Ordering Instruments

How to Order

Although most of our accessories can be purchased through our website, we do not sell our harps or hammered dulcimers online. Because of the variety of options available and the possibility that we may not have in stock exactly the combination that you want and will have to build it for you, we ask that you call or email us to order an instrument.

If you live in the U.S., we'll probably first ask you for your location and any thoughts you may have about particular models you're interested in. If there happens to be a store near you that carries those models, we'll encourage you to work with them. This gives you the opportunity to see and play an instrument before making a decision, and you'll also have a local resource if you need any assistance with the instrument in the future. As a small, family-owned business ourselves, we like to help support other local businesses whenever we can!

However, this is a big country, and it's very possible that there isn't a dealer in your area, in which case we'd be happy to work directly with you. We can answer any questions you have and we will ship you a harp or a hammered dulcimer with a guarantee - if it doesn't meet your expectations, you can call us within five days of receiving it to arrange for a refund. Your only costs will be the shipping charges.

If you live outside of the U.S., please call or email us with your location, postal code, and what instrument you are interested in. If you are so lucky as to have a Dusty Strings dealer in your country, we will highly recommend contacting them as the most economical and supportive way of finding your harp or dulcimer. If there is not yet a Dusty dealer in your part of the world, we will be happy to work with you to find the best shipping method and to explain the details. Unless you have experience with this, be prepared for a more substantial shipping cost than you'd guess. Overseas shipping costs are usually based on the size, not the weight of the box. The instrument prices you see on our website are the prices you would pay if ordering directly from us, and do not include any VAT or other taxes. Your country will collect the applicable duties, VAT and customs fees on receipt of the shipment.

Time-frame

Often, we'll have the instrument you want in stock, which means that we can ship it as soon as we receive payment. If we do not have the instrument in stock and need to build it for you, it could be anywhere from a week to a couple of months, depending on our current schedule. We'll discuss an estimated time-frame with you and reserve a spot on the schedule with a deposit.

Payment

For orders within the U.S., we accept payment by money order, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover. If paying by check, please be prepared for a delay in the shipping time.

For orders outside of the U.S., we require payment by bank wire, and we will arrange the details with you when we take your order.

Please, DO NOT send credit card information via email, as this is not a secure method. We would love to talk to you on the phone, or you can let us know if you would prefer to fax the number.

Shipping

Because we have a variety of instrument sizes and shapes, we choose the most cost-effective shipping method for each size of box. If you have specific questions about how your instrument will be shipped, just ask! Here are some general notes about what to expect:

We pack our instruments so they can withstand some rough handling on their journey. However, it is a good idea to inspect the box when your instrument arrives. Have the driver note any damage to the box before you sign for it, so that if you find any internal damage later, there will be an official record of the box's condition on arrival.

If the box looks really bad, don't panic, and please don't refuse the shipment! As long as you note any visible damage to the box before signing for it, you can safely take delivery. Even if the box is damaged, the nature of the packaging is such that the instrument is most likely fine. If you can, take pictures of the box before opening it, and make sure you keep the box until any damage issues are resolved. Once you unpack the instrument, inspect it thoroughly. Chances are, it's fine! But if you do find any signs of damage, call us right away and we'll help you through the next steps.

If you ordered accessories as well (like a stand, hammers, or extra strings), you may have to hunt around for them. Sometimes the safest place for us to pack accessories is not the first place you might look. Before you throw away the packaging, make sure you have found all the items on your packing list. Check the case pockets first, and then look through the packing materials. Often items are wrapped in paper or bubble wrap, and may even be taped to the box or hidden behind other pieces of cardboard.

Guarantee

We are happy to answer as many questions as you can think of before you decide to purchase an instrument from us, but we know there is no substitute for seeing, touching and hearing it in person. If we ship an instrument to you and you decide within five days that it is not what you expected and won't meet your needs, you are welcome to return it for a full refund of the instrument price.

If you think you would like to return an instrument, please call us within five days of receiving it to arrange the return. You will be responsible for shipping charges both ways, but we will gladly refund the price of the instrument as long as it is returned in resellable condition.

You must re-pack the instrument in the original packaging according to our instructions. Please ask for advice if you are not sure how to pack the instrument, or if you have any concerns about the structural integrity of the box. Damage resulting from handling or inadequate packaging on the return will be your responsibility.

Warranty

We place great importance on standing behind our warranty. Like many builders of musical instruments, we try to achieve a delicate balance between building for structural strength and building for good tone. Hammered dulcimers and harps must support tremendous tension; a typical 3-octave dulcimer can have over 1,000 pounds of total string tension. It's easy to overdesign an instrument to gain an absolute guarantee of structural strength, but as players we aren't satisfied with the sound and performance that result from that approach.

No instrument builder who has achieved portability, good volume and a vibrant tone can claim a history totally free of instrument problems, so the important question is whether a builder has the capacity and desire to provide assistance if there ever is a problem with one of their instruments. In more than three decades of building instruments, that's been one of our consistent priorities.

Most of our instruments carry a five-year warranty. There is a two-year warranty on the Ravenna 26, Ravenna 34 and Boulevard 34, commensurate with the lower price levels of these models.

The terms of our warranty are as follows:

All Dusty Strings instruments are warranted against defects in materials and workmanship to the original owner for a period of five years (two years for Ravenna and Boulevard model harps) from the original date of purchase. All repairs covered under this warranty will be provided without charge. Repair or replacement of defective instruments will be at the sole discretion of Dusty Strings. Shipping charges to and from Dusty Strings are the responsibility of the owner.

This warranty does not cover string breakage, lever breakage, damage to wood, hardware, or finishes due to normal use, carelessness, accident, extremes of humidity, dryness or temperature, or repairs or alterations made by other than Dusty Strings. Do not leave the instrument in a parked motor vehicle on a warm day. Temperatures high enough to soften glue can be quickly reached inside a vehicle parked in sun or shade, even with windows partially opened. Evidence of such an occurrence will void this warranty.

IMPORTANT: For information about properly humidifying your instrument, please read this document on Humidity, Dryness and Musical Instruments.