Compare & Contrast

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    A. Riley

    Hi harpers —
    If you were asked to advise an adult amateur who intends to grow in technique and repertoire (but has no plans for playing for audiences larger than family & friends at home), which harp would you suggest would be the wisest expenditure of a moderate amount of hard-earned coin? And why?

    The contestants to compare & contrast are:
    Dusty Strings Crescendo
    Dusty Strings FH-36
    Blevins Espre
    Blevins RiverSong

    Thanks for sharing your experiences & observations!


    Personally, I would suggest that an adult in that position makes an emotional decision – if you fall in love with an instrument you will practice more and so progress more and enjoy playing.


    You might want to take a look at the Thormahlen Serenade too. My first real harp was a serenade and they are wonderful, as are the other harps you’ve mentioned.


    I too

    A. Riley

    Thanks, all. I’ll have a chance to examine at least the Dusties in a couple of weeks when we go up to Spruce Tree Music in Madison, Wisconsin. I wish there was a retailer with a vast selection of lever harps closer to home, but I guess Lyon & Healy and Venus cast too big a shadow over Chicagoland!

    A. Riley

    So I went up to Spruce Tree and came home with a Crescendo — and I love it. Lush plush voice with warmth and resonance, just the right size, just the right price, and a beautiful addition to my home and my life. (And my teacher’s thrilled to pieces!)

    Jerusha Amado


    What was your impression of the Dusty 36S harps that are there?



    A. Riley

    To be honest, since I knew they were out of my budget, I didn’t even look at them. I had played one at a shop on the west coast and thought it was *terrific* — but not in my price range.

    I was delighted with the shop altogether, though. Great place. Go check it out if you’re in the area.


    I think a great point was made, make the decision emotionally.


    Hello to A. Riley: I know that you have already purchased your harp–and it sounds wonderful–but I did want to agree with those who said to just make an emotional choice and get a harp you love and that connects with you. I play for exactly the same reasons you do, and after researching widely, went with my heart/intuition/emotions and bought a Dusty Strings FH26 four years ago, and then a second harp, a Dusty FH36S in January. I can’t really explain it in any way that doesn’t make me sound like a New Age freak (and I’m not)…but those harps are like part of my body and part of my soul. I played piano for nine years straight, and it was never like it is now with my harps. I used to be very firm with myself about scheduling piano practice and trying to do all the “shoulds” that you have to do while learning an instrument. With the harps, it isn’t like that.

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