 5 year warranty.
Cons
  • It might not come properly tuned.

7 Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp

The Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp should do for a beginner or someone who just wants to get an autoharp for the fun of it. And why is that? The Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp is a 15 chord autoharp and comes with only 2 rows of buttons.

You should be able to play a decent selection of song genres on this one. However, we do not see a professional considering this.

Anyway, moving on form that, we should say that the Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp is another beauty from Oscar Schmidt. This autoharp is handcrafted and finished with sunburst gloss.

What’s more? The Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp also comes with Rock Maple pin block that is meant to lock in the tune at whatever point you set it. This should ensure that your autoharp remains in tune.

However, just like the aforereviewed Oscar Schmidt autoharp, the Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp will most likely come badly out of tune. But not to worry! It comes with a tuning wrench for you to do the needful. All you need is the willingness and the know-how to tune the harp.

The Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp is a decent weight at about 9 pounds and so should sit comfortably on your lap. However, for someone who is not used to playing an autoharp and invariably the weight of it, the Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp might prove to be a bit heavy.

What else is there to say? The Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp comes with a five year warranty.


Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp

Our rating:3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5)

Pros
  • Beautiful handcrafted autoharp.
  • Easy enough to learn.
  • Comes with a five year warranty.
Cons
  • 15 chords and 2 rows of buttons do not provide enough versatility.
  • The autoharp will probably come badly out of tune.

8 Oscar Schmidt OS10021 Autoharp

The Oscar Schmidt OS10021 Autoharp is another 21 chord autoharp by Oscar Schmidt. This should tell you that you can afford to play as many tones as you need to. Especially seeing as it comes with 3 rows of buttons.

Now, that said, the Oscar Schmidt OS10021 Autoharp actually comes with a training manual. The manual is written in English and should be easy enough to understand.

You should know that the training manual doesn’t just teach you how to operate this particular instrument. In fact, it helps you learn to use a basic autoharp.

So, if you are a beginner and want to start big time, you could consider this. Because while a 21 chord, three row button autoharp is not the easiest harp to learn, the training manual should help a lot.

And what’s more? The Oscar Schmidt OS10021 Autoharp comes with its own case. The case is a hard shell and is both beautiful and durable.

The Oscar Schmidt OS10021 Autoharp also comes with a polishing cloth. So you need not look for something else to use in wiping down your harp. And seeing as the cloth comes with the product, you can be sure that it will be good for your harp and not scratch it.

The Oscar Schmidt OS10021 Autoharp is made of hand crafted Mahogany back. Also, just like other Oscar Schmidt autoharps, this one is finished with sunburst gloss. So yea, this autoharp is another beauty.

This autoharp also features the rock maple pin block for locking in the tune and a tuner wrench for tuning the harp.


Oscar Schmidt OS10021 Autoharp

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros
  • Comes with a carrying case, a training manual and a polishing cloth.
  • It is a 21 chord, three row button autoharp.
Cons
  • Could be considered a bit expensive.

Also See: Top 5 Best Hang Drum

Best Autoharp Buying Guide

Factors To Consider In Picking An Autoharp

Expertise

This is probably the most important thing to consider. You don’t want to get something that will prove too difficult for you, do you?

Now, here’s why we say you should factor in your level of expertise. Autoharps are usually either chromatic or diatonic.

A chromatic autoharp is the regular kind of autoharp and is a good choice if you are just starting out and are not yet sure of what you want to play on your autoharp. Chromatic has all the scales that a piano has. This, it should be easier for you to start out with that.

Best Autoharp reviews

More so, chromatic autoharps are less expensive than the diatonic ones. Don’t give in to the lure to get something expensive for the pride of it. Unless, of course, you just want to collect.

However, you should know that if you plan on doing the big time with your autoharp and you go ahead to get the chromatic autoharp, you’ll eventually have to upgrade. Experts will find a diatonic sweeter to play than a chromatic.

Number of Chords

Like most instruments, the number of chords on the autoharp determines how much you can play. It is best you stick with a 21-chord autoharp, which is currently the most chords you’ll find on an autoharp.

This way, you know that you can play as many variety of songs as you want. However, if you are sure of the kind of songs you want to play and a 12-chord autoharp carries all the chords and notes you need, then why not?

Flexibility

This might be surprising but you should really be considering how flexible an autoharp is. And by flexible we mean the chords being able to be rearranged if necessary.

A good number of autoharps are not flexible and this could pose a bit of problem. Why? You’ll be stuck with just one chord arrangement.

Now, say you learn a new kind of arrangement that you feel you absolutely must try, you won’t be able to. Because your autoharp is not flexible.

What Else Will You Need?

If you are an expert autoharp player, you already know the answer to this question. However, if you are new to the autoharp business, you’ll need this.

Now, in addition to your autoharp (which is obviously the main thing), you are going to need a tuner. You could choose a tuning wrench or an electronic tuner.

Best Autoharp review
Photo by John Sexy

The electronic tuner will pick up sounds itself and will show you (on its screen) if you are right in key. However, with a tuning wrench you’ll have to do the pickup yourself. Or, better still, spring for a tuner pickup.

Furthermore, you could think of getting a case. You know, to store your harp and other accessories and also to carry your instrument around.

Let’s not forget the picks people. You’ll get a little bit of fun if you spring for a felt pick. However, if you want the real melody, you should be looking to the finger picks.

Now of course all these accessories cost something. So, you should also bear that in mind when choosing an autoharp.

Conclusion

If you’ve read through the review and the buying guide, you should be able to pick the right autoharp for you. If asked to pick, we would go for the Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp. Why?

Well, aside the fact that it is a 21 chord autoharp, we absolutely love the color of it. The blue is a beautiful color that is sure to stand out among other autoharps.

However, the choice is yours and we trust whatever choice you’ll make.

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