Dampers provide sustain control for the hammered dulcimer, as well as a range of different tonal effects. A dulcimer without dampers is like a piano with the sustain pedal held down - everything rings. Fitting a dulcimer with dampers allows you to stop the ringing by pressing a foot pedal to lower felt-covered bars onto the strings. Dusty Strings dampers are particularly responsive, allowing the player to hold the pedal down for a muted, marimba-like tone, or use light, quick taps to clear sustain between chord changes and to accentuate phrasing, giving tunes a sophisticated, articulate sound. Once experienced, people tell us they'd never go back to playing without dampers.
Our D45 and PD40 models are pre-drilled for dampers, and we offer a do-it-yourself damper kit for those models, or we can install them for you as part of your instrument order. We can install dampers here in our shop on any of our newer Chromatic Series models, but there is enough custom fitting required that we don't offer a kit for field installation. Unfortunately, we cannot install dampers on older chromatic instruments (D500 and D550 before serial #13169 and D300 before serial #13378), or on our 12/11 or Overture models.