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All CapriTaurus dulcimers are high quality professional instruments:

  1. Built with all solid wood.
  2. Use Grover Sta-Tite 14-1 ratio professional tuners.
  3. Have standard heart sound holes.
  4. Have a standard diatonic fretboard.

Available options:

  1. A variety of high quality wood options.
  2. Extra frets added by request.
  3. Binding, see below for details.
  4. A Howard Rugg designed bridge and saddle passive pickup specially designed for the dulcimer.

There are two models: a standard scale model and a short scale model.


This professional instrument is the original "California style" dulcimer with a big body and a big voice. Created for the discerning musician who wants more volume from their dulcimer. Be heard while playing with others! This high quality dulcimer comes with a choice of either a 26" or a 28" scale length. 6 1/2 and 13 1/2 frets are standard; other frets can be added upon request. Sound holes and binding options are available for this model.

Base price: $695.00

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This professional instrument is specially made for travel and small hands. The scale length is 23". This dulcimer has a huge voice despite its size! It is tuned to standard tuning DAD or GDG. 6 1/2 and 13 1/2 frets are standard. Comes with standard heart shape sound holes only. Binding option is not available for this model.

Base price: $350.00

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These are the woods I typically have on hand. They have been stored in my possession for more than 30 years. Availability varies.


Standard top wood options are:
California walnut, mahogany, California redwood, fir, and spruce.

Standard side and back wood options are:
California walnut, mahogany, koa, and California redwood.

Koa has a premium cost of $100 extra.

The default peghead wood is same as choosen back and side wood.

Peghead and fretboard wood options are:
California walnut, mahogany, and California redwood.

Any other woods not listed by custom order.

Fretboard Cap
Standard fretboard cap is California walnut. (No extra cost.)

Fretboards can also be capped with:
Koa with premium cost of $25
Ebony with premium cost of $25
Santos mahoganywith premium cost of $25

Inlay of mother of pearl dots wherever they are needed on fretboard cap: $25

Available for standard scale model only. Bindings can be made using any of the following hardwoods:
California walnut, mahogany, koa, or santos mahogany. Cost is $120 and up.


Koa and ebony binding

cost $120



Rope binding

cost $150


Walnut binding

cost $120



Wood Description


California Walnut
(limited supply)

A dark reddish chocolate brown with wavy grain figures and occasional purple cast.
No extra cost.



The wood is medium to light reddish brown depending on the slab with wood grain varies to straight to figured.
No extra cost.



Koa is one of the most stunning woods. It often looks more like a gem than a wood. It’s common for koa to have different ribbon-like streaks of color and/or curly grains within the same piece of wood.

Koa has a premium of $100 that is added to the price.


California Redwood

The redwood I use is medium reddish brown. The grain is mostly straight. The redwood is recycled from an old water tank that was built in the 1800s in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This gives the sound a special quality that cannot be achieved with second growth redwood. No extra cost.


For an extra cost, I have some special redwood with occasional curly, bird eyes, or burl (sometimes referred to as “lace”). This redwood is not from the water tank. Limited quantity. Email for availability and price. $100 and up.


Spruce: Italian and Sitka

Spruce is a straight grain yellow used only for the soundboard.



Fir is quartersawn and tight grained. Similar to Spruce and also used only for the soundboard.

Santos Mahogany

This hardwood is used only for the fretboard. The color is darker purplish red or burgundy and tends to turn more red/purple with age. Quartersawn sections can show a striped or ribbon pattern. $20 extra.



This hardwood is used only for the fretboard. The color is usually black, with little to no variation or visible grain. Occasionally dark brown or grayish-brown streaks may be present. $20 extra.

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The classic peghead is standard for the standard scale model. No extra cost. If you want the classic peghead for the short scale model, the cost is an extra $40.


The simple peghead is the standard for the short scale model. It can also be a choice for the stand scale model. No extra cost.



A scroll peghead is $160 for either model.


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Heart Shape

Both models come with heart soundholes at no extra cost.

F Shape

F holes cost $50
(standard scale model only)


F Heart Shape

F heart holes cost $50 (standard scale model only)


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Because of the unique needs of the dulcimer, I have designed a custom under the saddle pickup especially for the CapriTaurus and Folk Roots Dulcimers. It has ebony or rosewood bridge, bone saddle, rod piezo pickup, and a 1/4” strap button jack.

This is the only pickup I provide for the dulcimers I build. It’s reliable, has a clean acoustic sound, and replacement parts are available from Howard Rugg. Extra cost $120.



This bridge is specifically designed for the CapriTaurus Dulcimer and has a passive pickup for those who want to amplify their instrument. Older CapriTaurus and Folk Roots dulcimers can be converted with this conversion bridge. Cost is $180 (parts and installation). $120 for parts only. Cost does not include shipping and handling.

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Hardshell case for standard scale model dulcimer $122


Softshell case for standard scale model dulcimer $42


Soft case for short scale model dulcimer $29

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