Dusty Strings Harp and Hammered Dulcimer Makers logo(206) 634-1656

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!

Harp player singing and playing at a wedding

The Dusty Harp Sound

It's tough to describe tone quality in words! If you aren't able to hear or play a Dusty harp in person, the next best thing is to listen to the sound clips on our harp videos page. The recordings are as true to life as a recording can be, with no effects or equalization added.

If you are still looking for a verbal characterization of the Dusty sound, here are some of the words we've heard used by players of our harps: balanced, clear as crystal, shimmering, deep, resonant, distinctive ring, bell-like, sweet, strong, rich overtones, big sound, responsive, articulate, lush, even, warm, crisp, and I can't believe this harp produces so much sound!

Early on in our design process, we did some experimentation with soundboard woods and thicknesses. Feedback from harp players led us to a unique soundboard design that allows a warm, "fat" bass range and distinctively clear and resonant mid and treble ranges to inhabit the same instrument. Our harps are known for their volume, responsiveness and evenness across the entire range. On the general spectrum of lever harp tonal "personality," Dusty Strings harps tend to be at the brighter end. Within that, there is some variation; the wood species used for our solid wood harps have a subtle impact on the character of the sound, which ranges from warmer to deeper to brighter. This allows you to tailor your choice to the part of the spectrum that suits you best. You can read more about the characteristics of our different wood choices here.

For more descriptions by harp players, see our testimonials page.