Testimonials

Read what our customers have said about us and our products! If you have a specific interest, you can jump straight to that section: Harp, Dulcimer, Harp Pickup or TriStander.

About Dusty Strings

testimonials-renate-kvalsvik.jpg"Thank you! It is really wonderful that I will soon be getting my new harp. I am very excited and can't wait to get it. Thank you for all your help, I truly have nothing but good things to say about your customer service and helpfulness. I am recommending Dusty Strings to everyone who asks me for advice on buying a harp."

- Renate Kvalsvik (Drammen, Norway)

"The success of Dusty Strings is such an inspiration. Great people making and selling great instruments while building community, creating educational and artistic opportunities and maintaining a high standard of ethical business practices decade after decade. Do you stop to think how rare and precious that is? I do."

-Seumas Gagné (Seattle, Washington)

testimonials-aryeh-frankfurter.jpg"I recall a couple years ago walking around trying all the harps at the Montana Big Sky Harp Conference and the happy feeling I had after trying all of the instruments there — knowing without any question that when I decided to buy a Dusty Strings harp back in 1996 I had made the absolutely best choice. None of the other instruments, to my ear, could compare to your harps, and really I just can't play on any other. Thank you for making an instrument which allows me to express myself in the best possible way.  "

-Aryeh Frankfurter (San Francisco, California)


"It was fabulous to meet the person responsible for the existence of thousands of gorgeous harps, which in my humble opinion are unsurpassed in sound and quality of construction... So, keep building those harps! If everyone played one, this planet would be a kinder and gentler place to live."

-Leslie Hanson (Warren, New Jersey)

"I've bought so many of your instruments I had to devote an entire room to them!"

-Connie Johnson (Beaverton, OR)

About Dusty Harps

Ravenna

Testimonial-jonathan-hannah.jpg"I bought the new Ravenna 26 model with F and C sharpening levers and I love everything about it. For a beginner like me it is a perfect harp; affordable and good sized. Everyone that I play for is amazed at the sound that comes from this instrument. It has a much fuller sound than they were expecting and the volume is much more prominent as well. I can't wait to get a 36 string as I am totally hooked on the harp! Who know that a guy playing the harp is such a lady killer?"

-Jonathan Hannah (Prescott, Arizona)


"My Ravenna 26 is now one year old. I really love the instrument; it sounds great and the tuning is very stable (despite our crazy beach weather). My session pals have really take to it as well and continue to pile tunes on me that they want to hear on the harp. A list too big for me to ever catch up with at the moment!! Thanks to you and all the folks in the shop for a terrific instrument."

-Tom Neuman (Grover Beach, CA)

"As an amateur harpist, I'm glad to say I've made the perfect choice in purchasing the Dusty Strings Ravenna 26 with C and F sharping levers. The harp is of a good size and quality, budget-friendly and produces a full and resonant sound that I still marvel at each time I play. What I really appreciate: How Aaron from Dusty Strings adequately advised on the type of harp that was most suitable for me (saves me a lot of head-scratching because I'm teaching myself) Not only that, he also patiently explained the shipping mechanics over several emails because it was a long-distance sale. When the harp arrived, it was in a fantastic condition. The good service from Dusty Strings is well-known, but it was still a pleasant surprise to be on the receiving end. Thanks for giving me a great instrument, Dusty Strings!"

-Jaclyn Lim (Singapore)

"I bought my Ravenna at HarpCon, and received it this Monday. I can't keep my hands off of it. It is just flat out fun to play! Although I have 6 harps, I am taking the new harp to the Harpers of the Prairie recital this Sunday. Even though the harp is still green, it has a nice, sweet tone. Thanks again for a great harp."

-Chuck Wilson


testimonials-mona-peck.jpg"Being primarily a pedal harpist, depth of tone in a harp has always been of utmost importance to me. I have found the new Ravenna to have the feel of a pedal harp, but most importantly, the warmth and the richness of tone needed for therapeutic music at the bedside. I encourage ANY therapeutic musician to use the Ravenna harp. There is no sacrifice of sound in using this harp [nor need I] change the way I pull a string. I find the Ravenna's sound to be lush and vibrant even as it stands next to my pedal harp. And it's so much easier to move! I love using the leg that extends. NO more neck or shoulder ache from the strap! The other day I needed to play for a patient in their nursing home room. It was filled with medical equipment and had no chair [in which] to sit. I extended the leg and proceeded, happy that I could fit in the crowded room and still serve the patient."

-Mona Peck (Peekskill, NY)

"I just wanted to let you all know how much I am enjoying my new Ravenna 34. I am a professional harpist, and own a pedal harp and also a 36-string lever harp. Your Ravenna is a great little harp! I find her to be the most fun and comfortable to play of all my harps, and I have already "taken her out" to play for several gigs. I love the stave back, the steel bass strings which are very resonant, and the drop-down leg when not using the nice four-leg stand. The traveling case with all its neat pockets is also a great feature of your harps. Your expert craftsmanship on the entire package of harp and case is to be commended."

-Balfour Knight (Balsam, North Carolina)


testimonials-autumn-curtis-summers.jpg"I just wanted to say how delighted I am with my Ravenna 34 and the dusty strings pickup. I ordered from Clive Morley harps as I live in the UK (Guernsey in the Channel Islands). Within a day of the harp arriving I had been asked to perform on the local radio and the interest hasn't stopped! I just negotiated a long-term contract to play twice a week at a local restaurant and have been busking, playing at corporate events, weddings and attracting new students! I have been experimenting with effects pedals and the local audiences are absolutely loving the music. The harp is delightful to play, and I am having so much fun with the "electronic" aspect of the performances. I had always been relatively in demand as a local harpist, but the sight of a burgundy harp on the chrome leg and the sound of the effects has really caught the imagination of the locals."

-Autumn Curtis-Summers (St. Peter Port, Guernsey, UK)

"I love my Ravenna!! The best parts for me are the removable base, but also the extendable foot: I'm a singer as well, and it's so nice to be able to stand with the harp to accompany myself when I sing. It has come in very handy many times!"

-Caitlyn Bowser (Turks and Caicos Islands, West Indies)

Boulevard 34

"I have to take the time here to shout the praises of the very new Boulevard, which was seriously impressive and had the same magic about it as the FH, despite being in the Ravenna price range."

-Mae McAllister (Cambridgeshire, UK)

FH26

"This is my 22nd harp! Bubinga - this harp is absolutely amazing for its sound quality in relationship to its size."

-Sue Carole DeVale (Glendale, California)

"We are very happy with the craftsmanship, tone quality, and portability of this instrument."

-Art Leiby (Bellmawr, New Jersey)

"My deepest and heartfelt thanks to all of you for creating one of the most beautiful harps (in both sight and sound) that I've ever played. For those times that I can't play my gorgeous Dusty 36S, this 26 gives me everything I could hope for in a smaller harp. I was blown away by the big, rich voice — and even more amazed hearing the new internal pickups when amplified. Even though I would lean toward playing a large 36 for a main stage performance, I had a feeling that this harp could hold its own even for that type of event — and I was right! After (I play), the sound guys are always first to rush up and find out what I’m using to get such great sound. These guys are the ones that know and give the system the highest of marks. Thank you again for making quality your priority. It shows in every aspect of my beautiful harp."

-Jeannie Page (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Crescendo

"I am a 56 year old Grandma... this harp has a beautiful tone and the workmanship is wonderful. Thank you for making such a quality instrument."

-Joanie Brandt (Escondido, California)

"I was one of several people lined up outside your Fremont store early Friday morning to buy a harp, and the rest of this weekend have been on my ‘harpy moon’ with my beautiful Crescendo. The tone is so rich and full, and I love the bass - it just reverberates for ever. The upper registers sound pure without seeming constricted or nasally. This harp is a joy to play, and I am so grateful to have such an excellent instrument!"

-Chloe Wilcox

FH34

"This harp is like a whole orchestra!"

-Iris Nevins, trying out an FH34 in cherry at the Somerset Harp Conference

 

FH36B & FH36S

testimonials-mae-mcallister-FH36S-bubinga.jpg"I spent a long time carefully evaluating and scoring pretty much every floor harp [at the Edinburgh Harp Festival] and eventually ended up buying one of your magical FH36S in Bubinga, which I fell in love with the moment I sat down with it. Nothing I can say will accurately describe the simply magical sound it makes. Sparkly and deep and fresh and pure and so so so awesome. Just magic...I am so, so in love. It's only money. Harps are happiness."

-Mae McAllister (Cambridgeshire, UK)


Testimonial-Louise-Trotter_FH36S.jpg"The craftsmanship, string spacing and easy levers are superb on my Dusty bubinga 36, but what really sold me was the big sound. The rich tone makes it easy on the fingers since it is not necessary to pull hard. I tell my friends I can play a chord, go around the block, come back and it is still ringing!"

-Louise Trotter (Houston, TX)

 

"I am so impressed with my new bubinga (FH36S). It is a joy to play this instrument. I'm sorry I didn't purchase one sooner. As soon as I heard Therese Honey's bubinga, I knew that this was the sound I was looking for. And the construction of the harp is so beautiful. I couldn't ask for more. It's just perfect. Thank you so much."

-Emily Mitchell (Houston, TX)

"When I started playing the harp six years ago I was looking for an instrument which was satisfying in sound and optic as well. Its sound is so special, clear as crystal without being hard, even the softest played notes reach the ear of the audience in the last row, and the bass notes are humming deep in the stomach. I gave her the name “Modwyn” which means as much as “Heart’s delight” because the sound is so inspiring to improvise with sound patterns that it pleases my and my audience’s heart every time I play on this heavenly instrument. Its design does the rest, only having this harp in the center of a stage or chancel makes people let out a gasp of delight. Thanks for building it!"

-Stefanie Bieber (Frankfurt, Germany)

"The FH36B in bubinga... is already blessing me with its incredibly sweet strong voice each time I sit down and play. The strings respond to such a light touch that it almost plays itself! It will be a source of great joy for years to come."

-Leslie Hanson (Warren, New Jersey)

"Pictures don’t do your harps justice. It’s a thing of beauty, superb workmanship, and glorious tone! Thank you so much for making such a wonderful inspiring instrument."

-Prudence F. Clark (Oberlin, Ohio)

"The portability is a great factor... I’ve taken mine on the train to Washington, DC, and all over New York City by bus, subway, and taxi. I’ve used my Dusty Strings FH36B as a solo instrument for concerts and also to play for private parties. I have used it in many situations to play in church—as an addition to congregational singing with organ, in combination with handbells to accompany service music, and also with a solo singer. The results have always been great!"

-Ray Pool (New York, New York)

"The Celtic harp has a wonderful resonance and a marvelous, bright clear quality of sound. I especially love this particular Dusty Strings harp... when making music on (it), often I am surprised at how easily the inspiration flows through my heart, head, and hands."

-Paul Baker

"Very excellent instrument. Even sound through all registers, stable tuning, big sound without overplaying. Our second FH36S in the last two months! We have sold or are selling all other instruments in our collection."

-Robert Gloff (Alexandria, Virginia)


testimonials-krista-strader.jpg"I am a professional harpist in Southern Cal, orchestrally trained with a BM in Harp Performance, and have been playing my concert grand L&H23 for 22 of my thirty years. Recently I sat down at a Dusty Strings wenge wood model 36, staved back, and was blown away by its integrity. I immediately felt connected to this harp, and found its “heart” rather soon after sitting down with it, realizing what a huge sound and tone it had. After only having it for a week, I have already performed with it in concert alongside my full sized L&H harp, and I have received tons of compliments on its beautiful tone. I have taken it to several locations for performances, some alongside my husband who plays low whistles. What an amazing harp this is! After hauling around a concert grand pedal harp for so long, I am thrilled with my Dusty String’s portability, yet at the same time I am not compromising the big sound I am used to with my L&H. I had the shop install the pick-up system on-site, my husband is a record producer and noted how incredible the harp sounded when amplified. Thank you for making such a beautiful instrument, in every way."

-Krista Strader (Aliso Viejo, California)


testimonials-cynthy-johnson.jpg"I have had my Dusty Strings FH36S in Walnut for about 6 months and I find more and more enjoyment in playing it with each passing day. The walnut wood is very beautiful and many visitors in our home are in awe at the craftsmanship, beauty and styling of the harp, as well as the lovely acoustical sound. I've tried other lever harps, but none have matched the acoustical sound, the depth of sound, and the resonance of the Dusty Strings. I have begun playing music in various modes for Harp Therapy and I can easily create and write music for various modes with the beautiful tonal sounds of the FH36S. I love my harp!!"

-Cynthy Johnson (Richmond, Virginia)

"Absolutely fantastic — what a gorgeous tone (even new!). There are now six Dusties in our family!! It’s what I recommend to all my students too."

-Marianna Nystrom (Mechanicsville, Missouri)

"I do not often encounter such superb craftsmanship... The sound is very sweet and clear, rich and warm in the bass, shimmering and bell-like in the treble... I must also comment on the evenness of tone: it is such a treat to play... I would like to say thanks for your excellent customer service... Should you have any Canadian inquiries about your harps, I would be pleased to give a reference."

-Kim Stefaniuk (Toronto, Ontario)

"This is my third Dusty Strings harp, and I simply can’t tell you how ecstatic I am with it... This purchase was carefully thought out, although it ends up being heart & gut as well as head. As I play the instrument, it is so satisfying. Even looking at it is a pleasure."

-Tee Campion (Highbridge, Wisconsin)

"At the Gulf Coast Celtic Harp Competition I was awed to see that 80% of all the contestants were playing Dusties and I returned home determined to own a Dusty... With the support of a very kind wife I was able to custom order an FH36S in highly figured big leaf maple. Before the harp was built, Ray Mooers called me long distance from Seattle to discuss the instrument and my specification of wood—and to ensure that what I ordered would be exactly what would be delivered. As a long-time woodworker and lover of fine hardwoods, my expectations for both the wood and the craftsmanship were very high. The instrument arrived... without a scratch... I was thrilled. Four years later, I’m still thrilled. For all the beauty of the wood and the finish and the sound, the harp is well designed and solidly built underneath; the string tension and sound are evenly balanced, and I still get enormous pleasure every time I lift the instrument out of its case."

-Marc V. Benson (Midland, Texas)

About Dusty Dulcimers

Prelude

"I'm enjoying every minute of exploring this great instrument!"

-Mitzi Barker (Chugiak, Alaska)

Apprentice

An early impression of a new instrument...

"I love my hammered dulcimer. My 12-year-old twins are having a blast, the first day too! I got to play it at 3 am. Thank you!"

-Ellen M. Howse (Millersville, Maryland)

...and a later comment from the same customer:

"I teach music at a nursery school, children ages 2-5. Once I became more proficient, I brought the dulcimer in to play for the children. They enjoyed hearing me play but REALLY enjoyed actually playing themselves... My son Christopher grabbed the hammers this morning and played his favorite song before running to the bus stop."

-Ellen M. Howse (Millersville, Maryland)

D10

“The dulcimer arrived in plenty of time for the holiday and was in perfect condition. I bought this as a present for my wife and she was both surprised and delighted with it. It appears to be exceptionally well crafted. The selection of materials with no defects, the finish, and workmanship are all exemplary. ... It’s nice to see something so well made when the pervasive mindset behind the products of our time are driven by economics to fail and thus power a marketing treadmill. You are building heirlooms of lasting quality that will be treasured by future generations. I salute you in that endeavor and trust you enjoy deep satisfaction by knowing that your work will survive as highly regarded.”

-David Moniot (Chesapeake, Virginia)

“I have one of your amazing D10s, dated 10-19-82, number 942. She is still in wonderful shape, despite going through a hurricane. She still holds her tuning quite well, still sounds like a bell and I will never part with her. Your signatures are a bit faded inside, but she is a real trouper. As a 42-year-old Mom, it’s great for me to play for my kids now, and to have them learn to play themselves. The old girl is on her 2nd generation of players and I expect to pass her down (not as soon as my kids would like, though). I’ve never written or called your company, but I’d just like to say ‘Thank You!!’. I’ve enjoyed many hours with her.”

-Elisabeth McCarthy (Algonquin, Illinois)

D35 & D45

“I just bought a D-35 from Prussia Valley in southern Ohio. I LOVE this instrument and want to compliment you on it. I play a lot of different instruments - guitar, mandolin, and piano to name a few but I am now obsessed with this one. I can’t believe how beautiful it sounds. I’m just sorry I waited this many years to buy one and am glad I decided on one of yours. Prussia Valley sells a lot of makers but yours was by far the best sounding. You’ll easily get ‘free advertisement’ from me in this area. Thanks again for making such a fine instrument.”

-Geoff Walker (Springfield, Ohio)

"Stays in tune... beautiful wood & workmanship. I love it... I've finally got my dream instrument!"

-Sandy Sage (Wautoma, Wisconsin)

"This is a fine instrument. This one makes #2 that I've bought from the Dusty Strings line. Very happy with the quality."

-Jodi Abrams (Tomball, Texas)

"It has a beautiful sound and is beautiful to look at! Great craftsmanship!"

-Karen Sterhkopf (DePere, Wisconsin)

D300

“I thought you might like to hear about my recent experience with the tuning stability of my D300, now 11 years old. I played 8 evenings at the Grotto's Festival of Lights between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve - outside, for 3 hours each time. Since I was playing solo, being a bit sharp was not a problem, and I only adjusted the occasional wayward string for over a month of going in and out of the cold like this. At the end, the instrument was still largely in tune and at concert pitch!”

-Carl Thor (Vancouver, Washington)

D550

"Thank you to all of the craftsmen and craftswomen who created this D550 hammered dulcimer for me, as well as everyone at Dusty Strings. It has a wonderful sound and it is a beautiful instrument! I'm very pleased with it. It is a rare treat to own something of such quality and craftsmanship and I feel that you all do our country credit by caring so much about the quality of your work.”

-Jim Griesemer (Walnut Creek, California)

D600

"My **third** Dusty Strings dulcimer."

-Joe Kreitzer (Shoreview, Minnesota)

"Beautiful workmanship... I look forward to a lifetime of musical joy with this instrument.!"

-Shaine T. Luther (Sierra Madre, California)

“I’ve gotten many glowing compliments on the sound. The low bass notes have just the right sustain and fullness ... It’s also a very beautiful instrument to look at. It makes you want to just play and play ... The D600 isn’t much bigger or heavier than any other dulcimer ... they’ve somehow succeeded in doing all of this without making a big monster for you to carry around.”

-Timothy Seaman (Williamsburg, Virginia)

D650

"The D650 is fantastic, and I'm pretty much in love with it... The low end is everything I've been pining for, in terms of hammered dulcimer tone... Also, impressively for a newly built dulcimer, the tuning stability has been commendable. One road trip home and a weather change aside, it's barely needed to be touched."

-Matt Olsen (Yachats, Oregon)

About the Dusty Harp Pickup and Dusty Pedal Harp Pickup

"My Dusty Strings pickup has totally revolutionized the sound of my [pedal] harp. For the first time I have the volume I need to play with drums and electric guitars on big stages without compromising the beauty of the natural tone of my harp. The Dusty Strings is the only pickup that captures the full range of my harp. It has a full warm, rich sound in the bass and mids without losing any of the power and definition of the higher strings. It's vastly superior to any other pickup I've tried. Without it, the best I could hope for was for a few high, thin notes to pierce through a wall of sound coming from powerful electric instruments. The Dusty Strings pickup has given me my harp back."

-Sarah Page, Barr Brothers Band (Montreal, Quebec)

"Just a quick thank you note:  I've played four concerts on my FH36S in the last week, two on medium-sized stages, one in an event space for a fundraiser and one on a great big performing arts center stage. The new pick-up has been fantastic and has made our sound checks so much simpler. The feedback from our regular fans, new fans, as well as my bandmates have been over the moon. Its the beautiful sound of my harp, only bigger. I played for church on Sunday and half the congregation came up afterward to say how much they enjoyed really being able to hear the harp. We're playing on a floating amphitheatre with Tulsa's Starlight Band on Tuesday of next week so that'll be my first time to try it out on an outdoor stage. Thanks so much - its been like Christmas in June!"

-Dana Maher (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

"I had time to test out the new Dusty Strings pick-up in my Lyon and Healy Style 23 last night. I love it! It is very natural sounding and gets a very "real" warm sound from the instrument. It also is very even and balanced throughout the full range of the harp. It is by far the best pick-up I have ever used. Having it permanently installed is a real plus also, so I don't have to deal with sticking it on every time I need to use it and then worrying if it will stay stuck on when I need it! Peter installed it very quickly. Please thank the Dusty folks for me and let them know I really, really like the sound and balance of the product! I would recommend it to anyone without hesitations!"

-Paul Baker (Los Angeles, California)

"This pickup is the closest thing to getting an electric harp! It covers the harp's full range and I don't have to worry about internal rattles like I did with my former pickup. When I'm playing with other amplified musicians, I finally feel like the harp is in equal balance with the other instruments. It makes a clean and rich connection with the sound system. If you're in need of a harp pickup, this is the best investment."

-Monica Schley (Seattle, Washington)

"This past summer I installed your large pickup in my 5 octave cross-strung harp and it sounds great. It was the best and cleanest solution to my amplification needs for that instrument."

-John Metras (Sonoma County, California)

"I have a great amp that I use with my Ravenna 34 and the Dusty pickup and you are right, it sounds fantastic."

-Cairlyn Bowser (Turks and Caicos Islands, West Indies)

"I thought you would like to know that when Seumas Gagne and I performed for the WHC in Vancouver this July, we received many compliments about our Dusty Strings FH34 models.  The engineer doing the sound for our concert told us that the Dusty Strings pickups in our harps were the easiest he had ever had to amplify — and produced the best sound!  Since he must have worked with about 50 harps during the WHC [World Harp Congress] alone, we thought that was really saying something. Thanks again for our wonderful harps!"

-Alys Howe (Vancouver, British Columbia)

"Hey all you harpers! I just wanted to let you know how much I love my new Dusty Pedal Harp Pickup. Even though I already loved the sound of my Lyon and Healy 2000CG, I heard about this pickup and had to try it out. WOW! The sound is amazing! It's easy. Superb sound! If you are looking for an even better sound than you are currently getting, try this pickup. I think every harpist should have one so we can all be heard and not be tempted to overplay."

-Heather Cullins (Dallas, Texas)

About the TriStander

"The TriStander has been a major advance over the scissors--type stand, which I had to guard from falling over. The TriStander is more stable - it's just not going to get knocked over - an dit's also very small and light to carry, and very adjustable... you can set it at any angle and height. It's a great improvement."

-Timothy Seaman (Williamsburg, Virginia)