Several of us are away at the Somerset Folk Harp Festival, and we may not be able to respond to emails and phone calls as quickly as usual. Thank you for your patience!
"We could not be happier with Dusty Strings and the gorgeous dulcimer they made for us. The looks, craftsmanship, and playability are all 5-star and everyone at Dusty Strings has been a joy to interact with. And when an issue came up with the furst dulcimer we ordered, they went out of their way to make things right for us. Everyone who sees our dulcimer can't believe how beautiful it looks and sounds. Thank you!"
-Justin and Sarah Harlan-Haughey (Orono, ME)
"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)
"In any of my dealings with Dusty Strings over the years I can truly say I have been treated well. In my humble opinion it is the combination of superb sounding harps, excellent craftsmanship, and first-class customer service that respects both the client and their needs that explain why Dusty Strings harps are the number one choice for harpists around the world."
- Mark Cardiff (Nova Scotia)
"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)
"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 had a used D25 in my possession for a few days, which was made back in 1988. I played it side by side with my D35 (obviously made much later). My wife and I were both quite surprised at how consistent the two instruments are in tone... Personally I could not believe how two instruments built so many years apart could have sounded so similar. There actually is such a thing as the "Dusty Strings Sound". Kudos to your company - for building such quality instruments and remaining so consistent in doing so."
"I've bought so many of your instruments I had to devote an entire room to them!"
-Connie Johnson (Beaverton, OR)
"I wanted to thank you for making such beautiful harps. I'm a beginner harper and purchased a Ravenna 26. I'm not great (yet) but I love playing the harp and I love my Ravenna! Earlier this year my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. 3 weeks later he was gone. One of his requests during his last weeks was to hear me play my harp. Grandpa is hard of hearing and thanks to you lovely people, I had a portable instrument that was loud enough for my grandpa to hear. Thank you, thank you for helping me create such sweet, beautiful memories during that difficult time!"
-Becca I. (Boise, ID)
"I have to say that I'm really impressed with your company's thoughtful designs in everything you sell. My Ravenna 26 is my favorite harp of all the harps I owned, especially in terms of sound. Add to that the very handy retractable leg and now my new 12" leg stand and I'm ready for every kind of gig with the harp. It's just perfect. Keep up the good work!"
-Dominic Haerinck (Quebec, Canada)
"Dusty Strings you ROCK! I love my Ravenna 26-string harp so much, I gotta shout it to the mountaintops. This harp is super sturdy which is key for me as a traveling artist. And the tone is loud and warm, easily filling a room acoustically. I just recorded an album with it and it sounds wonderful!!"
-Kate Wild (Boulder, CO)
"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."
"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)
"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)
"LOVE the harp! My previous harp was a 36-string floor lever harp with metal and nylon strings. Making the transition from nylon to gut was a good move for me. I like the shorter sustain, grip, higher tension, and sound of the gut strings. The compact size of the Boulevard was an added bonus too. Thanks for making such a harp!"
"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)
"When I first touched the strings of the new Dusty Strings Boulevard at the Somerset Folk Harp Conference, my initial reaction was one of “oo, oh, ah….yes!” The sound is more "mellow" than the typical Dusty Strings sound and is closer to that of a pedal harp. What surprised me was how "easy" it was to play this harp. I don't feel like I have to work hard to get a decent tone out of it. It's really light on the shoulder - perhaps that's why it feels "easier" to play than my pedal harp. It has a shorter sustain than the other Dusty Strings - but that is characteristic of a higher tension instrument. The tone is very consistent from top to bottom. Even the bass wires sound mellow and not brassy. This harp will go anywhere an also-pedal harpist might travel – be it banquet, beach or bedside! Clearly, Dusty Strings did considerable research in developing this wonderful new model, which I highly recommend."
-Darhon Rees-Rohrbacher (Albany, NY)
"There’s lots to love about the Serrana. Most of the lovely things are apparent – small size, good pickup, built in legs, and of course, Dusty strings reliability, quality, and, this important detail… affordable! The Serrana is my new love. Extra light string tension makes playing jigs and reels fun. Narrower string spacing hasn’t been much of an issue, except I have to watch my hands for now, until I get more used to it. The Serrana really comes alive when I plug it in.”
–Margot Krimmel (Boulder, CO)
"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)
"My Crescendo arrived ten days ago, and I am totally in love with the lush, bell-like round sound that just fills the room with joy. This is a harp that is just begging to be played - and it's mine! Sylvia Woods was right when she said the weight would be nothing compared to my pedal harp, which I have loved for over 30 years but had to limit playing due to spinal fractures. Now I can play to my heart's content."
-Lorrie Hubin (Escondido, California)
"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!"
"My Dusty Strings FH34 (I named her Ninnoc) is my very best friend. I love her sound and the way she enhances my voice when we play and sing together. But it is not the only reason I love her so much. She is also my most important tool in my work as a coach and trainer. Many people have been soothed and healed by her tones. She shows that music is a basic, universal and very beautiful way of getting in touch wiht another person."
-Angeline Schoor (Netherlands)
"This harp is like a whole orchestra!"
-Iris Nevins, trying out an FH34 in cherry at the Somerset Harp Conference
"I've been playing as a professional harpist for many years, and my harp of choice for performance is the Dusty Strings 36S. I have played the other top brands, but nothing compares to the clarity, evenness of tone (from top to bottom) and the projection of the 36. It has the rich deep bass and sparkling treble that Dusty is known for, and its medium-level tension and ease of transport make it a joy to own as well. I have also received countless compliments on its beautiful resonant tone. It sounds glorious in all genres (classical, folk, pop and jazz) and is the perfect lever harp for any professional!"
-Vanessa Myers (Tucson, AZ)
“WOW!!!! OMG! I am blown away truly. I know you can imagine after playing a smaller lap harp for 6 months the shock and awe I experienced playing this gorgeous instrument! The fullness and resonance is beyond my wildest dreams. I was struck by the testimonial from the person who said they plucked a string and ran around the block and came back and it was still ringing. I even remembered their comment when I plucked the first few strings. It was truly breathtaking and the expression on my face must have been priceless!!”
–Mary Conaway (Pikesville, MD)
"My FH36B has been my main instrument for 20 years, and I couldn't ask for a more reliable companion in musicmaking. As a child, I was immediately drawn to its beautiful sculpted shape, an immediate interest which launched me on the winding and joyful path of a life in music. Since that first attraction, I have found that my Dusty has a remarkable range of expressiveness - resonant and supportive bass end, bright clear middle register, and sparkling upper strings - the breadth of which I am still exploring. Over the years, if ever I have had a problem or question, the kind folks at DS have been prompt, knowledgeable, and helpful. I often recommend Dusty Strings harps to my students, because I know they will be working with an excellent instrument made by people who care."
-Haley Hewitt (Boston, MA)
"I just wanted to let you know again how much I LOVE my Cherie! We have used her for all of our Christmas concerts, where I would have normally used my pedal harp...The woodworkers in our audiences have come up for a closer look after the concerts, and they have been most complimentary of your superior craftsmanship in this beautiful cherry wood. One gentleman said it all when he told us, "I am not a musician, but I think this new harp sounds WARMER than your other harps!" That coming from a non-musician makes us think that everyone can hear the difference in the tone of this new masterpiece...There is no other harp I have ever played that has affected me as much as this one has - I want to play her all the time, even with sore fingers!"
-Balfour Knight (Balsam, NC)
"It was nice to be able to thank you in person for this beautiful harp that has given, and continues to give me so much pleasure - and my family and friends who hear it too! As I said at the [Edinburgh Harp] Festival, I do feel this harp has turned me into a musician - from someone who had played but not really taken it very seriously (I think because I just wasn't really enjoying playing a rather basic harp) - there is something about the beauty and quality of this instrument that immediately met and lifted my aspirations and commitment. I just love it, and so love playing it!"
-Anne Shivas (UK)
"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)
"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."
"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)
"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)
"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)
"I'm enjoying every minute of exploring this great instrument!"
-Mitzi Barker (Chugiak, Alaska)
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)
“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 trooper. 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)
"The D45 arrived last night and it is beautiful! I love all the craftsmanship down to the detailed woodwork and the hammers, and even the case is beautiful. Thanks for your help answering all my questions. Tonight, I'm going to get it all tuned up and look forward to playing it!"
-John Moss (Mesa, AZ)
"I just wanted to thank you for creating such beautiful instruments and getting me started. Playing my hammered dulcimer brings me great joy."
-Dale Bicksler (Mechanicsburg, PA)
“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)
"The PD40 is very intuitive for pianists. The only hard part is getting used to the fact that some degrees of the scale are on the same string, only across the bridge. Other that that, it is immediately understandable. Because you must cross the bridge so often, you have to work out hammer patterns, but that is essentially the same as working out fingering on the piano. You cannot find a teacher, but if you are a pianist, you do not need one, just practice playing songs you know, and you will improve automatically. I am more than satisfied with this instrument. If you are a pianist, especially if you are a pop or jazz pianist, THIS IS THE DULCIMER TO BUY!"
-Mack Garner (Maryville, TN)
“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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"I absolutely love my new D670! The tonal sound of the new instrument is consistent throughout the entire range. The top part of the range matches the brilliance of the low register. To my ear, the upper register has just the right amount of sparkle; it is crystal clear.
When I received my instrument, it had been shipped across the country and no string was off by more than 5 cents. Amazing! As a professional French horn player, I have a rather low tolerance for an instrument that is out of tune. Previously, I felt the need to tune my dulcimer every day; now, I only tune my D670 once or twice per week. Frequently, many strings are still right on pitch. Hearing that Dusty Strings was [now] using carbon fiber in the structural bracing convinced me that I wanted to upgrade my [older] D600. I have been very impressed with the instrument's ability to hold its pitch and it has been well worth the investment.
Dusty Strings has made remarkable improvements to their already exceptionally fine instruments. I feel like I am playing the hammered dulcimer equivalent of a concert grand piano."
-Mary Lynn Van Deventer (Hillsborough, NC)
"Incredible instrument! Worth the wait. Thank you Ray, Sam and all the Dusty Strings Team. I'm getting to know this incredible D670 and enjoying every second of my time playing with all its potential. I find it easy to reference the right side super bass from the markers on the damper or the regular bass bridge markers. What I really love is the beautiful tone everywhere on this instrument, even the lower left treble - a place I avoided as much as possible on my old HD. I would like to share this with you as well - this D670 traveled from Seattle, WA to Ken in Baltimore, MD and, finally, to me in far northern Vermont in late December with all the humidity and temperature fluctuations of the season. It arrived in tune and it's still in tune."
-Linda Wickenden (Vermont)
“It has been so exciting to play each of these fabulous instruments. The D670’s are much more than I had anticipated. Working with Sam, Dusty Strings has instituted some fabulous design changes.
Each of the instruments has arrived remarkably in tune. After travelling across the country, the most any instrument has been out of tune is maybe 4-5 cents, but still in tune with itself.
The extended range Dusty Strings instruments have always been known to have a very powerful bass response requiring the player to control dynamically the balance on the instrument. By utilizing different woods on the treble bridge, Dusty Strings has significantly improved the balance from the higher range of the left treble bridge with a very clear and crisp upper register. The responsiveness of these instruments is remarkable with a huge dynamic range. The sound is wonderful – what more can I say!
The improved tuning stability and improved balance are significant improvements. But finally, we come to the whole original raison d’etre of the D670 – having access to the super bass on the far right. Dusty Strings solved the problem of possibly sacrificing tone by placing the super bass on both the right and left. The super bass bridge on the right is placed far to the right of the bass bridge, well away from the bass bridge. I tend to play away from the bridge to find the sweet spot of each string. So far, I have found clearance not to be an issue. And the notes are big and beautiful!
Since all the instruments that I have seen have dampers, one design feature about which I was initially concerned was that the right super bass bridge is covered by the damper. It takes a little getting used to but after a few hours of playing, I stopped thinking about it and had no problem adjusting. You can easily use the bass bridge as a visual guide to hammering on the super bass bridge.
It has been a few decades when I (and probably many others) first thought about the desirability of the super bass on the right. Three more instruments will arrive at my studio this week for me to check out. Two will be delivered to students and one of those instruments is ear-marked for me to keep. How exciting! Thanks to Dusty Strings for making this wonderful instrument become a reality!"
-Ken Kolodner (Baltimore, MD)
“Recently, I got the chance to spend a day test playing a new D670 with dampers, and I have to admit it was a delightful experience. The D670 meets my expectations, a beautifully realized dulcimer. Out of the box, I hardly had to touch the tuning. Tone is well balanced through the entire range. Bridges are set up to make playing as easy as it can be. And the dampers work with precise control from high chromatics right down to the lowest Super Bass. Dulcimer nirvana. I look forward to hearing what players will do with the D670.”
-Sam Rizzetta (Inwood, West Virginia)
"I just had to tell you that I have taken the Dusty Strings P20 pickup on three test runs in Maryland, Jalisco, and most recently here in Los Angeles and I have to tell you it sounds absolutely amazing!!! The sound engineers and stage crews are literally commenting, "what the heck are you running under that hood!" Thank you for making it happen."
-Sergio (Checo) Alonso (Los Angeles, CA)
"I've used the Dusty pick-up with my Dusty Strings 36, which I bought from Sylvia Woods about 12 years ago, and I had her install the pick-up at the time. I love the big sound in such a small instrument (size comparison to my LHealy Concert Grand). I've used another pickup in my two pedal harps for the past 10 years, but it only has one place that it "sticks" onto the sound board, and doesn't amplify very evenly. I've been desperately trying to get a bigger sound without sounding overly amplified or boomy. I remember reading up on the DS pedal harp system a few years ago and recently decided to re-visit the option. After reading through the reviews online and seeing a demo on YouTube, I decided to jump for it and am so happy I did. I think the biggest hurdle I had to get over was installing it myself. The pick-up sat on my office desk for four months before I mustered up the courage to install it! Thank you for the very user friendly directions, it took me about 2.5 hours to install, which I realize is a bit much now that I know the routine, but I was being very careful. I didn't want to mess any of the placement up or get glue all over the place. Now that I've installed the system in one harp (and know the outcome), I'm very confident of my next install into my other pedal harp and look forward to taking it out on the gig!"
-Krista Strader (Pleasant Hill, CA)
"The install went fine. This is a wonderful pickup system. Your instructions are clear and well-researched. I really appreciated the predrilled jack hole [in the Ravenna 34]. As mentioned in the instructions, the glue drying overnight helps to secure the amount of sound transferred to the amp. I kept the harp overnight just to make sure all was done properly and heard an improved difference in the sound when the glue was completely dry."
-Stephen Hartman (Phoenix Harp Center)
"So excited! This is for the Iceland Symphony's harp. I convinced them to buy one because I love mine in my harp so much. It's amazing!! We do a few amplified concerts a season, plus, I like the help it gives with tuning in noisy situations."
-Katie Buckley (Iceland)
"It was so nice to just plug into the church sound system, and not have to worry about a separate microphone for the harp."
-Balfour Knight (Balsam, NC)
"I am a harpist and I use your pedal-harp pick-up - these days I predominantly play amplified music whether its in a jazz, band, or larger production setting... and I LOVE it - it works much better than any other system I've used before and has a clean enough sound to use effects without the danger of lots of feedback and other problems like many amplification systems for the harp."
-Elisa Thorn (Vancouver, BC)
"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)
"The pickup gives my harp the overall power that it needs to project through any sound system, without distorting or affecting its natural, warm tone. The sound has been consistent in small clubs, large arenas, outdoor festivals and small private venues. It's even great for recording!"
-Brandee Younger (Brooklyn, New York)
"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)
"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 - and it'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)