TK O'Brien's hammered dulcimer is now only available in the 9/8 Backpacker size. The higher number refers to the number of pairs of strings passing over the treble (center) bridge. The lower number refers to the number of string pairs passing over the bass (right) bridge.
5 ply Baltic birch is used for the top and back. This wood is structurally stable and withstands changes in temperature and humidity better than solid wood. Scalloped internal bracing allows soundboard greater vibrating capacity.
Bridges are crafted of cherry and capped with black and white delrin. The white pieces act as bridge markers for easy viewing of where scales begin. Chrome zither pins and hitch pins are made in the US. Multiple steel string diameters are used for optimum pitch. Pin blocks are built from hard maple. Hard maple is ideally suited for a pin blocks for its strength and stability.
All dulcimers come packaged with a heavy duty padded nylon carrying case, set of hammers, tuning wrench, beginner's book, dowel peg to use as a playing stand on a table, and “cheater strips” to place under the strings to learn the string courses by the note equivalent letter names.