Insired Instruments Welcome to Inspired Instruments
Dear Customers,

We have had to make some hard decisions in the last several months. We regret to have to say that we are retiring from the instrument business. Lack of building time coupled with increased traveling required for Joe's full time job has forced us to make this decision. We will be glad to answer any instrument/music questions and will continue to give our technical support to all our instruments. We miss seeing everyone at festivals, and hope to hear from you.


Joe and Carol

Our goal is to create high quality, well built, unique hammered dulcimers and bowed psalteries, each with their own personality and voice.

Each instrument is individually constructed and every piece of lumber is hand selected to assure that only the highest quality lumber available is used. A variety of woods are used to create unique, dynamic instruments that are works of art as well as instruments of exceptional quality. All instruments are signed and numbered.

If you would like to know more about the instruments makers, you can read about us.


Hammered Dulcimers:


Our Hammered Dulcimers are 14/15 (14 courses on the bass bridge and 15 courses on the treble bridge). We use a floating soundboard for our instruments, which means the soundboard is bent over two steel rods and held in place only by the strings. This style of construction gives the instrument a very large sound with excellent sustain. Our soundboards are made of mahogany, the bridges, pin blocks and internal struts are all made of hard maple. Each instrument is individually crafted and fitted together to assure a high quality instrument that will last a lifetime. A pick-up can also be installed (during construction) which is excellent for hooking up to sound systems, amps or for tuning. Our Hammered Dulcimers typically measure 42"- 48" across the bottom, by 20"-22" from the bottom rail to the top rail, by 4-5" deep. Each Hammered Dulcimer comes with a tuning wrench, set of hammers and care/playing instructions and a soft case. We make spoon shaped hammers for hammered dulcimers.


Hammered Dulcimer Stands:

Sorry, no longer available.

Our Hammered Dulcimer Scissor stands fold flat for portability.

The Tall Scissors stands measure 43" when closed. When open, the front measures 31" and the back measures 36". The Tall Scissors stands are meant for standing while you play. The price for a Tall Scissors stand is $65.

The Short Scissors stands measure 39" when closed. When open, the front measures 22 1/2" and the back measures 30". The Short Scissors stands are meant for sitting while you play. The price for a Short Scissors stand is $50.

The Scissors Stands can rest on top of the dulcimer in its case and both can be conveniently carried one-handed.

Tall Scissors Stand-No Longer Available Short Scissors Stand-No Longer Available
Tall Scissors Stand Short Scissors Stand
HD_case_and_stands (55K)
Scissors Stand with Carrying case


Hammered Dulcimer Music Stands:

Our music stands just slide under your Hammered Dulcimer. They are made of red oak and fold flat for portability. Dimensions are 16" by 18" and cost $50.

Hammered Dulcimer Music Stand



We make spoon shaped hammers for hammered dulcimers. We use a variety of woods in construction. Price is $20 a set.

Hammers 1 Hammers 3 Hammers 2

Bowed Psalteries:

Our Bowed Psalteries come in three sizes and an assortment of woods. Soundboards can be a single type of wood, or striped with two or more. The regular size is 7 1/2" wide x 26" long x 3" deep and is a 2 1/2 octave chromatic instrument that begins on middle C. The Baby Bowed Psaltery is 5" wide x 18 1/2" long x 3" deep and has 1 1/2 octaves and begins one octave above middle C. The Bass Bowed Psaltery is 9" wide x 36" long x 3" deep. All sizes are approximate and the depth include pin/bridge height.

We make mostly right handed psalteries, but usually have at least one left handed in stock. The pin blocks and frame are all hard maple with the back being made of poplar, which gives our psalteries a nice mellow sound. Varieties of wood we usually use for soundboards include: walnut, paduak, yellowheart, purpleheart, bloodwood, lacewood, mahogany, cherry, white oak, Spanish cedar, maple and light and dark poplar. Every psaltery is a work of art, and has a keyhole cut in the back for hanging on your wall. Each instrument is individually crafted and fitted together to assure a high quality instrument that will last a lifetime. Please see the inventory pages for current prices. Each psaltery comes with a bow, rosin, tuning wrench, a soft case and playing/care instructions. Additional bows are available for $15 each.

Bows Bowed Psaltery 2 Small Cases 03 (31K)


Psaltery Table Stands:

Sorry, no longer available.

Table stands are available for the regular sized Bowed Psalteries. They are made of red cedar with a non-skid surface on top and come with a non-skid pad to place underneath. Table stands are great for playing without having to hold your psaltery, for playing with two bows or for displaying your psaltery. Price is $10.

Bowed Psaltery Stand (180K)



Shipping for instruments depends upon the destination. Shipping for hammers and bows is $5 each. Shipping for bowed psaltery stands is $5 each. Shipping for hammered dulcimer stands is $20. Shipping will be sent by US mail, UPS, FedEx, etc.

Special Orders:

We welcome specials orders. We can make instruments from specific woods, add internal pick-ups (microphones), make left-handed instruments, or other special requests. Please contact us for details.

Special Orders
Bowed Psaltery with Pick-up 27 String Poplar Psaltery
Bowed Psaltery with Pick-up 27 String Poplar Psaltery


Please check our inventory page for availability of instruments as our inventory changes. We accept personal checks (with a 10 day waiting period) and payments by PayPal. Sales tax will apply for Kentucky residents.

Inspired Instruments

Joe and Carol Esch
326 Mountain View Drive
Somerset, KY 42501

(606) 676-0128


Find out more about us.

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Unless otherwise noted, all text and photos on this site are copyrighted by Joe and Carol Esch and may not be used without written permission.