Best Autoharps

The 12 Best Autoharps on Amazon

The autoharp is a beautiful, classic instrument that has had an enormous impact on American folk and western music. While they are intricate instruments, they are relatively inexpensive compared to other string instruments like guitars or violins.

This article will cover twelve different autoharps, listed in no particular order, that are the best autoharps available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Here are the 12 Best Autoharps on Amazon

    1. Oscar Schmidt, 36-String Autoharp (OS21CE)
    2. Oscar Shmidt 21 Chord Autoharp (OS21C)
    3. Oscar Shmidt OS21CQTBL
    4. Oscar Schmidt, 36-String Autoharp (OS11021FNE)
    5. Oscar Schmidt OS45CE The Appalachian Electric Autoharp
    6. Oscar Schmidt OS11021AE Autoharp – Satin Brown
    7. Chromaharp 21 Chord Autoharp
    8. Oscar Shmidt OS15B 15 Chord Autoharp w/ Gig Bag
    9. Oscar Shmidt OS73C Autoharp
    10. Oscar Schmidt OS150FCE Acoustic-Electricc Autoharp
    11. Oscar Schmidt OS11021FHS Autoharp
    12. Oscar Shmidt OS120CN Autoharp

1. Oscar Schmidt, 36-String Autoharp (OS21CE)

Oscar Schmidt, 36-String Autoharp

Key Specs

Body Material: Ovangkol and spruce
Chords: 21
Electric: Yes
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: 5 year limited
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Dimensions: 32.5 in. W x 16.6 in. D x 6 in. H (825.5 mm W x 421.64 mm D x 152.4 mm H)
Weight: 12.25lb. (5.56kg)

Description:

The OS21CE is Oscar Shmidt’s best selling autoharp. The company is the dominant force in the autoharp industry and the majority of autoharps in this article will be Oscar Shmidt’s.

The OS21CE is a versatile autoharp that is capable of playing both acoustic and electric, it plugs straight into an amp. The pickup is warm and bright and the tone will sound great going through any clean sounding amp.

This autoharp would be great for beginner and experienced players alike. It’s sound quality, ability to stay in tune and sleek finish make this a great purchase for anyone interested in autoharps or in need of a new one. It’s Oscar Shmidt’s best-selling autoharp for a reason. It is currently for sale on Amazon.com at $345.88, which nestles in nicely with the typical $200-400 price range of autoharps.

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See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Tested and beloved, Oscar Shmidt’s best selling autoharp
  • An electric pickup as well as a full acoustic sound

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a case or accessories
  • On the higher end of the typical autoharp price range

2. Oscar Shmidt 21 Chord Autoharp (OS21C)

Oscar Shmidt 21 Chord Autoharp

Key Specs

Body Material: Rock maple
Chords: 21
Electric: No
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: 5 years limited
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 25.2 in. W x 13.4 in. D x 5.1 in. H (640.08 mm W x 340.36 mm D x 129.54 mm H)
Package Weight: 12 lb. (5.44kg)

Description:

The OS21C, like the OS21CE, is one of Oscar Shmidt’s best selling autoharps. The classic design and quality wood, combined with it’s very fair pricing makes it an enticing buy for someone looking for an acoustic autoharp.

Unlike the OS21CE, however, the OS21C does not have an electric pickup and is solely an acoustic instrument. This is not a huge deal, due to the fact that many other popular autoharps are acoustic as well.

The OS21C is a high-quality autoharp that will certainly give you your money’s worth. It is almost $100 cheaper than the OS21CE and because of that there are a few parts that feel slightly “plastic-y.” This is an instrument more suited for beginner players but still has the Oscar Shmidt quality that experienced players will still enjoy.

Buy it here

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Very fair pricing while still being an Oscar Shmidt product
  • Warm, full acoustic sound

Cons:

  • Strings may break somewhat easily
  • Does not have a pickup for electric playing

3. Oscar Shmidt OS21CQTBL

Oscar Shmidt OS21CQTBL

Key Specs

Body Material: Maple
Chords: 21
Electric: No
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: No
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 25 in. W x 13 in. D x 5 in. H (635 mm W x 330.2 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 10.3 lb. (4.67kg)

Description:

The OS21CQTBL is a popular model very similar to the OS21C. The maple body, however, is made of higher quality wood and the hardware on the harp has a non-plasticy feel like the OS21CE.

The obvious difference between this instrument and the previous two is its quilted blue finish, which is an absolutely beautiful color on an autoharp. Like the OS21C, the OS21CQTBL does not have an electric pickup for playing through an amplifier. That said, product reviews rave about how rich and nuanced the tone is, at times resonating like a full-sized harp.

This is an autoharp that will appeal to more experienced players, given its higher price at $359.45 and the fact that it is acoustic only. Beginners would of course still love the instrument, but it is a slightly bigger investment than the OS21C.

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Sleek, beautiful blue finish
  • Critically acclaimed rich tone.

Cons:

  • Does not have a built-in tuner like the picture suggests.
  • Does not have a pickup for electric playing

4. Oscar Schmidt, 36-String Autoharp (OS11021FNE)

Oscar Schmidt, 36-String Autoharp (OS11021FNE)

Key Specs

Body Material: Maple
Chords: 21
Electric: Yes
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: No
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 25.1 in. W x 13.4 in. D x 5.1 in. H (637.54 mm W x 340.36 mm D x 129.54 mm H)
Package Weight: 11.65 lb. (5.28kg)

Description:

The Oscar Shmidt OS11021FNE is masterfully crafted autoharp designed for intermediate and advanced players. It’s simple, wood-colored maple finish gives it an extremely elegant design.

The OS11021FNE also has a built-in fine-tuning system to perfectly tune the autoharp’s strings. It also has a passive pickup built into the instrument so it can be plugged into an amp and played live.

This autoharp has a fine and precise design and the workmanship is very impressive. The tone is one the very best out of the Oscar Shmidt autoharps on the market and the $433.99 pricetag on Amazon is absolutely worth it for such a well-crafted instrument.

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Masterfully crafted wood body.
  • Beautiful natural tone that can be plugged into an amp.

Cons:

  • One of the pricier autoharps Oscar Shmidt offers.
  • Doesn’t come with any accessories

 5. Oscar Schmidt OS45CE The Appalachian Electric Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt OS45CE

Key Specs

Body Material: Maple, spruce top
Chords: 21
Electric: Yes
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: No
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 41 in. W x 16 in. D x 5 in. H (1041.4 mm W x 406.4 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 10 lb. (4.54kg)

Description:

The OS45CE Appalachian autoharp is a beautiful instrument with a unique sound hole in the shape of a flower. Cosmetically, it is the perfect bluegrass autoharp with its smooth wood finish combined with the floral soundhole.

The OS45CE is both electric and acoustic, capable of being played through an amp. Playing this particular model through an amp is encouraged, because several owners have critiqued the autoharp for being too quiet when played acoustically.

This model is perfect for a player who is looking for an autoharp with the feel of the OS11021FNE but does not want to spend the extra $100. The OS45CE does not have the fine-tuning system of the previous autoharp and that is the main difference between the two. It is a beautiful instrument nonetheless and is great for a beginner/intermediate player.

Buy it here

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Masterfully crafted wood body with a unique floral soundhole
  • Warm natural tone that can be played through an amp.

Cons:

  • Does not have a fine-tuning system and may be difficult to achieve perfect intonation.
  • Doesn’t come with any accessories

 6. Oscar Schmidt OS11021AE Autoharp – Satin Brown

Oscar Schmidt OS11021AE

Key Specs

Body Material: Spruce, ovangkol top
Chords: 21
Electric: Yes
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: No
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 41 in. W x 16 in. D x 5 in. H (1041.4 mm W x 406.4 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 11.7 lb. (5.31kg)

Description:

The Oscar Shmidt OS11021AE is a beautiful autoharp designed for intermediate to advanced players. This model is essentially the same as the OS11021FNE but with a completely different colored finish and made of spruce and ovangkol rather than maple.

Just like the FNE model, the OS11021AE has the FT600 fine-tuning system that makes it incredibly easy to keep the instrument in tune. The sunburst design is a fantastic finish that is a nice contrast to the wood colored FNE version.

This is an acoustic/electric instrument that any player will be happy to have, although it is on the higher end of the autoharp price range, making it more suited for advanced players.

Buy it here

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Beautiful sunburst finish capable of being played through an amp.
  • FT600 fine tuning system allowing for easy, perfect intonation.

Cons:

  • On the higher end of the price range.
  • The lower end sounds slightly twangy.

7. Chromaharp 21 Chord Autoharp

Chromaharp 21 Chord Autoharp

Key Specs

Body Material: Maple
Chords: 21
Electric: No
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: Limited 90-Day
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 36 in. W x 11.5 in. D x 4.5 in. H (914.4 mm W x 292.1 mm D x 114.3 mm H)
Package Weight: 10.2 lb. (4.63kg)

Description:

The Chromaharp 21 Chord Autoharp is a lightweight, versatile autoharp that has a lot to offer. It is a quality made harp that is known for its soft touch when playing.

The chord bars are lightweight and only need a slight touch to be played, making it easier for beginners to learn how to play the instrument. It has torsion-tight tuning bars that make maintaining the instrument’s intonation easy and manageable.

The Chromaharp costs $320 on Amazon and is a good value for a beginner’s autoharp. If you are tentative about investing in a $400+ Oscar Shmidt autoharp, then the Chromaharp is an extremely viable option.

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing, on the lower end of the autoharp price range.
  • Tuning rods that allow for easy intonation.

Cons:

  • Suited for beginners, slightly lacking that Oscar Shmidt quality.
  • Acoustic only, cannot be played through an amp.

8. Oscar Shmidt OS15B 15 Chord Autoharp w/ Gig Bag

Oscar Shmidt OS15B 15

Key Specs

Body Material: Spruce top, maple body
Chords: 15
Electric: No
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: Five Years
Case Included: Yes
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 26 in. W x 15 in. D x 5 in. H (660.4 mm W x 381 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 5 lb. (2.27kg)

Description:

The Oscar Shmidt OS15B is a sleek, glossy 15-chord autoharp that brings a lot to the table for a player. It is made of maple and sturdy spruce, for added durability, and has a gloss coating that adds an extra layer of protection and gives the instrument a slightly lower sound.

The package also comes with a protective gig bag for travel and transporting the autoharp and also comes with fingerpicks and a tuning wrench for quick and easy tuning of the instrument’s strings.

This is a great value for a bundle with the legendary Oscar Shmidt quality, the whole package costs $349.99 on Amazon. The fact that the instrument is a 15-chord rather than a 21-chord makes it slightly more desirable for beginners, but this is still a quality autoharp that will appeal to any player.

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing, especially for a bundle.
  • Compact size and rich low-end sound.

Cons:

  • Small and only 15 chords vs. 21 chords.
  • Acoustic only, cannot be played through an amp.

9. Oscar Shmidt OS73C Autoharp

Oscar Shmidt OS73C Autoharp

Key Specs

Body Material: Spruce top, mahogany back
Chords: 21
Electric: No
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: Five Years
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 41 in. W x 16 in. D x 5 in. H (1041.4 mm W x 406.4 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 11.2 lb. (5.08kg)

Description:

The OS73C is a beautiful black matte reissue of the 1930’s Oscar Shmidt autoharp. This model was featured in the Joaquin Phoenix film “Walk the Line” and has the signature Oscar Shmidt quality to match its cosmetic appeal.

The main standouts of the OS73C are the body and the strings. The durable mahogany body lends itself to a rich, warm sound that offers a unique tone compared to typical maple bodies. The strings are “type A” strings, like the original autoharp models that use a peg and loop vs. the modern “type B” strings that have a ball at the end to secure them to the instrument.

The sleek OS73C is a great addition to anyone’s autoharp collection or would do great as a sole instrument in a player’s repertoire. The $349.99 pricetag on Amazon is a fair and average price for an Oscar Shmidt autoharp and will certainly be worth the buy.

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Fair pricing for a highly unique design.
  • Mahogany back for a very warm tone.

Cons:

  • Minor intonation issues.
  • Acoustic only, cannot be played through an amp.

10. Oscar Schmidt OS150FCE Acoustic-Electricc Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt OS150FCE

Key Specs

Body Material: Maple
Chords: 21
Electric: Yes
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: Five Years
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 41 in. W x 16 in. D x 5 in. H (1041.4 mm W x 406.4 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 12 lb. (5.44kg)

Description:

The OS150FCE is a lovely autoharp that does the Oscar Shmidt name justice. It has a beautiful “flame maple” top that gives the instrument’s top a gorgeous color.

The OS150FCE contains the FT600 fine-tuning system that several other Oscar Shmidt autoharps possess, making intonation easy and extremely precise. The passive pickup also allows for electric playing through an amplifier, adding to the instrument’s versatility.

This is a standard Oscar Shmidt autoharp that will most likely be best enjoyed by an intermediate player. The $389 price tag on Amazon is highly competitive and makes this a great option for anyone looking to purchase an autoharp.

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Well priced given its tuning system and electric capability.
  • Unique color finish on the top.

Cons:

  • A few customers reviewed that the instrument was damaged during shipping, causing them to receive a new one from Oscar Shmidt.
  • Slightly heavier than most other autoharps.

11. Oscar Schmidt OS11021FHS Autoharp

Oscar Schmidt OS11021FHS

Key Specs

Body Material: Maple, gloss finish
Chords: 21
Electric: No
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: Five Years
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 25 in. W x 13 in. D x 5 in. H (635 mm W x 330.2 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 12 lb. (5.44kg)

Description:

The Oscar Shmidt OS11021FHS is a beautiful, limited edition autoharp that possesses the quality of other higher-end Oscar Shmidt autoharps at a very competitive price.

The solid maple body is finished with sleek gloss that makes the flame-colored top pop beautifully. The red border and orange shading is a unique color that would be a great addition to any collection of instruments. The FT600 fine-tuning system is also included, allowing for easy and precise intonation.

The OS11021FHS is an intermediate/advanced quality autoharp for the price of a beginner/intermediate instrument. It has all the bells and whistles of a quality Oscar Shmidt and has a unique cosmetic design as well.

Buy it here

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Well priced given it’s tuning system and quality wood.
  • Unique color finish on the top.

Cons:

  • No accessories included.
  • Does not contain a pickup for electric playing.

12. Oscar Shmidt OS120CN Autoharp

Oscar Shmidt OS120CN

Key Specs

Body Material: Spruce and maple, gloss finish
Chords: 21
Electric: No
Pin Block: Rock maple
Warranty: Five Years
Case Included: No
String Count: 36
Package Dimensions: 41 in. W x 16 in. D x 5 in. H (1041.4 mm W x 406.4 mm D x 127 mm H)
Package Weight: 10.4 lb. (4.72kg)

Description:

The OS120CN is a traditional-looking 21-chord autoharp with a smooth gloss finish. It is the acoustic version of the OS120 model, the OS120CNE contains a passive pickup for electric playing.

The OS120CN is for a player that appreciates quality and simplicity in an autoharp. It’s wood colored body pays homage to its roots as a traditional American folk instrument, while possessing modern features like the FT600 system for easy, accurate tuning.

The price tag of $429 on Amazon is on the slightly higher range of the autoharp market, especially since it doesn’t come with a gig bag or tuner, and is best suited for an intermediate to advanced player. This product is a staple of the Oscar Shmidt autoharp selection and a great purchase for any player.

See It In Action:

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Quality sound and intonation.
  • Simple, traditional design.

Cons:

  • Slightly on the expensive side.
  • Does not contain a pickup for electric playing.

Autoharps are an important instrument to America’s traditional music history. They are culturally significant, as well as capable of producing beautiful sounds and pieces of music. Whether you are just getting interested in picking up an autoharp for the first time or a seasoned player, any of these autoharps will serve you well.

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