We believe the 16/15 Phoebe is the best sounding, most reliable, full size entry level hammered dulcimer on the market today. The top and back are of a high tech laminated material called Baltic Birch which is made in Russia. It is 7 thin plys of solid Birch with almost no voids, and is ultra durable and stiff…. perfect for the application. There are few other panels in the world that would work under the tremendous string tension of a hammered dulcimer, and most of them are unreasonably priced.
Since the material is so solid, it makes this dulcimer stay in tune better than almost any other instrument we have tried. For the beginner, tuning is the most daunting obstacle, not really difficult, but at first it seems so. If the dulcimer is out of tune, it is unpleasant to play, and if tuning it seems like a big project, one sometimes gives up, and just doesn’t play. Our theory is that a dulcimer that is in tune gets played more, and the player makes much faster progress. Learn to play first, and tuning will become easier with time. We have proven this theory over and over having introduced many thousands of people to the dulcimer with our instruments. This is why we strongly recommend the 16/15 Phoebe to most folks interested in the hammered dulcimer, especially those that aren’t already accomplished on other instruments
But the Phoebe isn’t just for beginners. It is good enough to do almost anything musically a dulcimer player might want to do. Unless there is a specific reason to use a different instrument (like testing out some experimental dulcimer in public) I am always playing some version of the Phoebe or other for all the right reasons. They are durable, stable, sound great, and are utterly reliable.
All of our instruments are designed to have a “middle of the road” sound. They are realtively low “sustain”, but with enough of that brightness to sound good like a hammered dulcimer should. They work equally well playing fast fiddle tunes, or slower hymns in church. An instrument with high sustain will start to sound “muddy” when playing faster melodies, the notes will muddle together until it is hard to hear clearly. However these same dulcimers can sound wonderful when playing slow melodic songs. On the other hand, a very low sustain dulcimer can work just great for fast songs, but sound dead on slower ones; there’s too much space between the notes. All our instruments are designed to work equally well in all situations. They are not a compromise, but we firmly believe we are making the best hammered dulcimers money can buy.
So unless you decided for some reason you wanted a different dulcimer later, like you wanted a Chromatic dulcimer, or you wanted more decorations, you might never need to get another hammered dulcimer. This is the one model that we really believe will last into the next century. Your grandkids could be still playing and enjoying it. It is that good.
We make the Phoebe in two colors. Natural with Walnut rails and bridges. Or stained Walnut color with our proprietary red-brown stain. The Phoebe is 42″ long, 19″ wide and will weigh about 17 pounds
||44 × 24 × 6 in
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.