Monday, April 16, 2018

17/16/8 Phoebe Chromatic "Stars". Complete outfit $650.00 plus free shipping

This is another experimental dulcimer. Some of our friends taper the tops of their dulcimers meaning the top is thinner toward the edge than in the center. They believe it makes them more resonant. I like to try everything, so this one has a tapered top, but it didn't make much if any difference in the tone.  It sounds like a normal Phoebe Chromatic.  So I didn't make a video of this one since you can just go to our web site and listen to the video of the Phoebe Chromatic there. 

What it does have is a cool decoration.  The jig to taper the top required a hole in the center of the top which I filled with plastic wood, but it looked ugly.  So I glued a Swarofski crystal over it, it is the big one at the top.  Melanie saw that and said why didn't I put several more there and make it into the little dipper?  I thought heck, why don't I just do both constellations, so I printed a star map off the internet, and that decoration is now Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.  Polaris is the big original one right in the center of the dulcimer and about the right elevation off the bottom rail to be the North Star.  It really sparkles in person.  The big dipper is only a part of Ursa Major, you can see it in the loower center of the photo. 

So this is a cool one of a kind dulcimer with all the durability and functionality of a Phoebe Chromatic.  $650.00 in a complete outfit plus free shipping to the 48 contiguous states.  If you are somewhere else, we can subtract the $35.00 standard shipping charge from whatever your estimate is.  If you are interested, call us at 563-571-5296, or email

Thanks for looking!
Chris Foss

17/16/8 Phoebe Chromatic experimental material complete package $650.00 plus free shipping

When we come upon a new material we like to try it out and see how it works on a hammered dulcimer.  The top and back of this dulcimer are Meranti marine plywood, and it is wonderful material.  No patches, no voids, just premium material and it works just fine for a hammered dulcimer.  It is also pretty, looking vaguely like mahogany.  We probably won't be incorporating it into our line, though.  Too expensive and difficult to source, but now we know. 

At any rate, this is a good dulcimer, have a listen to the video:

$650.00 as a complete outfit with free shipping to anywhere in the 48 contiguous states. If you are somewhere else, we can subtract the $35 standard shipping charge from whatever your shipping quote is.  The complete outfit includes this dulcimer, case, stand of your choice choose standing or sitting, double face hammers, T- handle tuning wrench, electronic tuner, and book/video Mel Bay's You Can Teach Yourself Hammered Dulcimer.

If you are interested in this dulcimer, you'll need to call or email. Our phone is 563-571-5296. Email is

Thanks for looking!
Chris and Melanie

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Spring Into Hammered Dulcimer Sale! $50.00 off plus FREE SHIPPING on16/15 Phoebe Complete Outfit! Now Through April 30

This offer is for Natural 16/15 Phoebe Complete outfit ordered in November or December 2017.  The regular shipping charge is $35.00.  So the total will be $549.00, no tax, no shipping charge.

You can get the particulars on all of our models on the web site,

The total is $549.00 for the outfit with free shipping to anywhere in the 48 continental United States.  To take advantage of this deal, you can place your order on our web site, or you can call us with your order and a credit card number.  Or you can call us or email with your order then put a check in the mail, or I can email you a paypal invoice.  Whichever seems best to you.  

The 16/15 Phoebe is of course the best entry level hammered dulcimer made.  Not only does it sound wonderful (clear as a bell is one of the comments we have heard), but it is durable and with legendary tuning stability.  The link above goes to one being demonstrated, so you can clearly hear how it sounds.

The complete outfit includes everything one should need to learn and play the hammered dulcimer; the instrument, case, the stand of your choice (whether to play seated or standing), good double face hammers, T- handle tuning wrench, Chromatic electronic tuner, and Mel Bay's You Can Teach Yourself Hammered Dulcimer book/ online video.  

If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to email or call.   My cell is 563-571-5296, and Melanie's is 563-260-7877.  The email address is

Chris Foss

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wonderful David Lindsey Bill Spence Edition 16/16 hammered dulcimer $950.00

Our friend Steve Cole asked us to sell this great dulcimer for him.  Steve jams with us every week, and also has one of our smaller and lighter Chickadee Chromatics that he plays.  He's got COPD and is getting short winded and doesn't want to try and drag the bigger dulcimer around any more.  He wants to take the money and buy a 4 wheeler so he can get up and down the bank to the river by his house to fish.  He's a really sweet guy.

If you've been thinking of getting one of these dulcimers, you should jump on this one.  It has a fantastic sound and is utterly stable.  A few nicks, but only cosmetic.  The three string treble gives it more punch, and it is a jam animal! 

This link is to a video of it being played so you can see and hear it in action.

Comes with the case pictured, one set of hammers and a tuning wrench.  The new price of an outfit just like this is $1495.00, so this is a bargain.  This one was built in 2014, so about 4 years old.  $950 plus shipping.  If we had to send it to California, it would probably be over $50.00.  If you are interested, call us.  563-571-5296 is my number.  563-260-7877 is Melanie's.  Or email us at 

Beautiful David Lindsey Bill Spence Edition 16/15 hammered dulcimer $1200.00. Lots of extras

We are selling this lovely dulcimer for our friend Barb Fick who simply decided the hammered dulcimer isn't for her.  Great dulcimer in virtually new condition, includes the case pictured, and adjustable stand, a music holder specifically for dulcimers, 2 pair of hammers, the tuning wrench, and lots of paperwork.  From what we can gather, this one was made in 2011.  Barb bought it from an older lady, and neither of them played it much.

This link is to a video of it being played so you can hear and see it in action.

You would need to pay for shipping, and the stand will come in a separate box.  If we had to ship everything to California, it would be around $75.00.  If you are interested, call us 563-571-5296 is my number.  Melanie's is 563-260-7877.  Or email us at

Chris and Melanie

Monday, January 1, 2018

WINTER BLUES SALE! Free shipping on Phoebe Chromatic Natural Complete Packages now through Feb 28th.

Free shipping, a $35.00 savings now through Feb. 28th!  If you have cabin fever and have been thinking of getting a hammered dulcimer, now is the time!  The free shipping offer applies to anywhere in the 48 contiguous US states.  Anywhere else, contact us for a shipping quote.  We only charge what it costs us to ship to you, and will still deduct the $35.00 savings from your shipping cost.

The Phoebe Chromatic is our best workhorse dulcimer.  Good enough that you may never want to upgrade to something else.  Even though I could play any dulcimer that  I want, it is usually a Phoebe Chromatic that I choose.  There are no dulcimers that are better, only fancier, more highly decorated, or built of more costly woods.  Fully chromatic over 3 octaves, durable, stable, sounds great, you can't buy a dulcimer with this much functionality anywhere else for twice this price.  So if you've been thinking about a good hammered dulcimer for yourself or for a loved one, now is the time!

To take advantage of the sale, you can just go to the Phoebe Chromatic page on the web site and buy it there, I have the site all set for the correct price.  Or you can email us with your order and I can email you a paypal invoice, Or you can call us with your order and a credit card number, Or you can call or email and then put a check in the mail, whichever seems best to you.

If you have any questions whatever, feel free to contact us either by phone or email.  The web site is  email is  My phone is 563-571-5296, and Melanie's is 563-260-7877

Chris Foss

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Electrified Dulcimers

I have always believed that the right way to amplify a hammered dulcimer is with a microphone.  This will still be true in many cases, but in situations like church bands with high sound pressures from electric guitars, drums, etc, it is difficult to get enough volume to be heard without feedback.  I have been working on how to properly amplify a hammered dulcimer with installed pickups and have it worked out.  The above photo is of my totally electric test bed dulcimer.  This is an early photo, and shows a couple Schatten pickups clamped on.  Since then I have worked out how to make a better set of pickups, and where to install them, both on the above dulcimer and inside normal acoustic dulcimers.  The key is don't put them on the top or back.  There will be at least two sweet spots somewhere on the rail set that will produce good warm acoustic sound with little feedback.  They sound just great and at high volumes!  Plus, now that we have an electric signal, it can be modified in many ways for cool new sounds never before heard.  The wonderful world of guitar effects pedals is wide open to us!  Exploring what can be done is so much fun!  I intend to make a video on this when I get some time.

We are ready to start installing pickup systems in dulcimers.  In new dulcimers where we can install the system as we are building them, the charge will be $150.00.  There will be two pickups wired to a stereo jack.  We have found that this type pickup works best if the signals from each is preamped separately.  The best preamp is the Schatten Mini Pre 2 which has internal gain adjustment and two separate gain knobs one for each pickup.  You can set the output of each pickup for best balance and sound.  We are a dealer for Schatten, and can supply you with the preamp plus a 3' stereo patch cord for $100.00.  The output jack on the preamp is mono, so just a standard guitar cord from there into an amp or into the house sound system.  The pre amp doesn't have any tone controls, but the sound coming from the dulcimer is good enough that it doesn't need it.  It is warm and rich as is.  The amp or house sound will have enough tone control if the sound needs changing a little.

We can also retrofit pickup systems into any Songbird dulcimer, so if you want to ship us your dulcimer, we can do it for $150.00 plus return shipping.  It will involve making an access port in the back of the dulcimer which will be then covered with an inlaid screw on access plate.  So a new hole in your dulcimer, but covered so it doesn't change the resonance.  The jack will be on the far left of the lower rail, out of your way for playing.

If you are thinking about a small amp for electric playing, I recommend an acoustic guitar amp.  They produce the widest range of frequencies and have more headroom so they won't distort (unless you want them to).  You will want to make sure your amp has a LINE OUT jack on it for connecting to house sound.  Also, if you want to play around with effects pedals (too much fun) the amp should have an effects loop (2 jacks, effects send and return).

We will eventually make a page for the web site with all this and buy now buttons, etc., but until then, if you are interested you'll have to contact us directly.  email  Phone 563-571-5296