Like I have said in other places, the Phoebe is one of my favorite dulcimers, for all the right reasons. It sounds great, is amazingly durable, stays in tune, and is utterly reliable. I was thinking one day that the only thing that kept us from being able to make a really… seriously… reasonably priced fully chromatic three bridge extended range hammered dulcimer was the bridges. Chromatic bridges have angled holes drilled in them, and are very time consuming. That thought process led to a new and better way to make bridges, and eventually to building the first Songbird 17/16/8 Phoebe Chromatic.
The Phoebe Chromatic is built on the same body as the regular Phoebe with the same reliable Baltic Birch ply top and back, and with the new bridges. It has its own unique sound with clear trebles, and rich bass. The old round sound holes didn’t look right next to the new bridges with the square notches, so I applied the five sided sound hole that came to me many years ago in a dream. All the lines of these sound holes either follow or are perpendicular to other lines of the dulcimer, and are carefully placed to match each other and the dulcimer they are on, so the design is much more unified.
This is a true break through both in construction, and price. There is nothing at all similar on the market. It is now possible for you to buy a fully chromatic, extended range dulcimer in a complete package, WITH dampers for less than $1,000! The full functionality of a chromatic, with deep, low notes on the extended range bridge, the durability and tuning stability of a Phoebe, and great sound all at prices for us normal folks. You won’t find a better dulcimer anywhere, just different… and more expensive. This is the only dulcimer you will ever need. The Phoebe Chromatic is 42″ long, 19″ wide and will weigh about 17 pounds.
Like I have also said in other places, I believe in plywood. One thing that building over 8,000 dulcimers has taught me for sure is that plywood is a good choice for the top and back of hammered dulcimers. Solid wood shrinks and swells with changes in humidity. Full width solid wood tops and backs glued fast cross grain to pin blocks are asking for trouble. We’ve all done it for many years, but it isn’t reliable. Also, the anti-plywood bias that is fed by the guitar industry is mostly mythology, and all about money. The more exotic the wood the instrument is made from, the more money they can charge for a guitar made from it. Doesn’t mean it will sound any better. And dulcimers every bit as beautiful and good sounding can be made from plywood as from solid.
We have many finishing options, so you can have a true custom dulcimer. The two standard Phoebe finishes, natural or brown stained will be available on shorter notice. But if you want a really distinctive dulcimer, think about ordering one with one of our “Art” finishes.
Click here to learn more about “Art” finishes and to view samples
||44 × 20 × 6 in
Art Finish, Brown, Natural
Availability: We are a small Mom and Pop enterprise, and can’t have everything we make in stock all the time. We should have all of the accessories and small items all of the time. We also try to keep natural Phoebe and Chickadee dulcimers around all of the time. But other finishes or higher end models will be hit or miss. We build dulcimers 6 of each model at a time to get the economy of scale, so if we have them, we have them, if not, it could be a month or two depending on where we are in our cycle. If you have a deadline, please contact us for availability of what you are thinking of getting before placing the order.
Shipping Info: A shipping calculator with all the functionality would cost us big money, so we opted to use the basic and reliable Paypal checkout system and include a reasonable average shipping cost on the price of each item. If you order multiple items to ship in the same package, we will refund the extra via Paypal.
International Shipping: Our standard shipping amount is for shipments to the lower 48 United States. We can ship internationally, but not to everywhere. Our packages must go via US Postal Service to be as economical as possible. It depends on the rules of the receiving country what size package they will accept. In general most European countries are OK. Also Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. If you are wondering, you can check yourself on the Post Office website. Our most common package is 44 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 6 inches thick for a total length plus girth of 104 inches. They weigh 33 pounds. This should be enough info to get you a quote. You can always contact us for a quote, too.
Payment Info: We have been using Paypal for years, and believe it is the safest online way to pay. You don’t need to have an account with them to use our Paypal checkout system, and best of all, we never need to know your credit card or bank details. Of course, we still like checks best since they don’t cost us money to process! If you want to send us one in the mail, we would greatly appreciate it! Just don’t use the shopping cart, and contact us directly with your order, and we’ll work out the total and details. You can also call us directly with a credit card number for payment.
Dealers: When possible, it is always best to go see and try out an instrument before buying. You can also get the input of a knowledgeable sales person. A good dealer will have in stock several different models of hammered dulcimer. Some will even have instruments from different makers, and it is very educational to see and hear the difference.
We have many trusted dealers all over the country that we have been working with for many years. We consider these folks close friends, and would not hesitate to recommend them to you. Contact us and we can put you in touch with someone near you.