8 Best Mountain Dulcimer Reviews 2018 – Best Dulcimer Brands

Best Mountain Dulcimer & Best Mountain Dulcimer Brands

Best Mountain Dulcimer & Best Mountain Dulcimer Brands

Dulcimer was basically developed in the early 19th century and this simple stringed instrument is considered a part of zither family instrument. Some people believe that this instrument was developed in the mountains of Appalachia and its roots are connected to the ancient lyre. The meaning of the word "Dulcimer" is sweet sound and many people believe that it looks like a guitar but it is actually a very different instrument.

The shape of the dulcimer is like an hour glass and there are different varieties available in dulcimer that includes three to eight strings. The strings of the dulcimer can be picked as a guitar but some players play it with a bow like a violin.

What are the Best Dulcimer to Buy?

2) Roosebeck Grace Mountain Dulcimer 

  • 4-String
  • Great Sound
  • Solid Sheesham
  • Light Fretboard

1) Seagull Merlin Mahogany SG Dulcimer Guitar 

Seagull Merlin Mahogany SG Dulcimer
  • High Quality
  • Popular Choice
  • Rock maple Neck
  • Great for All

3) Applecreek ACD100 Dulcimer

Applecreek ACD100 Dulcimer
  • Affordable
  • Beautiful Design
  • Well-crafted
  • Comfortable playing
  • All Wood

Its multiple ranges make it a good musical instrument and this instrument can be used in folk, classic, jazz, gospel and even in rock and roll music. Earliest versions of dulcimer were made up of poplar and they were readily available and easy to work with. There were walnut, cherry and maple made versions as well because these woods were common in the twentieth century.

Dulcimers are one of the most beautifully handcrafted instrument and it is quite easy to see why people consider it as an individual work of art. The sound that its holes produces often resembles various objects such as animals and flowers.

However, the strumming pattern plays a vital role in the sound. Keep it close to your body or position it on your lap but make sure that the instrument is stable and well balanced. This will not tilt the instrument while strumming and you can easily play alternate patterns and can create special rhythms and unique sounds. There are few factors that you have to consider while buying the instrument. 

Dulcimer buying guide

Wood

The first thing that you have to see while buying a dulcimer is its wood. There are two types of wood used to make dulcimer. One is solid wood while the other one is ply wood. To find whether it is a solid wood dulcimer or a plywood dulcimer you can look at the exposed edges of the instrument.

Sound board can be used to determine the wood of the dulcimer. The one that is made up of solid wood will have smooth edges and will have the same wood grain on the rest of the piece of wood. But if the edges are rough and there are visible layers on the wood then it is plywood made dulcimer.

Some other woods used in the manufacturing of dulcimer are walnut, cherry and cedar and you can research what is best for your use. Quality of construction is another factor that you have to keep in mind while purchasing the instrument. The construction decides the quality of sound that it will produce.

The wood joints need to be tight and there should no gap and glue showing up. All parts need to be centred and symmetrical and the wood used to be crack free and the finishing has to be of the top quality as well.

Although price is another factor that needs to be considered while purchasing the instrument but for the beginners, it is advised to pick a medium range dulcimer and once learned they can switch to a professional instrument.

You can get a well-made cardboard or ply wood dulcimer for hundred dollars. It is advised to check the sound quality, construction and intonation before buying the instrument.

8 Best Dulcimer Reviews and the Best Dulcimer Brands

Following are some of the dulcimer models that we have reviewed for dulcimer buyers. These are some of the popular models available in the market. Read our expert reviews and decide which one is better for you.

1) Seagull Merlin Mahogany SG Dulcimer Guitar Natural

Seagull Merlin Mahogany SG Dulcimer

Seagull is one of the leading manufacturing company of dulcimer in the market and such models are the reason why it is leading the industry. This another top quality dulcimer from Seagull with a solid mahogany top.

With a rock maple and string through body, you can enjoy all the pleasure that you can expect from a premium dulcimer. The neck of the dulcimer is also made up of rock maple and design of the neck is of drive-through shaped.

The quality of the sound that this dulcimer produced is of top quality and many professionals are also using it. Beginners can also consider this model as this can be played even without the pick and it will produce a beautiful sound each time.

Advanced players can also use sticks as this instrument will provide them with the control that they look at a premium dulcimer model. It is an easy to tune and well-built instrument available at a great price. That is why it is a recommended dulcimer model for the users.

2) Roosebeck Grace Mountain Dulcimer 4-String Vaulted Fretboard Spruce F-Holes

This is one of the newest addition to the Roossebeck dulcimers line and they have loaded it with a lot of features. The lighter fretboard installed in the dulcimer makes it easy to hold and it produces more vibrations and hence results in better sound quality.

The instrument has an hourglass shape and all the parts of the dulcimer that includes body, net neck bridge and fret are made up of solid Sheesham. There are 4 tuners and two melody string and even the traditional tunes can be played with ease on this instrument. All you have to do is to tune according to the music that you want to play.

There are some accessories included in the pack as well that includes picking, note and owner’s guide. Most of the traditional dulcimers have 3 strings, one for melody, one is the middle and one is for the bass.

This model has changed the string spacing and has doubled the melody string. But there is an option to remove the doubled melody string and to revert it to a traditional setup.

3) Applecreek ACD100 Dulcimer

Applecreek has introduced an affordable stringed dulcimer for the professionals that are beautifully designed and well crafted. As mentioned above that construction can play a vital role in the quality of sound and this is one of the best-constructed dulcimers on our list.

The back, top and sides of the instrument are laminated with spruce and there is a hard case shell that can help the owner to protect the instrument and to use it for a long time.

The neck and finger board are made of maple though but they are purposely made with this hard wood. The string of the dulcimer can therefore easily glide over the maple and the sound of the instruments then spreads beautifully in the air.

It is a recommended dulcimer for the professional and advanced players. Even hanged with the strip or placed in a lap, the dulcimer provides a very strong grip.

Due to its perfect construction and material, you can expect soothing sounds from this dulcimer. Those who are looking for a combination of good appearance and excellent quality should consider this dulcimer.

4) Seagull Merlin SG Dulcimer Guitar Bundle with Seagull Gig Bag and Strings

This Seagull dulcimer that is very popular in the market these days. This is basically a small sized dulcimer and it is also made in Canada. There are 4 strings in the instrument and because of its small size it is fun to play this acoustic dulcimer.

Although it is small in size but it is big in fun. This small model from Seagull has a solid mahogany top that offers full range of sound and projection. The fret board installed in the dulcimer is easy to understand and learn and beginners can consider it for the learning purposes. The fret board is designed in such a way that any level of player can use it for their purposes.

This is one of the stable dulcimers available in the market and the reason behind its stability is its rock maple neck and body. Not only it makes it a stable instrument but it also gives it an impressive tone. The only drawback of this dulcimer can be its size but its size doesn’t affect the quality of sound.

5) Seagull M4 Merlin Natural Mahogany Dulcimer 039098

Many dulcimer players claim that this is a must-have product and dulcimer lovers should buy this model in order to avoid disappointment. This is a Canadian made 4 string acoustic dulcimer and it is very portable as well. T

he merlin is designed for the people of all ages as it creates an environment of joy while playing the instrument. One of the eye-catching features of this dulcimer is its natural satin finish. It gives a very premium look to the model and because of its drive-through rock maple neck and maple fingerboard, it is quite soothing for the fingers as well.

The current users of this dulcimer are very much satisfied with the built quality and sound. This Seagull marlin dulcimer has a solid mahogany top and rock maple body. This makes this instrument a top quality dulcimer and to keep the dulcimer safe from the environment there is a gig bag and polishing cloth available as well.

Because of its firm quality and natural sound, it is a recommended dulcimer for beginners and for professionals as well. Although there are multiple dulcimers with a lot of capabilities as well but this model is available at a very competitive price. This makes it a recommended dulcimer for the interested people.

6) Roosebeck DMCRT4 4-String Cutaway Mountain Dulcimer, F-Hole Openings and Scrolled Pegbox

We recommend Roosebeck DMCRT4 for the beginners as it is easy to use and learn and it produces good sound as well. The reason why it is not recommended for the professionals and advanced players is because its construction is not of top quality and the fingering on this instrument are inverted from the normal style.

This is one of the missing links between traditional dulcimers and this model. The back side and fret board of this model is made up of rosewood which is good in quality but not considered as excellent. In case you want this instrument to produce more soothing tunes, it is recommended to use branded strings.

The price of the dulcimer is on the high side as well and when compared to the features it is not that competitive. The accessories included with the dulcimer are F hole openings and scrolled peg box. There is no case to protect the instrument so you have to buy a bag separately for the dulcimer.

7) Appalachian APD-1 Dulcimer Pickin’ Pac

Appalachian dulcimer is for those who are looking for a quality dulcimer under a budget. It is not a recommended dulcimer for the professional but beginners can consider it for their use.

The top of the dulcimer is made up of spruce and the back of the instrument is of maple. The sides of the instrument are also made up of maple and there is a mahogany fingerboard installed in this dulcimer.

Although Appalachian is not a known name in the market but because of its accuracy and easy to tune features, we recommend it for the beginners. Professional on the other side will not get satisfied with the quality of sound is on the low side.

There are multiple accessories included in the pack such as gig bag, adjustable strap, picks, pitch pipes and even the instructional DVDs. But there are some other models available in this price range that can offer better sound quality than this.

Those who are interested in learning a dulcimer by themselves can consider this model as it comes with the instructional DVDs and you don’t have to pay extra for those.

8) Johnson FI-220 Lap Dulcimer

Johnson FI-220 Lap Dulcimer is a very well designed dulcimer model from Johnson as it has decorative heart-shaped sound holes on the body. Along with the design, it is also a dulcimer of good quality. This dulcimer model is bringing the Appalachian mountain music to everyone at a low price.

There are four strings in this dulcimer and the body of the instrument is made up of mahogany. The size of the dulcimer is not very large which makes it an easy to transport instrument. There is a custom case available with the pack as well that further contributes to the ease of transportation of the instrument.

There is a 15 fret finger board in the dulcimer and with a scale length of 26 ½, it is an easy to play the instrument. Not only the beginners but even professional can consider it for their use.

There is a life time warranty available on the product which suggests that it is made up of top quality and can be considered for long-term use. Some retailers also offer 7 days return policy which makes it even a better deal to consider.

Choosing the Best Dulcimer from the Best Dulcimer Brands

Dulcimers are one of the famous instruments that people like to hear and play. Although after the invention of guitars, the use of dulcimers has decreased but it is still one of the best instrument to be used in multiple music genres.

2) Roosebeck Grace Mountain Dulcimer 

  • 4-String
  • Great Sound
  • Solid Sheesham
  • Light Fretboard

1) Seagull Merlin Mahogany SG Dulcimer Guitar 

Seagull Merlin Mahogany SG Dulcimer
  • High Quality
  • Popular Choice
  • Rock maple Neck
  • Great for All

3) Applecreek ACD100 Dulcimer

Applecreek ACD100 Dulcimer
  • Affordable
  • Beautiful Design
  • Well-crafted
  • Comfortable playing
  • All Wood

The dulcimer is an addictive instrument for both listener and player and that is why the demand for these instruments are still very high. Above are some of the dulcimer models that can be considered by the professionals and beginners depending upon their usage but you can research yourself as well and get one for yourself that you think is perfect for you.

What actually matters is the satisfaction of the user. Although professionals and advanced players can play good music on multiple instruments but beginners will take time to learn. That is why they should stick with a basic model unless they can play the instrument without any guidance.

You can start learning to play the dulcimer today and all you have to do is to pick the dulcimer that is perfect for your needs and wallet. Make sure that the dulcimer that you choose worth your money.