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!
If your Dusty Strings harp or hammered dulcimer needs maintenance (restringing or regulation, for example) or a repair procedure, we can help! We’re a small company with a sympathetic team, and we’re invested in listening to your concerns and providing the best advice we can on how to proceed in your particular situation.
COVID complications created a very long waiting list, and our capacity to take in repairs is still severely limited. We regret this is the case, and hope we'll be able to get caught up before too long. For now, you are welcome to fill out the form below, and if we can offer any DIY advice, we will gladly do so! You might be surprised how much instrument maintenance you can learn to do yourself. We would also be happy to put you on our waiting list, but there would be a 6-month wait at minimum, and we can't actually predict a timeline. We appreciate your understanding.
Here are the most important things to know in advance:
The best way to start a repair inquiry is to use the form below. Fill in as much information as you have available, click submit, and our repair team will get back to you shortly. The more information you provide in the form, the better we will be able to assist you. For clarity in your descriptions, please refer to the labeled photos below when identifying the parts of your instrument.
Note: If we think photos would be helpful, we'll send you a follow-up email to request them.
How long does it take to get an estimate? For standard maintenance procedures, we can usually get back to you within a few days. For more involved repairs, it can sometimes take a few more or a week to prepare the estimate. Depending on the procedure in question, we’ll meet with different specialists on our staff to determine the best approach.
How soon can you start work on my instrument? That depends on the complexity of the repair and on how full our schedule currently is. It's not unusual for us to have a bit of a waiting list.
Can you do “x” procedure while I wait? Generally, we prefer to have an instrument here for at least two weeks in order to fit the work into our schedule and to give us a little wiggle room for the unexpected. If you have special circumstances, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!
Are you open on the weekends? Our hours are 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. If you absolutely cannot arrange to get your instrument here during those hours, give us a call and we’ll discuss alternate avenues.
How much does shipping cost? If you aren’t close enough to drop your instrument off in person, shipping it to us can be a bit of a hurdle. Within the contiguous United States, shipping costs can range (very roughly) from $100 to $250 for hammered dulcimers, and $150 to $500 for harps. If you don’t have a box, we highly recommend trying to source one locally or make your own. We do have shipping boxes we can sell, but the boxes themselves can range from $50 to $100, and it costs just as much to ship you an empty box as it does to ship one with an instrument inside. (The shipping companies charge by size.)
There is the possibility that your box could be damaged on the way here. If we do not think it is safe to return the instrument to you in the original box, we will need to charge you for a new box for the return journey.
How do I ship my instrument? If you’re arranging your own shipping, almost all of our instruments can be sent with UPS, and you can go online to find out the costs, or go to a UPS store. Our 36-string harps are too big for UPS and must be sent by freight. YRC is an example of a freight company that does LTL (individual carton) shipping.
If you would like our help arranging shipping, we’re happy to do that. In order to give you an accurate shipping quote, we’ll need to know your full address as well as the weight and dimensions of the box with the instrument packed inside.
What about international shipping? International shipments are more expensive and more complicated, and may require you to deal with customs clearance or hire a customs broker. We can talk to you more about this if it applies to you. When possible, we’ll try to suggest local repair options and avoid the need for shipping!
Will this be covered under the warranty? Our warranty applies to the original owner. The warranty period ranges from 2 to 5 years, depending on the model, and it covers defects in manufacturing or materials. It does not cover general wear or maintenance, and it does not cover damage caused by environmental conditions or use. Shipping costs are the responsibility of the instrument owner. Until we inspect the instrument in person, we can’t say for sure whether the warranty will apply, but we will tell you ahead of time if we think it’s likely or not. We know that may be a key factor in your decision to ship the instrument here or have it repaired locally.
Where can I find the details of your warranty? The full text of the warranty can be found here.
Will my instrument be in tune when I get it back? As standard practice, we tune each instrument when we’re finished with a procedure. However, if we’ve replaced the strings, they will still be stretching and will require frequent tuning for a week or two. Don’t expect to play it in a recital the day you get it back!