Loveland Levers: "Old" vs "New"???

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    harpist123 on #206695

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I am considering buying a new Dusty Strings FH36S which has the re-designed Loveland levers installed as standard, available on the harp I am looking at. I had a Blevins 36 Espre with Loveland levers (the old version levers), however, this new 2017 Dusty has the “new” Loveland levers on it, vs. the old style ones (still black). I know this because there was also an older model Dusty Strings FH36S available in the store I was in, which had the older model Loveland’s on it…Can’t find anything about this online, or on the manufacturer’s website. Wondering if they are better in any way, operate easier (worse?), have better (worse?) tone quality when engaged or not engaged, etc. And why did they change them? Please respond if you have played both designs, and can offer some sort of comparison. Thank you!</p>

    andy-b on #206712

    Do you mean the difference between the two kinds of Loveland levers, and not between Loveland and Camac levers? Dusty offers both Loveland and Camac levers – Lovelands have plastic arms, and Camac have metal.

    There are two kinds of Loveland levers – I believe that the difference between the “old” black Loveland levers and the “new” gold Lovelands is the length of the lever arm – the black being shorter, and the gold were created with a longer “throw” – some people liking a bit longer handle on the lever. The action of the lever and tone quality is the same.

    If you mean the metal Camac levers, they were invented by Camac Harps, and are considered by many to be the top of the line. They are a tad more expensive than the Lovelands. Both Camac and Loveland levers are quite good. I’ve had harps with both types, and I like them both.

    Hope this helps (and that I remember correctly!).


    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by andy-b.
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    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by andy-b.
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    Biagio on #206716

    Andy summed it up.  Side note: for some time, only the Dustys had those (black) ones with the longer throw; a year or three ago the Loveland Harp Company began offering them more generally.  They also added a few more sizes but there is no real difference otherwise.

    They have been around a long time which should vouch for their quality.  They are “touchier” than some others (Dusty, for instance, advises “regulation” every three years), but personally I have no complaints, other than that they take a little longer to install than some other makes.  On the other hand they cost less than Camac, Rees, Truitt etc.


    christy mooers on #206779

    Hi! I work for Dusty Strings, so I thought I’d just chime it to confirm that that on a Dusty harp, the old style and new style Loveland levers are the same overall size, and have the same tone and function. The only difference is that the newer style has a longer and wider surface for your fingers to grip, and a larger area for the red and blue paint that we add to the C and F levers. I believe the new style came out around 2012.

    I also have to disagree with Biagio a little bit on the issue of Lovelands being touchy. Aside from the occasional need to replace a handle that has cracked from many years of use, there’s really nothing that gets out of whack with Lovelands. Harps do need regulation periodically, but the reason is because they are gradually changing shape under the tension of the strings, and the relationships between levers, bridge pins and string lengths are subtly shifting. This throws the levers out of tune, but it usually has nothing to do with the levers themselves. Often, you can regulate a harp without needing to touch the levers at all. (Sorry, I know regulation was not the subject of this thread, but sometimes there’s a lot of mystery around the subject, and I try to clear things up whenever I can!)

    Biagio on #206780

    I fully agree Christy, that the shifting relationship has nothing to do with the quality of Lovelands per se; as I wrote they have been around a long time. However, I think you would agree that the space for the string between the cam, fret and bridge pin is pretty narrow – so a slight shift in the relationship may more likely result in a buzz than it would with some other lever designs. That’s what I mean by “touchier.”

    Usually a slight turn on the bridge pin is all it takes to correct the issue; in my experience this is more frequent with Lovelands than Truitts or Rees (the two other levers that I like). Anyhow, as you and probably everybody here knows by now, I feel that a basic understanding the harp’s design is as fundamental to a player’s learning as is basic technique. And which should include “regulation” whatever the lever design as well as string theory:-)

    I really wish that more teachers would emphasize such things early on; it would save their students a lot of questions!


    christy mooers on #206784

    I see what you were saying, and I agree that it would be wonderful to demystify subjects like regulation, types of strings, lever functions, etc. It’s so rewarding when someone learns that doing their own harp maintenance is not so scary after all!

    balfour-knight on #206785

    Hello, Christy and Biagio, and others on this thread! What good postings! I will say here, that after experiencing Lovelands and Camacs, I much prefer the Camacs. To my ears, they sound better, and they press directly into the strings instead of rubbing and “grinding” on them like the Lovelands do, especially on the bass wire strings and the nylon over nylon wrapped ones. I am so glad that Dusty now provides Camac levers on their wonderful harps!

    Best wishes and harp hugs,

    Biagio on #206896

    Hi all, just a quick note to follow up:

    Maybe Christy was too modest to mention this, but I will. Dusty has a great discussion on levers, regulation, and more on their website. They also offer an excellent kit of tools expressly designed for Loveland maintenance, with an instruction manual to accompany it. To read more on this and related subjects, you might start here:

    After they have been playing for a while, all the harpers that I know have a little toolkit that they carry around everywhere. Typically those include lever tools (specific to their harp), spare strings, eyelets, toggles etc. Many also have David Kolacny’s booklet Troubleshooting Your Lever Harp.


    Veronika on #206923

    What about Delacour levers? Does anyone here have experience with them? My rental harp has Camacs, which are perfectly fine, but I prefer the look of the Delacours and I’m thinking of getting them when I get my own harp. (I tried Lovelands and found them much more difficult to flip than Camacs, but I’m a complete beginner, so that might not be a problem of the levers!)

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