Hammer rentals & Sales
Whether you are new to hammered dulcimer or have several years under your strings you've probably heard the advice to try as many hammers as possible to find your favorites. That's great if you have a local club or the ability to get to festivals - but what about the rest of us? We're left holding our breath and placing an online order hoping we get hammers that we like! Well, that changes NOW...if you don't want to wait for (and drive to!) the next festival, let the hammers come to you!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
- Order your rental bundle below for $30 .
- A box of hammers (5 pairs) from 4 brands will arrive a few days later and you get to try them all on YOUR instrument in YOUR home at YOUR pace.
- Keep the box it's shipped in. Review the info sheet included for prices. Keep as much or as little of the bundle as you want.
- Within 3 weeks, pack up all the items you do not wish to purchase. Mail it back. You will be billed for any items not returned after 3 weeks.
Sound like fun!? Place your order now by email or keep scrolling for additional details.
~ Sarah Haag
Rent Now for $30
Click here to email me or use the contact form below to start your rental order. You may request certain hammers from the list below (subject to availability) or I will send you a standard variety.
IMPORTANT: You will not be sent an invoice until I'm able to mail your bundle. We are on tour frequently and I will communicate a shipping estimate based on when I'm home.
*For now I'm only shipping within the U.S. - my apologies to international players.
Meet the Hammers
- These four makers were chosen because they are well-established and able to handle incoming orders in a quick, reliable manner. Many others are reputable and perhaps this selection will expand over time.
- ALL of these hammer makers are first class and make excellent products. I have my favorites but it's all about feel and sound and that's all personal preference - so get ready to play!
Using the numbers from their website - on top: #2 (single-sided leather), underneath: #8 (double padded small)
- These are some of the bundle's longest hammers (from where you grip to where the head strikes the strings).
- The #8 padded felt side produces the softest tone of any hammers in the bundle.
- The #2 hammers are the only set of single-sided hammers in the bundle (all other hammers in the bundle can be flipped to play on either side of the head).
In your rental bundle you might find The Swirl (top), Treble Clef (middle), or Hummingbird (bottom).
- The handles are less polished and more natural feeling - this offers a different grip which may slip less if you have sweaty hands.
- Hummingbird has the shortest length (from grip to striking surface) of any hammers in the bundles.
- Treble Clef has the largest head in the bundles - if you have this design in your bundle pay attention to how it changes the weight distribution.
- The Swirl is longer in length but very lightweight. If this is in your bundle, try it, then quickly switch to the Bob Bedard hammers and you'll notice a huge weight and size difference.
- The leather that Jill uses in her hammers has (to my ears) a warmer tone than some of the other leathers. Leather can be replaced so it may not be the most important factor to consider, but it's still worth paying attention to.
- While some of the other makers have set designs to choose from, Jill is flexible and offers customization if you don't find what you need in my selection.
Joyful Noise Music (also referred to as Bob Bedard hammers)
The bundle includes his "Windsong" design.
- The weight distribution is significantly different from the other hammers in the bundle (with weight falling more towards the head than the handles).
- For lack of a more technical term, these hammers feel very solid...they are well-loved within the dulcimer community!
- The handles have a more shallow curve/groove which may be more or less appealing to you.
- While this is one of his most popular models, the Harlequin (not included) may be more familiar to you by its unique black & white coloring (maple/ebony) - this is the same version but with different wood.
Each bundle will include either the "regular, without pick" or "treble clef, without pick" from their custom double-sided hammer selection - make sure to click the link to see their full selection including exotic woods, hammers with inlays, and the option for a pick on the handle!
- Each pair of hammers is weighed in grams and marked - if you like the way they feel but want something heavier or lighter, give them a call!...of all the hammer makers in the bundle I believe that Master Works offers the most comprehensive ready-made selection (I've seen their Craftsman cabinet full of them!) They can help you narrow in on wood type, inlay design, weight, and pick.
- The handles on Master Works hammers have a shallow curve compared to some other brands - see what feels good to your fingers.
One other fun product included: All bundles are shipped in an accordion-style case handmade by Karen Alley! These cases are not currently featured on her website, but click here to contact her if you'd like to purchase your own custom case!
My prices are based on the makers' retail pricing. The benefit to using this service is that I offer 4 brands in one shipment with the option to keep the ones you love.
Dusty Strings #2 single sided leather - $36
Dusty Strings #8 double padded small - $58
Jill Weimer - $30
Joyful Noise Music / Bob Bedard (Windsong design) - $38
Master Works regular & treble clef, without pick - $42
Karen Alley accordion-style case - $25
When you purchase from a rental bundle, you will receive a $10 credit from your $30 rental fee. Items you keep will be billed via PayPal invoice according to the prices above.
Who pays for the shipping?
- Your rental fee includes shipping from me to you. You are responsible for return shipping.
- Background: I attempted to cover both sides of shipping as part of the rental but since introducing sales it has complicated the process. To keep my fees low and offer you choices based on your local shipping options I decided to leave the return shipping costs to each customer. My recommendation is to try first class or priority shipping through USPS and provide me with a tracking number. My shipping costs usually run about $7-$10 for a bundle via USPS.
Can I buy items from the bundle?
- YES! You pay $30 for the rental bundle. If you make a purchase from it I will credit you $10 from your rental fee towards your purchase. Just return the rest and I'll bill you based on what you keep.
May I customize the hammer selection in my bundle?
- Yes, you may ask for certain ones to be included or avoided. If my inventory doesn't allow for that I'll let you know.
- My normal process is to build bundles that include at least 1 pair from each of the 4 hammer makers referenced above so that you experience a variety of hammer sizes, types, and weights.
How long is the rental time frame? What happens if I don't return it in time?
- For $30 you have 3 weeks from when you checkout until when I need to take receipt of it again (this allows for a full week of trial with a week of shipping on either side).
- When your bundle is shipped, I will let you know when your 3-week rental ends.
- Unless you contact me AT LEAST 48 hours before your rental ends you will be billed for all items not returned. If you have reason to believe your return may be late it is your responsibility to contact me. Generally speaking, items not returned within 3 weeks will be considered a final purchase.
- Consider the timing of your order: do not place an order before a vacation for example. Make sure you'll be home and have time to use your rental.
Do I have to use PayPal or a Credit Card to rent a bundle?
- No, if you'd like to rent a bundle and use another form of payment please contact me using the form below.
What happens if the hammers are damaged?
- If you receive a damaged product please take a photo and email me immediately so that I can follow up with the post office (I'll take the same approach if they're damaged in the return shipping process).
- If hammers are damaged while in your possession it will be treated the same as a purchase.
How can I see the status of my order?
- I will email you a PayPal invoice when your bundle is ready to be shipped. Sometimes this may take a few days if I'm away from home.
- I update PayPal with the tracking number when I ship it - when this happens you receive an email update. You may then use the tracking number to determine the estimated delivery.
- I try to ship all orders within 24 hours of payment. If there's a significant delay I will notify you by email.
For any other questions or to begin a rental, please contact Sarah using the form below.