Downgrading? To Ravenna

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    Rachael Rosenbaum

    Ok, I will try to keep this succinct.

    I currently own a 3rd-hand, 22-year-old Heartland Polaris harp. It is huge and gorgeous. Yet I have experienced for several years now that it’s size is actually a liability with regards to my particular needs.

    I’ve been very keen to replace it with a 34 string, PORTABLE harp, but currently cannot afford much.

    I have, though, found a store that will probably buy the Heartland off of me. And…I have thankfully found someone with a like-new, fully-levered Ravenna 34 which they will sell for $1,000 (bought in 2012).

    I am really excited about this but my husband is concerned that I’m “downgrading,” as the Heartland must have cost it’s original owner much more than what a new Ravenna costs. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Id really appreciate it, because I want to jump on the deal while it’s available!

    Bonnie Shaljean

    I’d grab it while the grabbing’s good, and would never think of it as “downgrading”. Any original cost is a thing of the past, which isn’t relevant to you now. Also, size and weight are not negotiable factors – if an instrument is too big and heavy for you, it’s too big and heavy. That isn’t a value rating, it’s a simple fact. So are strained wrists & spine, and pulled muscles. Your body’s wellbeing is a far more important consideration than money. (Anyway, if the shop is *buying* the Heartland from you, you’ll earn something back off it – I fail to see how this has anything to do with a secondhand Ravenna…?)

    Portability is a crucial issue if you want to carry your harp around with you minstrel-style. I’d forget about any abstractions – if the Ravenna is in good condition (and it sounds like it is) and YOU HAVE PLAYED IT and like its voice and feel, go for it!


    Bonnie makes excellent points, and I agree.

    I have a Ravenna and it is a wonderful portable harp.

    The original cost of the harps isn’t relevant. Think of it this way….a guy has an big, old Cadillac….but it isn’t much good for hauling stuff around in the way a nice shiny late model pick-up truck. Someone will buy the old Cadillac, and then he will have the funds to buy the useful pick-up. Original cost doesn’t even come into play. Just saying!

    Rachael Rosenbaum


    Thanks a lot for your perspectives, Bonnie and Susan! More are welcome to weigh in, too. I actually will probably have the opportunity to play a Ravenna first, which I’m quite happy about!

    Rachael Rosenbaum

    Alas, it was grabbed by someone else while I was trying to figure out some logistics. Hopefully something better will come soon!

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