PLEASE READ - our COVID-19 status

To our Dusty Strings community,

After ten weeks of working as best we could from home, we are relieved to be back in our workshop and office now! We have really appreciated everyone's patience so far, and we hope you'll continue to be patient with us as we resume our "normal" operations with a very limited capacity and an irregular schedule. Our first priority has to be the health of our employees and our community, and we are carefully following all of the safety practices recommended and required by the state of Washington. Within those limitations, we are doing the best we can to answer the phones and to respond to orders and emails, and we're grateful for your understanding if it takes us longer than usual to get back to you!

String & Accessory Orders

We should be able to fill most orders for strings and accessories within a few days. At this point, we don't expect any significant delays, but we will let you know if we think it will be more than a week before your order ships.

Mail Service Disruptions

If you are trying to place an order through our website for shipping outside of the US and you receive a "no shipping options available" message, that means that the United States Postal Service is not currently accepting mail for delivery to your country. We are sorry that we do not have any way to get around this, and we hope you can wait until the situation improves!

Instrument Orders

We have resumed building and shipping instruments and would love to answer questions or talk with you about placing an order! If your dream instrument is not in stock, we can make an educated guess about how long it will take us to build it, but please allow some extra time for surprises. We are still adjusting to our limited capacity and safety restrictions.

We sincerely appreciate your support during these uncertain times. It is hard to be a small business in the best of times, and this is a challenge on a scale we haven't faced in our 40 years, so we want you to know that both your continuing interest and your words of encouragement mean a lot to us!

PD40

PD40

Overview

  • 3½ octaves
  • fully chromatic
  • piano dulcimer tuning
  • solid sapele soundboard and back

Diagram showing how to find a C major scale on the piano dulcimerThe piano dulcimer represents a great new concept in the dulcimer world - an affordable and simple way to bring the unique sound of the dulcimer into any keyboard player's realm, whether it's in a church, band, soundtrack, composer's studio, at home or around the campfire. Invented by long-time hammered dulcimer designer and builder Sam Rizzetta and based on the piano keyboard, it's a compact, fully chromatic instrument.

The tuning pattern uses half-step intervals across the bridge. Each course of strings crosses two markers on the top of the bridge, with white markers designating the naturals, or C major scale, and black markers designating the sharps and flats, just like on a piano. To play a C scale, just follow the white markers up the instrument. The sharps and flats are where a keyboard player would expect to find them - next to the naturals. Once you learn the pattern for any scale, it's easy to change keys, since all the scales follow the same pattern or a mirror pattern.

Solid wood construction, 3½ fully chromatic octaves, a convenient size, a deep, rich tone, and an attractive price all come together in the PD40 piano dulcimer. An innovative feature is that the dulcimer is "damper ready," meaning that dampers can be installed when the instrument is ordered, or easily installed by the player at any time. Dampers provide sustain control and greatly increase the versatility of the instrument.

PD40: $1395 (includes gooseneck tuning wrench, double-sided oval hammers and owner's guidebook)

PD40 Damper Package: $1935 (includes above accessories, plus C45 case and dampers installed)

Compare Dulcimer Models

Complete Price List

How to Order

Options

Black soundboard shows off the strings and bridges Black Soundboard (binding must also be ordered)

Price: $130
Decorative edge binding around the soundboard

Binding and Purfling

Price: $275

Felt-covered damper bars allow the player to control the instrument's sustain

Dampers

Price: $425

Padded carrying case in burgundy fabric with black handles

Padded carrying case

Price: $215

Options for supporting your hammered dulcimer include this folding wooden stand Variety of stand and leg choices

Tuning & Specifications

Range

The PD40 has three bridges arranged in the piano dulcimer format. It is fully chromatic for its 3½ octave range, with bridge cap markers that mimic the pattern of white and black keys on the piano. The overall range is G2 to D6.

Tuning and Strings

String and tuning chart for PD40 piano-style hammered dulcimerSuperscript numbers indicate octaves (C4 is middle C). Dots indicate marked courses. PB = phosphor bronze. PBW = phosphor bronze wound. Unspecified strings are plain steel. * indicates a single-string course. Wire gauges are shown in inches.

Click here for downloadable string charts and string ordering information.

Dimensions

  • Hammered dulcimer drawing with top and bottom rails labeledBottom rail: 42 inches
  • Top rail: 19½ inches
  • Height: 17¾ inches
  • Thickness: 4 inches
  • Weight: approx. 14 pounds

Woods

  • Soundboard and back: solid sapele
  • Pinblocks and rails: eastern hard maple
  • Bridges and soundhole inserts: eastern hard maple

Compare specifications

Reviews

Reviews & Testimonials

1 Review(s)

  • Elena
    Feb 22, 2020
    I had been dreaming to buy a hammered dulcimer since long ago, and I feel so lucky now to have one! I've been searching for a chromatic instrument which would give me an opportunity to play in many pitches. I also needed a wide range to play low bass strings.
    So I chose Dusty Strings :) I just fell in love with my new PD 40 at once when it arrived, it looks splendid and sounds so amazing!! I think it's the finest instrument I've ever had.
    My greatest thanks to all the people who helped me with my order, who spent so much time writing to me, who really cared!! Thank you for the most positive buying experience :)

"The PD40 is very intuitive for pianists. The only hard part is getting used to the fact that some degrees of the scale are on the same string, only across the bridge. Other that that, it is immediately understandable. Because you must cross the bridge so often, you have to work out hammer patterns, but that is essentially the same as working out fingering on the piano. You cannot find a teacher, but if you are a pianist, you do not need one, just practice playing songs you know, and you will improve automatically. I am more than satisfied with this instrument. If you are a pianist, especially if you are a pop or jazz pianist, THIS IS THE DULCIMER TO BUY!"

-Mack Garner (Maryville, TN)

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