Custom Bowed Psalteries

If you'd like to have me build an instrument with exactly the woods and characteristics you'd like, please review the wood possibilities and send me your ideas. I can even build psalteries with custom tunings. Contact me with information on what notes you are looking for. Within the models I offer the price of Custom designs will be determined by your choices (see the list below). I can do custom sound holes in these instruments like my hammered dulcimer sound holes. The only designs I will repeat are Celtic. I have a number of those to choose from. You are also welcome to generate one of your own sound hole designs making your psaltery truly unique. Keep in mind that the diameter of the sound hole image is only 2 3/8". You can read more on this process here. You can choose a figured  or exotic wood for the soundboard.  It will look great but you will give up some of the volume and lower overtones.  I generally recommend that the sound board be a tonewood; cedar, spruce or redwood.


I offer an internal pickup as an option. You can see details on the pickups in Accessories. Although I can do Custom Sopranos, most people order Custom Altos or the Baritone which have a greater range. The tone of the Custom Psalteries is no different than my standard bowed psalteries. Ordering a Custom Bowed Psaltery just gets you unique personal visual aesthetics.


Options with prices:
  • Alto base price - $300

  • Baritone base price - $550  Semi-Hard Retangular Case  - $95

  • Figured or exotic wood on just the sides - $50

  • Figured or exotic wood on both back and sides - $85

  • Figured or exotic wood for the whole psaltery including the soundboard - $120

  • Painted or stained soundboard - $45

  • Custom sound hole - $75

  • Abalone rim around sound hole design - $75

  • Internal pickup - $75

  • Left handed orientation (No extra charge)

Email to get an exact quote plus shipping.

To start an order, all I need is a $200 deposit with the balance due upon completion of the instrument. Allow 2-3 weeks to get your psaltery.

Examples of Custom Bowed Psalteries

Click on slide deck image to view larger photos on a  black background

James Jones Instruments

1384 Coltons Mill Rd

Bedford, VA 24523-5259


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