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.
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. These instruments are designed to work equally well in all situations. They are not a compromise, one of the best hammered dulcimers money can buy.
As a part of this package you get to choose whether you want a stand for sitting while you play or a stand that you use while standing. If you order a standing stand we need to know how tall you are so your stand can be made to fit you.
The Phoenix package.