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 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 my Civli War dulcimer) the one I always play is one of the first Phoebes from years ago. It has been everywhere with me, playing many jobs and venues. Twice it has been in the National Championship Hammered Dulcimer contest held every September at Winfield, KS, and it has made it to the finals once. It sounds just great! I take it for all the reasons listed above. It is durable, sounds wonderful, and most of the time when I get it out of the case, it is in tune. It is my favorite personal instrument.
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, and 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 one color. Natural with Walnut rails and bridges. Or stained Walnut color with our proprietary red-brown stain.
Prices listed below do not include shipping fees.
|Phoebe Dulcimer (natural)
|Phoebe Dulcimer (brown stained)
Complete Package learn more >>
Complete package includes: dulcimer, case, stand, electronic tuner, hammers, tuning wrench, book
|Phoebe Dulcimer (natural) Package
|Phoebe Dulcimer (brown stained) Package
Availability: We are a small Mom and Pop enterprise, and can't have everything we make in stock all the time. We try to keep the Phoebe in stock all the time. 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. This year it is $25 for dulcimers or complete packages. If you order multiple items, we will refund the extra via Paypal.
Payment Info: We believe PayPal is the safest online option for payments. You don't need a PayPal account to use our checkout system. 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.