Congrats on making your order with Nic. You'll really enjoy it, I'm sure. When I ordered mine, he had to box it and ship it half-way around the world to the tiny island I was living on in the Pacific.
Requesting input on Nic Hambus dulcimers.
Congratulations, Vivian. Those concert dulcimers of his sure look beautiful. So many dulcimers, so little time. . .
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
I got a hourglass concert...that's what he called it anyway...he had a beautiful teardrop, but I seem to be drawn to the hourglass...I wanted dark walnut bottom and told him to pick whatever he thought was best for the soundboard. I love the look of the ebony fretboard too. I am soo excited to see it. Anyway, I have a piano and a hammered dulcimer to keep me busy in the meantime...@Strumalia...I have braces on my teeth, so some instruments are out! I have been attempting to learn the bagpipes as well, but with these braces it is just impossible...oh well, a year or two from now will just have to do. In the meantime, I can get into the hammered dulcimer, and read up on the mountain dulcimer. I will send photos when I get it.
This is probably not the thread to post this on, but I am looking for an arrangement of Carol of the Bells for either hammered dulcimer or mountain dulcimer. I saw it played on You Tube and the player said it was arranged by Bill Flanagan...can't find anything on it online. If you have info on where I might find it I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
Vivian, that's very exciting- congratulations! Maybe you can get a jaw harp, limberjack, or harmonica to keep you busy and distracted during the wait. I highly recommend such diversions!
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
I am soo excited...I just ordered my dulcimer from Nic Hambas, and also some instruction books and a CD from Larkins Dulcimer..what wonderful friendly people! I will now have to wait a few months to get it, but will spend my time listening to tunes and reading, so I should be able to stand the wait!
Hi Gary...you can pull up several videos on You Tube...just do a search under Nic Hambas...he plays several different instruments that he builds...really pretty!
Garey McAnally said:
I just looked at his website www.hambasdulcimers.com What a beautiful dulcimer ! He appears to be a gifted luthier. I would love to hear one of his dulcimers. The sound is the MOST important thing. It would really help if an experienced dulcimer player could help you (especially during the 1 week examination period he gives). Hope youfind a wonderful new instrument to enjoy on this journey.
Thanks, yes I have to agree it is very beautiful and t would be best if I could hear it first, but there are no builders, much less players that I have been able to locate in my area, so I am just having to go by the recommendations of more experienced players that I can access online...He has been around building for a long time, and I got his name from several different sources, so maybe it will be really great...I wrote to him but haven't had a reply yet...the Holidays and all...Thanks for your response and good wishes!
Vivian, I own dulcimers by different builders. The builders, in no particular order: Jerry Rockwell, Paul Conrad (Timbre Hill), Gary Sager, the Bakers (Blue Lion), Keith Young, and Rodney Hensley. As for my instruments-- I love 'em all. And there are several more builders who make fine instruments. (In the mountain dulcimer world we're most fortunate because there are many good builders; one not need spend $$$$ to get a good, playable instrument. To me, my dulcimers are worth more than they cost.) Though each of my instruments has a different sound, they share one very important quality: they're set-up to play easily. What one is looking for in the sound of an instrument is highly subjective, though.
Your right Ken everyone thinks there child(dulcimer) is the most beautiful to look at and listen to.Singing there praises to High Heaven.(like me) You really have to get out there and try some for yourself to see what you like. Touch and feel them and listen to them yourself to get a idea of what you want. You can listen to someone sing the praises of a builder all day long but it might not sound that good to your ear. Each person has his own preferences and hands on is the best way to chose what is best for you.
I got on here singing the praises of my kids(dulcimers) LOL when to some they might be or sound ugly as(Homemade sin) as my mamaw used to say.
Everyone is going to tell you that the one they have is the best, whoever the builder is.
I will only say that I've been playing for nearly 40 years, and when I finally got around to having a custom dulcimer made, back in 2006, it was Nik Hambas that I commissioned to make it for me. You can see at least a bit of Sea Eagle in my avatar photo.
Truth be told, I personally think that buying a fancy, expensive instrument right out of the gate, isn't such a good idea, but that's just my opinion, and you obviously think differently. Dulcimers are not like guitars or mandolins or violins, etc. There are some passable instruments out there that are "gratuitously" expensive. There are some great instruments that are moderately priced. There are some pretty instruments being passed as good whether or not they are fine players.
Caveat Emptor is what I'm trying to say. If you don't know what goes into making what you think of as a good instrument, it can be easy to make expensive mistakes. What makes a good instrument can't even really be determined until you've played for a year or so and decided what style of playing you want to take up and what sorts of music you want to play.
I have a Modern Mountain that has a wonderful sound and sustain they are great instruments. Also Bill Rich in Tenn make a beautiful sounding dulcimer. Someone on hear had a Blue Lion for sale a couple of days ago for a good price. I am not that experienced a player but I know what sounds good. Nice to meet you and hope you enjoy the site.
Hi. I am new (today) to this site, but have been investigating some dulcimer builders for a several weeks now and searching for insight and opinions on them, as well as the things that I need to know before purchasing one of these lovely instruments. I am a complete novice and want to buy a good instrument, one that will be great as a I progress as a player. I have several other types of instruments and really think that getting the best instrument you can find is a sound (haha) decision, as well as investment.
Among the many I have been looking at Blue Lion, McSpadden, and Bear Meadow come up often as highly recommended, (among a long list of others) but I am really looking at Nic Hambus. I think they look so beautiful, but I am wondering if I can get any input from experienced players as to the instruments he builds. I am so new that I feel I don't know the questions to ask, much less the specs to specify in building an instrument, so that I must to a degree rely upon the builder to give me the best choices...any input on this? I recently had a James Jones hammered dulcimer built, and it is really a wonderful instrument, so I had good success there, but I want to try a different builder for this instrument.
I would appreciate any input that more experienced players might be able to give...realizing, of course that many aspects of my question are subjective, still, experience is valuable, and that is why I am asking! Thanks, Vivian
updated by @vivian-hays: 02/25/19 10:50:30AM