Among our rental fleet is a very unusual instrument made by Didier Budin. Owner of a harp shop in Paris and husband of a Harpist, Budin was also an avid sailor. He set out to make a harp using the latest sailboat racing techniques. This included carbon fiber instead of wood and kevlar strings instead of mechanical movements. The result is an inexpensive single movement instrument that is incredibly durable, light, and strong enough to support concert type gut strings. We have taken ours on airplanes as normal checked luggage and brought it on numerous holidays when it is between rentals.
Given its marine origins the sounds is surprisingly good. Maintaining it is a bit tricky, but the Budin family is still active with the shop and Alexander Budin has a sparkle in his eye whenever we talk about the Pandora, even though the model has been out of production for some time. In fact, I have seen prototypes of full size, double action Pandora at their facility, but my understanding is that version was never perfected.
We tend to use the Pandora for customers who have more limited budgets but still want to play a larger, gut instrument, with the tension of a concert harp.