Sunday, August 26, 2018

Heading into Fall Hammered Dulcimer Sale! $50.00 off plus FREE SHIPPING on16/15 Phoebe Complete Outfit! Now Through Sept. 30

This offer is for Natural 16/15 Phoebe Complete outfit ordered in August or September 2018.  The regular retail is $599.00, and 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

Electric Hammered Dulcimer

We have been working on this for a year, and it is now ready!  All electric hammered dulcimer with second generation sensors in the side rods.  The dampers are Cimbalom style.  They are ON until you depress the pedal to lift them OFF the strings.  Much more sensitive and intuitive than the regular American type hammered dulcimer dampers.

Check out the video!

There is a world of beautiful sounds out there to explore that can only be made by a hammered dulcimer.  The key of course is what you run the dulcimer through, and your understanding.  In the video, I am using a Marshall tube amp on only the clean channel along with several guitar effects, but you can do this other ways.  A modeling amp with all the effects built in would work great as would an all in one multi effects processor and a basic amp.  All this and more can also be done in the computer with no amp or effects.  Many basic amps also have the most useful effects built in, reverb, chorus and delay are in many amps, so you plug the preamp straight in to the amp and have much of this.

We are ready to start selling these, starting at $1500.00 for dulcimer plus case, hammers, tuning wrench and tuning diagram.  If you don't already have a good mono preamp, we can also supply you with the LR Baggs Paracoustic DI that I highly recommend.  This dulcimer is Cherry and Maple, but we can do them in most any wood.  If you are interested or have any questions whatever, our email is, or just give us a call.  563-571-5296

Chris Foss

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Songbird 16/15 Finch Solid Top complete outfit $549.00 plus FREE SHIPPING

We have been experimenting with how to make a stress free solid top hammered dulcimer.  The top is composed of 7 individual boards connected only with tongue and groove joints and not glued.  It works great, and they are remarkably stable.  The top of this one is quarter sawn Douglas Fir which though unusual, is a recognized tone wood.  It is also beautiful, though a little hard to work with.

Ideas just happen to me, and I believe they come from outside myself, they are just given to me at the right time, and this is one.  This is how it happened.  My aunt, Dottie Raun passed away, and we wanted to go to the funeral, which was scheduled for 8:00 AM in Des Moines, 150 miles away.  So we had to go and stay overnight, and ended up in a real flea bag motel.  The bed was horrible, I wasn't sleeping well, and dreamed this dulcimer.  It was vivid and went on all night.  By the time I got up, I had it all worked out.  Now this wasn't something I was thinking of or working on, or even concerned about, but I knew the idea was worth trying.

The problem with solid wood is it expands or contracts across the grain but not with the grain with changes in humidity.  The rule of thumb in cabinet making is not to glue wood cross grain that is over 8 inches wide or you are asking for trouble.  But we do it in the hammered dulcimer world and sort of get away with it by taking precautions with moisture content of the wood, humidity in the shop, and by using only the most stable woods.  Some also strenuously specify in the guarantee that it is up to the owner to keep their instrument in controlled conditions, necessitating humidifying the house, keeping the instrument from extremes, and if cracks or warping happen, telling the owner it was their fault for not taking proper care of their dulcimer.

The new Finch with the divided top solves that completely.  Each individual board can swell or shrink up to 1/10 inch which isn't enough for you to see in the cracks, but if it was glued solid together, the whole top could move 1/2 inch across the whole width, causing major stress on the instrument.  We've tested it, it works, and they sound great, too.  All the sound holes need to be in the back for strength reasons, but that actually helps the sound anyway.  It is smoother, and projects better.  Check out the video.

At $549.00 for the complete outfit plus free shipping, this one is a deal.  The final model will be $699.00 plus shipping when we put it on the web site later this year.  If you are interested, or have any questions whatever, our email is, or call 563-571-5296.

Thanks for looking!
Chris Foss

BTW:  Lifetime guarantee on this one.  you can take it anywhere you like, and not worry about it.  It'll be fine.  Death Valley?  No problem.  The Amazon?  Ditto.