LIke many of us, I feel my beloved 36 Dusty getting heavier each year, and I’m considering buying a carbon fiber (Heartland) or hybrid (Blevins) instrumenet for gigs. However, on any of these instruments I’ve tried out (which is not many) the tone is just not nearly as rich or satisfying as my maple Dusty. I’m wondering if anyone has found a lighter weight instrument, either carbon fiber or hybrid, that satisfies for sound production. (And I’m looking for a 36 harp - I need all those notes!) I well know that judging an instrument’s sound quality is a subjective decision - but i’m interested in others’ experiences.
Lori, you may have to compromise on sound with a carbon fiber harp. Even considering it were possible to duplicate the amazing -to us- Dusty sound in fiber reinforced plastic, and it may be, there are lots and lots of harpers out there that consider us heretics, and look upon our harps with horror. Long ago, Ray and Sue sought to build a harp that could fight it out with a hammered dulcimer and win. The awesome power and presence of an FH36S in bubinga, with the sparkle and speed of its upper register and bass like summer thunder that could drown out an entire bluegrass band, just isn’t what is being designed for.
Nothing will sound like a Dusty! But IMHO the carbon fiber harps sound as good as or better than most of the other brands that are made in wood. And they are SO easy to sit at, to play and to carry.
Lori, I felt like my harp was gaining a couple of pounds each year. I did buy a carbon fiber and yes, the tone isn’t as rich. However, my back likes it much more, I LOVE having the strings and it stays in tune and is quite tough. I take it camping and when I travel. I have found that it took me a while to get used to the sound, but now, I’m very happy with it!