Who We Are

harp body with clamps
man stringing a hammered dulcimer
man regulating a harp
man gluing a harp body
man playing a harp outsideman on the phone giving a thumbs-upman tuning a hammered dulcimerman cutting out a harp neck on a bandsawman sanding a harp neckman sanding harp necksman making harp strings

Our Approach to Customer Service

We are a small company of people who place a great deal of importance on our customer interactions. We think you are entitled to talk to a real, live, friendly person when you call us, and we care about understanding your particular situation and helping you to the best of our abilities. Basically, we try to treat our customers the way we would hope to be treated ourselves.

There is no question too silly or insignificant to ask. We love to talk about musical instruments and will do our best to help you in any way we can. If we don't know the answer, we will be honest about it rather than making something up. Often we can refer you to someone else who might know.

If you are thinking of buying a harp or a hammered dulcimer, or even just curious about them, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you don't know what questions to ask, we'll let you know what people are usually curious about. We believe in helping you find the instrument that will make you happiest, which means that we will not try to talk you into the most expensive model, and we won't push you to buy a Dusty Strings instrument if ours don't seem to fit what you're looking for. We are a team-based organization, which means that we like working cooperatively, and we pass that attitude on when we are working with our customers.

Above all, we are sympathetic people who are in this business because we love music and want to share it with you. We are proud of our longstanding reputation for ethical business practices, and we strive to uphold this reputation by continuing to make and support high-quality instruments and to take care of our customers.

Our Approach to Instrument Building

Experience

We've been in business since 1979 and our harps and dulcimers have brought joy and pleasure to many people. Even though we've built over 18,000 dulcimers and 15,000 harps, we know there is always room for improvement and are continually working to make our instruments even better.

Consistency

Our high degree of consistency from instrument to instrument helps people know that when they've played and liked a particular harp or hammered dulcimer we've made, they can order that model for themselves with confidence. Even though each piece of wood has its own individual characteristics, the general quality of sound and construction will be the same. The only differences in the performance of our models are those that result from small, cumulative design improvements over time.

We focus on quality and consistency, using CADD (computer aided design and drafting) techniques to design our instruments and to produce precision jigs and fixtures. We use a computer numerical controlled (CNC) router, which is the ultimate tool for accuracy and repeatability, to help make the jigs and some of the instrument parts. Together with our craftspeople's attention to detail and their skillful use of a host of woodworking tools, this use of technology ensures that the parts we make fit tightly and exactly every time.

Design Improvements

Our design process involves careful analysis of proposed tonal and structural changes. We build a series of prototypes, compare those to the current standard, solicit feedback from players, and make only those changes that are a clear improvement. In this way, we can keep a firm handle on the direction in which we're going while we continue to make small improvements in tone and structure. Over time, these changes add up to better instruments.

Blending the benefits of technology with the traditional woodworking techniques and tools of the craft of luthiery, we create timeless high-quality musical instruments in a modern manufacturing environment.

woman working at a computerman gluing a hammered dulcimer and smilingwoman smiling at her deskray and sue smiling at a harpman gluing a hammered dulcimerman sanding a hammered dulcimerman sanding a harp body
five past and present R&D team members in green vests
man stringing a harp
man standing in the Dusty Strings shop
man regulating a harp