Wooden Mountain Dulcimers

Rizzetta instruments were numbered from the early 1960’s until the early 1980’s; after that they were just dated. This is one from that early time period. There were a few dulcimers made to this particular pattern, and this was the fanciest. Spruce soundboard. American black walnut back and sides are all bordered with handmade maple and ebony checkerboard mosaic inlay. Violin varnish finish. Dove sound holes (although some people call them angel sound holes). The fret staff has arches under the fret board and a cutout at the strum hollow for lighter weight. The soundboard has a relief slot under the saddle for a very responsive tone when fingerpicking. A lock screw with rosewood knob allows tightening the relief slot for more appropriate tone when strumming with pick and noter. Fretboard and peg head have laminated stripe inlays of maple and rosewood. Nut and saddle are bone. Peg head face plate is inlaid with burled walnut and bordered with mosaic inlay. It is fitted with four gold tuners with planetary gears and ivoroid knobs.

Wooden Mt Dulcimer

Fancy Wood Mountain Dulcimer

My dulcimers have a 27 inch scale length and mean-tone temperament fretting using low, wide frets for a very smooth playing action. A 6-1/2 fret is included. A 1-1/2 fret is not included but can be added. My dulcimers are generally set up with four equidistant strings and wide fretboards (1.9 inch width) for easier fingerstyle playing. Note that this is a little too wide to install the popular L. R. Baggs Dulcimer Pickup.

Top View

Wooden dulcimer side view of tuners

Rear View

Top View Close up

Flat on side view

Body Detail

mt-dulc-wood-dscf1382.jpg 17.5 KB

The string scale length is 28 inches. Fretting is for a very sweet sounding mean-tone temperament. 6-1/2 and 13-1/2 frets are installed. Action is low and fretboard is straight for a fast and super smooth playing action. The bone nut and saddle are grooved to accommodate either four equidistant strings or paired melody strings. It was strung for D'D'AD and mostly played in that tuning. Tone is warm, bright, and very responsive for its size. This dulcimer was recorded on the very first Trapezoid album, as well as on other recordings. It was my most used performing and recording dulcimer from 1970 to 1995.