Alternative Woods

Curly maple has been the wood of choice for bowed instruments for hundreds of years and still is for most people. I have found over the years, that using other woods for the back and sides does  give you a different tonal palette. Cherry and walnut behave much like maple and are available at no extra charge for those wishing to use those woods.

Using rosewood for the back and sides does have some advantages in terms of tone and volume. Since rosewood is so much denser and heavier than maple, I can make the back and sides 20% thinner. This gives a more flexible plate and yields more volume. It also gives you more tone colors. The down side is that rosewood is much less forgiving of bowing errors. It is an very handsome wood and makes for a beautiful instrument.  $100.00 additional.  Cocobola is like rosewood but more so. It is much  denser and has a characteristic tone all its own. If you listen to any of the videos that Charlie Patton has made, you'll hear it.

Cocobola is more difficult to work than rosewood and is more expensive. Right now it is the premier bowed dulcimer wood for those wanting the very finest in tone, flexibility and beauty.  $200.00 additional.