About Black Mountain Instruments
& Our Hand Made Dulcimers

Since 1971, Black Mountain Instruments, based in Napa Valley, California, has been making superior quality, reasonably priced dulcimers. David Johnston (that’s me!) has been building BMI dulcimers since 1977.

Black Mountain Instruments by David Johnston is proud to continue the tradition of the Mountain Dulcimer. I offer a complete line of acoustic and electric dulcimers. Plus, the best available accessories and support materials for the dulcimer, including cases, strings, songbooks and CDs. The exclusive Black Mountain handmade process insures that each dulcimer has the best tone and most beautiful finish.

After almost 40 years of manufacturing dulcimers to be sold in stores, I have decided to sell directly to my customers. You will now be able to custom order and choose shapes, sizes, types of wood, soundhole designs, etc. and at the same retail prices as before!

* See our selection of products. We do make each dulcimer by hand, so we can customize or alter our designs to your specifications.

Dulcimers from the Finest Hand-Picked Solid Woods

Spruce from front of Medel 56


From Stradivarius violins to Martin guitars to Steinway pianos, Spruce is the material of choice for many stringed instruments. Produces a brighter tone than Cedar.
Cedar Front of Model 88D


A softer and darker colored soundboard wood than Spruce. Produces a mellower, less treble sound. Used also on many classical guitars today.
Mahogany back of Model 56

Genuine Mahogany

Commonly used for guitars, this wood makes a warm, mellow tone. It is a toffee brown color.
Cherry back of Model 88D


This traditional dulcimer wood is Cherry, with a sustaining, full range tone. It is used in the body, head and fingerboards of our instruments. Cherry varies from maple-white to a rich, reddish brown color.
Walnut back of Model 81D


Walnut is another traditional dulcimer wood used in the body, head and fingerboards of our dulcimers. This wood has tonal qualities similar to Cherry but is characteristically chocolate brown in color with a striking grain pattern.

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