Jump to content

Is anyone making affordable solid-body electric dulcimers these days?

Recommended Posts

I saw a questioner on another forum asking about electric dulcimers, and I was kinda surprised that on Etsy I could find makers of electric strumsticks and the like, but I couldn't find many electric lap-dulcimers, and the few that were, were quite pricey.

Are there any makers making relatively affordable solid-body dulcimers currently? Not to underrate luthiery skill or anything, but it seems pretty simple to construct.

Alternately, if someone is on a budget and wants a solid-body electric, am I right that they could just get a fretboard from the Cardboard Dulcimer people, glue it onto any slab of material to make a body, and then find a way to rig a lipstick pickup through the strum-hollow?

Edited by TapTheForwardAssist
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Relatively affordable" is the problem.  Most people who want a solid-body electric dulcimer want really good electronics, which aren't cheap!  Sure you can make a solid-body dulcimer from a scrap length of 2x8, a fretboard and your lipstick pickup.  But my understanding is that lipstick pickups don't provide all that 'true' of sound. 

I would not necessarily mount a pickup in the strum hollow, as hardly anyone strums there.  Most folks strum between fret 10 and fret 14.   There's about an inch of space between fret 10-11, and 3/4" between 11-12.  You might be able to mount a lipstick there.  Mounting other, better, pickups is not a particular problem if you are reasonably good at  using a sharp chisel (notice I said sharp) to cut cavities to hold the electronics.   

I confess that I made a couple solid-body dulcimers for a client years ago.  Had to have help wiring things up -- I'm a wood-butcher not an electron-pusher.  They were pretty maple planks with walnut fretboards, but I never liked the sound.  But the client liked the way things turned out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Folkcraft also sells fretboards if the cardboard dulcimer maker doesn't sell them. 


I rigged a temporary method for attaching an old Lawrence guitar sound hole pickup in the strum hollow of one of my dulcimers and I liked it better than a Dean Markley "stick on" acoustic pickup.  I am one of the few who strums in the strum hollow.  I actually made a dulcimer with less frets so the strum hollow would be closer to where many other people strum.

Lawrence Pickup



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...