I played harp from ages 10 to about 13, and then the family moved and the harp I was using went back to my school. 15 years later, I am thinking about taking the instrument back up. I have been a pianist for as long as I can remember, but I miss the harp. I was thinking of starting with a lever harp as the budget is no where close to affording a pedal harp (and I wouldn't want to make that kind of investment out-of-the-gate anyway).

I was thinking about purchasing a Merlin from R-Harps. From what I understand, it's a good harp for the money.

Any thoughts on R-Harps and/or re-learning the instrument? Also, I have seen some books and a few names to search on YouTube around this sub-reddit, I will certainly seek those out, but any advice would be appreciated.

Many harp sellers have rent-to-purchase options, so that would probably be worth looking into.

Teachers also often have instruments for students to rent and can advise on which harp would be best for you, which is a good idea since they're such a hefty investment. There's also huge variation in sound among lever harps -- mine is enormous and pretends to be a pedal harp, it gets a deep, full sound -- so it's advisable to try out lots of different harps from different makers, if possible.