Dusty Strings Serrana 34?

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    David Kitamura on #212547

    Has anyone had any hands-on experience with this new model yet? I’m starting to close in on making my first purchase of a harp and had it down to their Ravenna 34 model or this one since, at the moment, they are comparatively priced when outfitted with similar features. Lower tension strings as someone who’s just starting out in the harp world sounds useful in addition to its other features like the included extendable legs. Unfortunately my local showroom doesn’t have a Serrana stocked so I can’t quite get a feel for it myself in person. I guess my concern is the “narrower string spacing” should I ever decide to dabble in pedal harp when I have the income to expend, but again I can’t quite compare it to the feel of their Ravenna without a demo model to try.

    Biagio on #212756

    Hi David,

    Your fingers and technique can adapt to various spacings and tensions (factoid: there is really no “standard” among lever harps). But if you contemplate ever moving to a higher tension instrument the Serrana might not be the best choice compared to the Ravenna 34 – which costs $1,000 less. What does your teacher say about this?

    If you do not have a teacher, all the more reason to choose the Ravenna IMHO, since there are far more “teach yourself” resources. These “South American” style harps can be played with the same techniques as others but actually are designed for very rapid playing, often with the nails to produce similar sounds to the Spanish guitar. Traditionally as well, they are never played alone but one of several instruments in a band.

    This is not meant to discourage you from the Serrana, it looks like it would be a fun harp. We could probably offer more informed advice if we knew a little more about you: what kind of music you like, what attracts you to the harp, any musical background, and so on.

    You might also submit your question to Christy Mooer on Dusty’s Forum; I am sure you will give you an honest, objective opinion.


    David Kitamura on #212774

    Thank you for this insight, Biago. I’ve gotten some recommendations for the Ravenna 34 already but noted that with full levers and a case that it was similar to the Serrana’s pricing so I was looking for some iformation on it since I haven’t seen it in person yet. To be honest I have very little experience with the harp but it’s something I’ve wanted to try and learn since I was young. Now that I have an income stream to make certain things happen I wanted to weigh my options for a harp purchase.

    Biagio on #212778

    Hi David,

    Well, there are many good harps out there and it can be confusing to choose – don’t I know! Furthermore, our likes often change as time passes – boy do I know that too. I started (briefly) on pedal harp, moved to lever (single and double), now mainly pay the wire strung clarsach. And built all but the pedal one….Sheesh.

    If I were able to do it all over again, I’d start with a good but not overly expensive fully levered and fairly standard instrument i.e not the double or clarsach), minimum 26 strings. In fact, I might leave off some levers or even all to save money (more can be added later).

    Learning correct technique, intervals, and basic theory are absolutely essential if one is going to progress and enjoy playing the harp. Levers (or pedals) are not necessary in those early stages and at $15 or more each levers add to the cost very quickly.

    My first choices would be either the Ravenna, or the Musicmakers Jolie or Voyageur kit.

    Just one opinion – have fun whatever you decide!


    balfour-knight on #212946

    Hello David,

    I agree with Biagio. I am a professional pedal harpist and lever harpist, and I owned a very nice Ravenna 34 for a number of years. It was one of the most versatile little harps I have ever played and easy to transport. The tension and string spacing were so close to my pedal harp that it did not bother me to switch from one harp to the other. The only reason I do not still have the Ravenna is that I found the PERFECT Dusty harp, a cherry FH36S, and needed to sell Ravenna so that I could afford to buy the FH36S.

    I have never played one of the new Serranas, but I seriously doubt that one would be as useful and versatile as the Ravenna, in my humble opinion. I used to play all types of music successfully on Ravenna, and I wish she had been my very first harp!

    I hope this helps you make a decision, David, and happy holidays to all of you!


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