9 Best Autoharp Reviews 2021 (Best Autoharp Brands)

Best Autoharp & Best Autoharp Brands

Best Autoharp & Best Autoharp Brands

Autoharps represent one of the attempts to bring music to households that don’t care for music that much. It was listed as an instrument “anybody could play.”

After some setbacks that saw a tune down in its popularity, autoharps bounced back with relatively solid. The physical structure and composition of the instrument can last for a very long time, except when exposed to moisture and temperature on extreme levels.

What is an autoharp?

An autoharp is an instrument that has more than eleven strings that are stretched across a soundboard. It is a form of psaltery having holes cut in the metal bar, which in turn, is spread across the strings. Each of the holes in the metal bar stands for a chord, meaning you can quickly change from one chord to another by moving your flatpick from one hole to another.

Accessory: Autoharp Cases

What are the Best Autoharps to Buy?

2) Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp
  • Sunburst Finish
  • Popular Choices
  • Great Sound
  • Beautiful Design

1) Oscar Schmidt OS45CE Autoharp

  • High Quality
  • Satin Finish
  • Maple Wood Body

3) Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp

  • Gloss Finish
  • Maple Pin Block
  • Remarkable Quality
  • Comfortable Playing

Different types of Autoharps

15 chords versus 21 chords

The most apparent difference to consider when buying an autoharp lies in the number of chords they carry. While some come in 15 chords, others come in with 21 chords. It is advisable to buy an autoharp that as 21 chords, especially if you are an advanced player.

This is because a 15 chord autoharp is more limited in musical range, restricting the songs you can play. But for a child and beginners, this option is the best. An autoharp with 15 chords is more straightforward and would come handy for a young lad to produce a good performance.

Tuning system

Another significant difference you have to consider when buying your autoharp is the tuning system. While every autoharp come with tuning pegs at the top, but some models come with a built-in pickup that lies at the sides of this second tuning pegs are small, and with an Allen wrench, you can easily adjust them. It is a secondary tuning known as a fine-tuning system.

9 Best Autoharp Reviews and the Best Autoharp Brands

1) Oscar Schmidt OS45CE The Appalachian Electric Autoharp

The OS45CE from Scar Schmidt is another great quality instrument. This autoharp excels in appearance and quality play. The autoharp comes with a body designed with maple wood while the top of the instrument features select spruce design. All of these add to give it a glamorous sound and bright ton when playing.

The elegance is anything to go by in choosing an autoharp; this model should be the good enough to win the contest. Looking at its unique flower-shaped sound holes, you know you would be investing in something that will gain many compliments from people.

The OS45CE features a pin block with laminated maple rock everything about it is just excellent from start to finish. It weighs 15 pounds, which is a pretty little weight for a beginner. The real deal with this autoharp is that it is highly versatile.

You can play it either as an acoustic instrument or plug it into an electric outlet. If you don’t have one immediately close by, don’t worry. Just plug in your battery and off you go stringing and chumming to wonder world.

It is not every autoharp that comes with reliable EQ system and volume control. This one does. It has 4 band equalizer systems alongside a reliable volume control which comes handy when using the instrument electrically. Well, the OS45CE may take you some time to fall in love with it, but once you do, you will love how gorgeous and reliable it is.

2) Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt is the king of autoharp among all manufacturers of the instrument. The autoharp comes with a select maple body design that appears glorious with a gloss sunburst finish. This model is highly beautiful. It features a rock maple pin block design which you can use to tune the instrument in a powerful and superb way.

There are 21 chords in this autoharp. All of the chords perform wonderfully regarding play and sound projection. This model also constitutes one of the company’s most popular choices. It comes with three rows of buttons, which means, you have access to a quick and smooth chord transmission. The patented button layout featured in this model are numerous and highly reliable.

With the rock maple pin block providing excellent tuning position, you can expect a great sound and strength of play from this autoharp. The autoharp weighs 9.65 pounds, which is ideal for advanced players.

The only complaint with most of this autoharp is that some of them come with some damages on transit. But most manufacturers and sellers give replacements and refund where necessary. So you can trust this product to do the same if there is an issue on arrival.

3) Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp

The Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp is among the greatest in the market. It is a good autoharp instrument from the manufacturer, Oscar Schmidt. The autoharp features a solid construction that beats expectations. The sound that emanates from this model is beautiful. 

The Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL features 21 chords which work wonderfully. You can play this instrument with a wide range of eleven keys. Every one of the keys comes with remarkable quality and dependable artistry that defines some of the world’s most beautiful autoharp producers. And with such an affordable price, you can enjoy the greatest of sounds from this fantastic model.

The body of this autoharp features maple design, with a maple pin block. It measures 25 x 13 x 5 in dimensions, which is significant and substantial, considering its 10.3-pound weight capacity. You might require a strap to hold this place for comfortable playing experience. It comes with a patented chord bar button that allows you to have a smooth play. The sound of this model is good and there is nothing to worry about when it comes to its durability.

Another great thing is that it comes with 5 years manufacturing warranty.

4) Oscar Schmidt 1930’s Reissue Original Design Autoharp

Do you love the old school days? This autoharp from Oscar Schmidt is designed as a resurrection of the 1930 autoharp model—the OS73C. It is one of the greatest American autoharps ever developed.

It derived its creativity from the chorded Zither to become the modern-day chromatic and diatonic instrument that makes it such a memorable and versatile autoharp. It is the best selling autoharp from the manufacturer’s line of instruments.

The Reissue comes with a handcrafted design that beat every imagination. The top of the instrument features a solid spruce wood design known for its sleek feel and comfort.

The back is made of mahogany, another excellent wood design that produces a warm and rich tone. The entire body black satin finish adds a spectacular décor to a great instrument that catches attention from afar.

The Reissue comes with 21 chords, all of which plays and functions excellently. It includes tuning hammer, a feature that comes handy when switching play and styles while seeking to maintain a stable tune. Fingerpicks are also included in this design, making it easy for you to take your play and style to the next level in a comfortable fashion.

5) Oscar Schmidt OS15B Autoharp

The OS15B is another excellent quality autoharp from Oscar Schmidt. This one features handcraft quality design that makes the body entirely appealing. The sunburst finish of the body makes it more of a beautiful instrument. It is the type of autoharp that you would love to play on a perfect day before your friends and family. It will pass well for a Christmas present. You can also use it to thrill and teach your class if you are a music teacher.

Measuring 13.8 x 4.8 x 25.1 inches in dimensions, the OS15B is a bit large and heavy autoharp. It weighs 9.6 pounds, which is not too bad a weight for a beginner or an intermediate autoharpist.

As for the performance of the product itself, some online reviews have complaint how it comes so out of tune. But that is the beauty of this piece because; it also comes with a tuning wrench—the rock maple pin block which you can use to get into proper tune.

Oscar Schmidt incorporated 15 chords into this design. The chords deliver as expected. They generate excellent sound quality and excellent flow of play. It might not be the best autoharp from such a reliable manufacturer of the product, but it’s one you can boldly rely on to deliver a decent quality play.

6) ChromaHarp 21 Chord Auto Harp

If you are looking for a straightforward instrument to play, the ChromaHarp 21 Auto Harp is your friend. The kind of sound this autoharp produces is unique. It allows you to start thinking about Christmas. It comes with a solid construction that you can rely on to last for a long time. And for such a price, this is more than a decent autoharp. It is worth the investment.

So what else does this lady has for us? Well, known as the RB1552, the instrument features top quality functionality with the fantastic versatility to blend. It comes with 21 chord bars, which enable you to play more than two hundred songs.

The chords are very accurate, fast and decisive; thanks to their lightweight bar design. The construction of the instrument is something to consider when shopping for a chromaharp. It comes with torsion tight-tuning pins which lock your instrument to a precise tune level.

Another thing you may like in this Chromaharp is the appearance. It is magnificent, considering the pre-pressed maple frame design. The top of the instrument also features maple design, including the back, all of which ends up with a high gloss finish.

With 5 years warranty for the frame and another 3 years warranty for the chord bar, you can trust this ChromaHarp to last for ages. You have nothing to worry about in buying this instrument.

7) ChromaHarp 15 Chord Auto Harp

The ChromaHarp is another excellent autoharp design. Of all the ChromaHarp line of autoharp, this model is the most famous one. The top and back of the autoharp feature maple design. It comes with a solid magnificent tone chamber that gives you the greatest in playability and sound projection. The majority of the body design features a sunburn finish, which gives it a great look.

Some of the high-quality features in this model include a torsion tight tuning pins for excellent and precise sound projection. It comes with a sturdy chord bar which also has NYLOCK chord bar buttons.

Similar to the piano, this autoharp comes with a tempered scale. Meaning, the same strings are featured in some of the chords. What this entails is that even when the strings are correctly in tune with one chord, it might still sound slightly flat or sharp in another chord.

For players who are interested in learning a zither instrument, the ChromaHarp is an excellent option to consider. It is the type of the instrument that doesn’t require much investment. It is the perfect choice for beginners—a good design for children and teenagers who wants to learn and develop their skills in zither instrument.

8) Oscar Schmidt OS11021AE Auto Harp-Satin Brown

The OS11021AE is an autoharp designed to play Blue Grass Music. It can play in eleven different keys. But, as if that isn’t enough, the autoharp comes with new chords: F# minor, B minor and E major, which are specific to play Blue Grass Music. The OS1102AE is a high-quality instrument that enables the musician to play about 4000 additional songs without having to modify anything.

The thing set the OS11021AE autoharp from a host of others in its price tag and series, is the unique design that it comes with. The instrument features a truly unique look with buttons on which you can easily attach a strap.

The excellent wooden design bears the famous Oscar Schmidt’s 1930 logo. While the back features spruce design, the Ovangkol wood tones also feature in the design. And with a satin finish of blend, the entire instrument vibrates handsomely while producing a brighter quality sound.

Another good thing about the OS11021AE is an incredible strength it carries on its pin blocks. Most of the finest and reliable autoharps come with solid rock maple for additional advantage. And with laminated 10 ply maple pin block, this instrument has that extra strength and tenacity. With 21 chords to play with, plus a passive pickup that comes handy while on stage; you have the good autoharp ever from Oscar Schmidt.

9) Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

By now, it is clear that it is only one brand that rules in this line of the instrument, and that is Oscar Schmidt. The OS21 Chord further confirms the manufacturer’s intention to dominate this area if musical instrument. This model features a reliable and trustworthy spruce top, a material that gives excellent vibe during play. As usual, a rock maple pin block allows you to keep the autoharp in perfect tune.

The OS21 comes with 21 chords, a great way to enjoy an excellent flow of quality sound and playability. The handcrafted quality of the instruments set it apart from a host others. You can easily picture the beauty and with the mahogany back design, expect much more quality in sound vibe and playability. Your tuning wrench is there to help you in getting the precise tone.

The OS21 comes with a step-by-step user manual explains to you the quality and process of operating this unique autoharp. You can play in different positions, change chords and pick your melody and rhyme of your choice. For the beginner and intermediate player, this is a worthy instrument to have and master the art of playing the zither.

Choosing the Best Autoharp from the Best Autoharp Brands

Autoharps are unique instruments. The name evolved from the creativity of Oscar Schmidt who created and gave them the name they have now. The instrument is called Autoharp by the company a way of differentiating it from other producers who started producing similar products. However, other producers also wanted a name for their product, and they called them “Chromaharp,” even though it is the same instrument with the autoharp.

2) Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt 21 Chord Autoharp
  • Sunburst Finish
  • Popular Choices
  • Great Sound
  • Beautiful Design

1) Oscar Schmidt OS45CE Autoharp

  • High Quality
  • Satin Finish
  • Maple Wood Body

3) Oscar Schmidt OS21CQTBL Autoharp

  • Gloss Finish
  • Maple Pin Block
  • Remarkable Quality
  • Comfortable Playing

So, any time you hit the market to buy your instrument, know that an Autoharp is the same thing as a Chromaharp. But if you want more style and value for your money, consider other qualities when buying your Autoharp.

While some autoharp comes with acoustic pickups, others come with both acoustic and electronic pickup. Another thing is the body construction. Most of the autoharps in the market feature maple, mahogany, or spruce material designs. While maple is good, spruce is regarded as a better option. It produces a better range of vibe with more clarity and great highs and lows.

Whatever your choice is, remember that there is always a suitable instrument for you out there. Just take your time and choose wisely.