If you are just starting to explore the hammered dulcimer, it is likely that you, too, have been intrigued by the contagious energy and obvious fun of playing. Our founders, Ray and Sue Mooers, first saw a hammered dulcimer being played in 1977. The shimmering sound was unlike anything they had heard before – it ignited in them a strong desire to create that sound themselves. Out of that came Dusty Strings and many challenging and satisfying years of building, playing, sharing, teaching, designing, tinkering, and refining. We invite you to join the family of Dusty Strings players who have enjoyed learning the dulcimer – from first-time musicians to experienced multi-instrumentalists. If you’re already a seasoned dulcimer player, we welcome and appreciate your detailed look at our eleven different models.
We hope you will join those who’ve experienced first hand our long-held reputation for high quality woodworking, innovation, great tone, and excellent customer support. In short, for making hammered dulcimers that are beautiful to look at and a pleasure to own and play.
Why choose a Dusty Strings dulcimer?
Dusty Strings builds a number of hammered dulcimer models. They differ in size, materials and bracing methods, and each offer their own benefits – from the affordable laminated-soundboard Prelude with a sweet, balanced sound and easy portability, to the substantial and incredibly lush-sounding 4 ½ octave D650. While the size and materials always affect the ultimate sound, overall we have chosen to build a sound that has a controlled sustain and is strong on the fundamental tone so that it carries well. As players, designers and builders since 1979, we believe this serves the widest possible range of playing styles the best.
Dan Landrum with his D650
on stage with Yanni
It means you can play hard, or play a strong, fast-tempo piece, without losing note definition and balance of sound. A slow ballad is supported by the rich, deep bass which is evenly balanced with the mid and treble range. We believe it is for these reasons that our D650, from the chromatic series, was chosen by Dan Landrum to travel worldwide and play in huge performance venues with Yanni’s orchestra. The D25, which was the predecessor to our D45, was chosen by Rich Mullins to play in his many performances and recordings. Many others have told us over the years that they appreciate the smooth clarity, strong bass and reliable tuning stability of their Dusty Strings dulcimer.
Helping you choose the right dulcimer is one of our primary goals. We have a couple of PDF downloads you might find useful: Deciding Which Dulcimer Model to Choose and Hammered Dulcimer Comparison Chart.