Which harp?

  • Participant
    lynda-thompson on #77739

    Hello everyone!

    I am getting ready to buy a harp, but have no opportunity to hear the two i am considering. Does anyone have experience with the Stoney End Brittany, or the Dusty Strings Ravenna?

    I am drawn to the look (Irish shape and nice wood) of the Brittany, but the Ravenna has a slightly greater range and larger size. I intend to play mainly for my own pleasure, so the 22 string range probably wont hold me back much if i go with the Brittany. I owned a Dusty Crescendo in the past, so i have some experience with Dusty Strings, though I’m not sure how the Less expensive Ravenna line would compare.

    I just keep feeling that the Dusty is probably better quality but the Brittany is prettier and i hope someone has heard both.

    Thank you for any opinions!

    Lynda Thompson

    Participant
    lyn-boundy on #77740

    I don’t have enough experience of either harp to be able to give an informed opinion here but I would just say that – all other things being equal – I would always go for the greater number of strings. I started off with a 26 string Harpsicle but soon felt limited and invested in a 34 string Clarsach (because of major back problems, 34 strings are the most I can manage in terms of weight and size for moving around) and now I can’t imagine how I ever coped with only 26 strings.

    Obviously, if you are a very experienced player, you will know whether this is going to bother you but if you are still learning and broadening your repertoire I suspect there might quite quickly come a time when you felt the need to go up a size again and those booming bass notes are irresistable.

    Participant
    lynda-thompson on #77741

    Thanks for the nice reply, Lyn.

    I’m not new to the harp, although i am just an occasional player. I suppose the tone difference between the two harps would be paramount.

    I would be all right with the 22 strings on the Brittany, if the tone was as good quality as the Ravenna. It is so pretty!

    Participant
    susan-ash on #77742

    I agree with Lyn, the harp with more strings would be a good choice. I have a Ravenna and am very happy with the tension and the tone. It holds tuning well also. I can think of no draw backs. It is a lovely, affordable harp. Also I have no problem putting it in the case or carrying it.

    Participant
    Allison Stevick on #77743

    If you get a double-strung Brittany, then your number of strings won’t be limiting, *and* you can have the harp shape you want!
    I haven’t played a Brittany myself, but I spent last summer playing a (borrowed) regular Eve. It was a nice little harp! It didn’t have enough stings for much of what I like to play, but I was used to my full-sized harp. The next small harp I buy will be double-strung. 🙂

    Participant
    lyn-boundy on #77744

    And despite what I already said in my earlier comment, it sounds to me as if you have fallen in love with the Brittany. If that’s the case, you should ignore all of us and follow your heart because nothing else will really do. There may be good practical reasons for wanting a particular make or style but the heart wants what it wants and harps are like wedding dresses (and, come to that, husbands) in that all reason flies out the window when you fall for a particular one.

    When you say you have no opportunity to hear the two to compare, I wonder if anything can be done about that? Whereabouts do you live? Perhaps there is someone nearby who owns one and would let you meet their harp? Perhaps you could even contact the makers or distributors and ask if they might be willing to put you in touch with a former customer? i’m a great believer in finding lateral solutions and I’ve often found that if you are willing to ask the right questions you may well be surprised at the response. Good luck in your search!

    Participant
    lynda-thompson on #77745

    Thank you so much for the kind comments, everyone, i truly appreciate it. I decided to go with the Brittany…i cant stop looking at it!

    Participant
    cecilia-jocose on #77746

    Congratulations Lynda! I would love to hear what you think of the Brittany when you get it. I was originally looking at the Eve at first, and ultimately decided to go with the Even Song. Stoney End makes really pretty instruments. I agree that the Ravenna sounds gorgeous, and did consider it, but I wasn’t in love with its appearance.

    Participant
    lyn-boundy on #77747

    Well, I’m thrilled that you’ve made your choice. Have you now bought your harp or do you have to wait for delivery and, if so, when do you expect it to arrive? You’ve clearly made the right choice for you and I hope you have many years of enjoying this little beauty. Please come back and tell us all about him/her when she/he moves in.

    Participant
    lynda-thompson on #77748

    C.J., is the Even Song pretty in person? I couldnt really tell from the pictures, i thought the sound clip was nice.

    Lyn B., I’m ordering the Brittany next week, I am receiving a long overdue settlement (hooray!) and the harp is my gift to myself. I will certainly update!

    Participant
    cecilia-jocose on #77749

    Lynda, I haven’t seen it in person yet, and am relying on photos right now. I hope to see, (and hear) it soon.

    The Brittany is a beautiful harp, and I will enjoy hearing your impressions!

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