For recent recordings I have been using a carbon EXTENDED RANGE dulcimer. The soundboard is natural uni-directional carbon while back and sides are carbon twill weave.
Carbon frame rails are overlaid with highly figured bubinga wood decorated with abalone inlay.
Pictured above is another experimental COMPACT designed for both portability and rough use. The soundboard is carbon fiber while the rest of the structure is wood of relatively light weight design. The carbon soundboard is very strong as well as moisture and humidity proof. These qualities make for greater tuning stability than other dulcimers.
Exterior frame wood is jatoba. Weight is 11.7 lb. It has a longer scale length and slightly heavier strings than my ultralight carbon COMPACT discussed earlier. I also wanted a minimum number of strings to tune, so range is limited to 16-15 with two strings per course throughout. I wanted a very portable dulcimer that could still be heard in a large jam session. This dulcimer meets that goal providing a full tone, well-controlled sustain, and especially good volume and projection for its size and weight. It is equal in volume to some of my larger and heavier dulcimers. Like other ultra light Compacts, it is easy to use for airline travel since weight and dimensions allow it to fit in airliner overheads as a carry on. Since it is both rugged and un-ornamented, it can be used in situations where I would rather not risk other dulcimers.
In the early 1970's I devised an adjustable bracing system, and this COMPACT, like the majority of my dulcimers, has that feature. So, I can adjust this instrument to have a loud and open tone or a more gentle and sweet tone. Initial set up was for loud tone which has worked well in jam sessions and for teaching workshops.
I do not take orders for dulcimers but will sell them when I have some available. This frees my time to develop more advanced, experimental dulcimers.