Prices are for a pair of hammers.
A small but vital link between players and instrument, the hardwood hammers we make in our shop are accurately shaped and meticulously finished in book-matched pairs, guaranteeing an even, well-balanced weight and feel. All our hammers are 9" long. Please note that the wood species can vary from what's shown in the picture!
While each dulcimer comes with a pair of hammers (indicated below), there are many other hammer choices that can give you more versatility and a range of tonal options. Although everyone eventually develops their own favorites, it's nice to have an "arsenal" of options at your disposal for different moods and playing situations.
A good starting point is to pair up the length of the striking surfaces with the string spacing of the dulcimer for the most accurate playing. Hammers #1, 2, 5, 6 and 8 have a slightly shorter striking surface that works well with the slightly narrower 1-1/16" string spacing of our traditional 5th interval models (Prelude/Apprentice, Overture, D10, D45 and PD40). Hammers #3, 4, 7 and 9 have a slightly longer striking surface that matches the wider 1-3/16" string spacing in the chromatic series (D300, D500, D550, D570, D600, D650 and D670).
Striking surface material: More than anything else, the material that actually comes into contact with the strings will determine the overall sound. The choices we offer are hardwood (for a louder, bell-like tone, used in ensemble and outdoor playing situations where you need to be loud), suede leather (for a softer, warmer tone, often used for indoor solo playing), kangaroo leather (for a sound between hardwood and suede leather), or felt (for a very soft, muted tone for quiet practicing, mellow moods or recording).
Weight and stiffness are additional factors that influence hammer performance. In the double-sided hammers, #5, 6 and 8 have a smaller head size, are lighter, and have a narrower, more flexible handle, thus giving a lighter sound. #7 and 9 have a larger head size and a wider, less flexible handle, which transfers more energy to the strings for a generally more powerful sound.
All of this gives you a sense as to why most players end up with a collection of different hammers for different situations and moods. Percussionists typically own many pairs of drumsticks for different sounds and situations. Dulcimer players do too. Just don't put yours in your back pocket!
Our Chromatic Series dulcimers come with large double-sided hammers (#7), the D10, D45 and PD40 come with double-sided oval hammers (#5), and the Prelude, Apprentice and Overture come with single-sided regular hammers (#1).