Standard Top

Cherry Top
The Signature Super Star is made from the finest select woods, as are the Commemorative 'harps, and is my most customized instrument available. It can be ordered with a select curly walnut or fine cherry back and sides, or top and sides, and with a premium Sitka spruce soundboard either on the top or back of the instrument. Each hardwood has its own tone quality. The placement of the soundboard also makes its own quality of tone.

The Super Star incorporates the advanced frame and bracing design found in the Commemorative 'harps. This instrument, like the Commemorative 'harps, has a very balanced, full sound with a very strong bass and clean, clear melody range.

Patsy's Favorite

Several years ago, while visiting Patsy Stoneman at her home near Manchester, Tennessee, I noticed a large wild cherry tree in her back yard. Strange this is southern Tennessee, not West Virginia or Pennsylvania mountain country where I would expect to find such a large tree of this kind. Thinking about that tree so far south with a long growing season, surely it would have a more open grain, wider annual rings, and be less dense and lighter in weight.

Jokingly, I said to Patsy, "If your cherry tree ever falls down, I would like to have the base log to see how it would do for 'harps." We all laughed. That tree was surely 100 years old and had weathered many storms.

About a week later, Patsy called. "I don't know how you did it, but that cherry tree blew down last night. Your log is here waiting," she said.

So off to Tennessee I went to get that, hopefully, perfect no ant holes, squirrel hole or gumspot blemished 26" diameter log. All the way home to Pennsylvania, truckers on my CB would holler, "Hey, 'Pops,' whatcha gonna do with that big old log?" I responded, "Well, I'm gonna make autoharps out of it." Truckers, "Really?"

Watching the planks coming off the saw at the mill continued to show and thrill me with as near perfect cherry wood as I had ever seen. The wood was indeed lighter in weight, a bit softer, and had wider annual rings (grain) than our northern wild cherry.

With Gregg Averett breathing down my neck wanting the first experimental 'harp of that tree, I took one board and set it on two bricks atop my shop stove and cooked it. It got so hot I couldn't touch it and was dry in three days. CAUTION: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Within two weeks, that first Patsy Stoneman cherry tree 'harp was finished. It surely met and exceeded the wishful expectations that I had when I first saw that tree.

Patsy, being a patient person, sat through the first year and a half of new cherry 'harps from her tree. Finally, she called me and said, "GEORGE, where's my cherry 'harp?" It was delivered to her in April of 2000 and it is Patsy's Favorite.

PS. Thank you Pop Stoneman and thank you Patsy Stoneman Murphy for your efforts in continuing the legacy of old time autoharp.

Made only from trees at or near Patsy's yard. All of consistent quality. Back and sides of quarter-sawn cherry. Solid Sitka spruce top. This is a specific model of the Super Star harp and is identified by the distinctive brand on the back. My lifetime craftsmanship guarantee.


At the age of ten, Ernest Van Stoneman first laid eyes on his grandmother's autoharp. Nineteen years later, in September, 1924, he wrote and recorded The Titanic, one of the earliest million-selling recordings ever made. It was the first 'harp recording ever produced. Pop made many recordings with his solo 'harp, the last being in 1968. Pop was the patriarch of the famous Stoneman Family.

At the '94 Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, I suggested to Pop's daughter, Patsy Stoneman Murphy, a star in her own right, that I would like to build a commemorative autoharp in her father's name. She agreed. I cut a large Chinese chestnut tree at the Gathering site. Early in 1995, we went to visit Patsy to make final plans for the Stoneman 'Harp. Patsy and Murph allowed me to take a Chestnut tree from their estate. I still wanted a "piece of Pop's life" in the 'harp; something that knew his hand and heard his music. The Murphys went with us to Galax, Virginia to the Stoneman homestead. The current residents had recently removed an oak shed which had been built by Pop. We procured a section of that shed to complete the 'harp. I was then ready to make the Stoneman commemorative 'harp using chestnut from our woods for the back, chestnut from Patsy's estate for the sides, and a piece of oak from Pop's homestead for the arm rest. These woods complement each other aesthetically, and the sound of this 'harp is rich, full, and very well balanced, with a bit of old-time rolling deep within its soul.

George's Choice

After many years of Carter Gold and Pop Stoneman Commemoratives, etc., people asked, "George, when are you going to do your commemorative autoharp?" Ivan Stiles' only comment was, "You can't do a commemorative; you're not dead, yet!"

So, I call this autoharp "George's Choice." Wood from a large walnut tree I cut near my shop and some absolutely perfect quarter-sawn west coast redwood were my choice of materials. Soon after finishing the first prototype as a G/D partial A, As a "deaf old non-musician" I thought it sounded good. Neal Walters happened to stop in and I said, "Hey, try this and tell me what you think." He said, "I want it!" But, it's just a prototype," I responded. He replied, "I am taking it with me, now!"

So, the birth of George's Choice. Most people are finding it a warm, full sound that is responsive to the desires of the player. Besides, I happen to like both the looks and sound.



- SINCE 1964


Superstar 'Harp Body$1,500.00
Patsy's Favorite 'Harp Body$1,500.00
"Pop" Stoneman Commemorative Body$1,500.00
George's Choice$1,500.00
Walnut Bar Set (Includes Bar Holder) Per Bar:$15.00
Soft Case by Blue Heron$185.00
Built-In Magnetic Pick Up$150.00
Orthey Precision Aluminum Fine Tuners$220.00
Quick-Open Chord Bar Holder$165.00
Restringing (strings not included)$80.00
String Sets (customized)$70.00
Pennsylvania Residents add 6% Sales Tax
Prices effective Jan 1st, 2014

Custom Harps Priced By Agreement

Felt, springs, tuning pins, individual chord bars, individual strings available on request. Call for prices.
Instrument packing/shipping/insurance (U.S.)$85.00

$5.00 minimum shipping on small orders - amount depends on the size and quantity of the order. Call or write for details. 

International shippingCall for info

Make checks payable to George Orthey (not Orthey Instruments)
and send to:
Orthey Instruments · 18 Burd Road · Newport PA 17074

Chord bars are selected and placed on each instrument according to the owner's specifications

Orthey Instruments · 18 Burd Road · Newport PA 17074
717 567-6406 · 717 567-9469


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18 Burd Road, Newport, PA 17074
717 567-9469 - Home
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Orthey Instruments, Dulci-Harp, Signature, Signature Super Star, Carter Gold, "Pop" Stoneman Commemorative, Ivan's Favorite, Patsy's Favorite, and Mary Lou Signature are trademarks of Orthey Instruments. The daisy soundhole is a registered trademark. The Orthey Bar (US patent # 5052259)