Really, I couldn’t give any kind of objective reason why one would be better than the other. They are both great harp makers and their harps are all of excellent quality.
Subjectively I like the tone of one of them better than the other, but there are many, many people who would disagree with me.
If the choice is between these two then the only option is for the prospective buyer to actually go and listen to them and decide which one they like the sound of better. That is the real test and no one can tell them what they should like.
But as far as getting a good harp you won’t go wrong with either maker.
That’s fine, but just for the benefit of others reading this thread, it’s quite usual for reputable makers to take back harps if people aren’t satisfied–they wouldn’t stay in business long if they forced people to keep instruments they didn’t like.
Hi, Sharon Thormahlen here and just happened onto this thread so I am replying to the return issue. The first thing I’d like to say is that we don’t want anyone to have to keep a harp they dont like. We want you to love your harp, and if it isn’t meant to be one of ours then that’s OK, someone else will love that harp. We have not had to deal with this issue very often, however, on occasion there has been a harp that was not the right one for a particular person and we took it back. If it had been shipped, then just like the Dusty Strings policy, the shipping amount is subtracted from the refund amount. Dusty Strings sells a lot more than harps so their policy was written from the standpoint of guitars, mandolins, harmonicas, etc. Sometimes it is more worth it to try to sell the instrument locally to another harpist rather than pay the round trip shipping (a loss of $700). That could be a good option. The 5 year warranty would carry over to the new customer. Dusty Strings, to my knowledge, does not do that. I’m sorry that we don’t have it stated as a policy, it is something you have to ask about. We don’t really want to be shipping harps out just for people to try out. Bottom line is, “we want you to love your harp and we hope that it is a Thormahlen.” Feel free to email me with any questions you might have about our harps. firstname.lastname@example.org