Monday, September 12, 2016


Dusty Strings makes three lines of harps; the Ravenna series, the Allegro/Crescendo series and the FH series. The biggest differences between these three lines are the woods used, sound and price. The solid-wood design of the FH series will offer the most volume, resonance and clarity of tone of the three designs, however the Ravenna and Allegro/Crescendo series are pretty amazing on their own merits.

The Ravenna 34 (shown left) and Crescendo 34 (shown right) are part of Dusty Strings' low and mid-range priced instruments. Both models offer a good quality, well made, well designed harp with an excellent range and sound. Those looking for an affordable, portable and beautiful sounding instrument will be pleased with either model.

There are important design differences that Dusty Strings intentionally made with the Ravenna and Crescendo models, so if you are looking to purchase either, it is worth taking time to compare the two.

Note range, similar height and weight. And both models are made using the same high-quality hardware and wood working techniques as Dusty Strings' higher-end FH series.

Note range is the same with both models, the highest note being 1st octave A, going down to 6th octave C. Standard stringing is mono filament nylon, wrapped nylon and wrapped bronze/nylon bass strings. Both models offer lever gut stringing at an additional cost. (Note: as well, Dusty Strings Boulevard 34 model has the same body structure as the Ravenna 34, designed to be strung with pedal harp gut strings.)

Very similar in size. Fitted with the attachable base and 4" legs, the Ravenna 34 harp stands at approximately 54" high and weighs close to 24 lbs. Its soundboard width is 14". Fitted with the removable base and 5" legs, the Crescendo 34 harp stands at approximately 53" high and weighs close to 23 lbs. Its soundboard width is 13.5".

Primarily, woods used and method of construction. Dusty Strings uses clever time-saving construction techniques for both models which allows these harps to be priced at a great value and still be mindful of Dusty's beautiful design and characteristic bell-like tone.

The Ravenna 34 is crafted with a solid ash neck and pillar, laminated European birch sound box and soundboard, with an ash wood-like grained vinyl veneer.
A streamlined method of construction minimizes hands-on work, allowing production costs to be cut considerably. The end result is a low-cost favorable, super-playable instrument.

The construction of the Crescendo 34 is streamlined by using a laminated birch soundboard with bound edges. The neck, back, and sides however are made of solid sapele wood. The addition of solid wood sides and back, along with Dusty's featured "hybrid-stave" sound box construction, makes the Crescendo 34 an excellent, resonant mid-priced instrument.

The Ravenna 34 sound is characterized by a warm, strong bass and clear treble. The Crescendo 34 has a clear, bright treble with a deep, resonant bass.

Typically, harps made with more solid wood have more resonance, clarity, depth and richness of tone than harps made of laminated wood. A laminated wood however helps reduce stress and adds stability to an instrument (super important!). Solid wood allows an instrument to flex and grow with consistent playing, which develops tone. So by nature of their construction, the Crescendo 34 design will give you more resonance and clarity compared to the all-laminated sound box of the Ravenna 34.

Dusty Strings took great thought in creating the Ravenna and Allegro/Crescendo lines. They were designed specifically to be as affordable as possible without sacrificing any of Dusty's high quality standards.

You can't go wrong with either a Ravenna 34 or a Crescendo 34.You will have a wonderful experience playing either, so just consider your needs. Which model financially, would best serve you right now? Then, go with what you like best and what sounds best to you.

For any questions or thoughts, contact HILA. We love to talk harp.
Ravenna series link
Allegro & Crescendo series link
Boulevard 34 link

No comments: