This was an 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, in other words strong and clear. Have a listen, the link is to a video of it being played. This is a very good dulcimer.
Besides great sound, playability and tuning stability it has 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. That's why I am calling it "True North". The big dipper is only a part of Ursa Major, you can see it in the loower center of the photo.
The sound holes are all in the back of this dulcimer, there are six all together. On our standard dulcimers, there are four sound holes in the back as well as the two in the top. The exact location of the sound holes is less important than the total area. We also believe that dulcimers sound just a little better with all the holes in the back. They project better as well since the sound is bouncing off the floor toward the listeners. The balance is better for the player since there is no boominess coming out the sound holes toward them.
So this is a cool one of a kind dulcimer with all the durability and functionality of a Phoebe Chromatic. $600.00 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for looking!