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Seagull Guitars Merlin Mountain Dulcimer - Natural Reviews

4.5 stars based on 9 customer reviews
Questions about the Seagull Guitars Merlin Mountain Dulcimer - Natural?

Questions about the Seagull Guitars Merlin Mountain Dulcimer - Natural?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Steve Ploense

    I recently picked up my Seagull Merlin Mountain Dulcimer as a fun little side instrument. I'm a guitarist originally and I love camping. The Merlin is the perfect instrument to play around the campfire. It's loud, compact, easy to play, and overall a whole lot of fun. I'm also looking forward to teaching my daughter how to play music and this is a great way to start. You literally can not play a wrong note! As a matter of fact, the Merlin is just as easy to play for musicians and non-musicians alike!

  • from Kingsport, TN June 13, 2016

    Fun little instrument!!!

    This is a well built little instrument and so much fun to sit around and play. I already had the Mahogany Merlin and wanted the Natural Spruce to compare them. I have guitars and mandolins, but since getting the Merlin, I just want to play them. They're VERY addictive. Don't get one unless you can handle sitting around picking it for a couple of hours at a time, without getting tired. Strings are easy to fret and last forever. I added a strap and pick guard. Sweetwater was so helpful in the purchase. I had ordered two from a competitor and both were returned because of rattle. At that time, I didn't know Sweeter stocked the Merlin in the natural spruce, since it did not show online. Upon calling them, I found that they did stock the spruce. The salesperson was so helpful, you would have thought I was purchasing a $10,000 instrument. Tuning is D-A-DD and it puts you in mind of the sound that John Hartford had when he played banjo. If, or shall I say when you order one, be sure to get the Seagull Merlin gig bag. It's about $20 and is great for storing the instrument. Be sure to order from Sweetwater, they're second to none and go the extra mile to see that you get what you're looking for.

  • from Hayward WI USA November 27, 2014Music Background:
    Playing bass for 50 years.

    Affordable Quality

    I love to shock my friends with the stuff I try to play. Still trying to learn anything else but my first love (Bass) This quality instrument seems to be working! People are amazed at it's workmanship and the fact it isn't made in China. (Don't get me wrong some of my favorite bases were made in China.) Sweet deal from Sweetwater.

  • from Hayward WI USA November 27, 2014Music Background:
    Playing bass for 50 years.

    Affordable Quality

    I love to shock my friends with the stuff I try to play. Still trying to learn anything else but my first love (Bass) This quality instrument seems to be working! People are amazed at it's workmanship and the fact it isn't made in China. (Don't get me wrong some of my favorite bases were made in China.) Sweet deal from Sweetwater.

  • from rural northwestern oregon August 3, 2014Music Background:
    longtime guitarist

    Seagull Merlin

    an amazing instrument! So much sound from such a thin bodied acoustic.
    And, a whole new way to play dulcimer. Looks like an exotic guitar style instrument, sounds like a dulcimer, tunes like a dulcimer. I picked the spruce option, and the sound is amazingly resonant and pure. Another home run from the Seagull family of instruments, and incredibly easy to play. For an extra treat, play it with a slide.

  • from New England November 20, 2016Music Background:
    Acoustic string band and rock cover band

    Addictive little instrument

    I can't put this thing down! It is limited to the key of D (if you use standard mountain dulcimer tuning), but that just tests your ability to improvise. I have the spruce top model, and it is amazingly loud for it's diminutive size; the tone reminds me of an open-back banjo a little, but it has it's own voice. I took off a half-star just because of a slight blemish on the upper bout, but it doesn't affect the tone or playability at all. If you're considering getting one, just do it. Only $, you can't lose. Sweetwater service is 5 stars, as usual.

  • from California October 25, 2014Music Background:
    guitarist

    Merlin Magic

    I love Seagull/Godin products. I was looking through the Sweetwater catalog and ran across this interesting item. I have an old lap dulcimer so thought this would be cool alternative.

    It sounds amazing, it's fairly simple to play, and the quality is great. I can play this thing forever and have a strong desire to watch Deliverance! The maple instrument is twangy and sounds a bit like a banjo.

    What would be nice is if it had a few more frets and there was more of a protective finish. I kind of want to put a clear coat protective layer on it.

    I love my Merlin.

  • from September 30, 2016

    This is just plain fun

    For the price, which is pretty cheap for a quality instrument made in Canada, I debated giving it 4.5 stars. This is just plain FUN to noodle around with. You can work out the melody to common songs pretty easily and even chord of course.

    The reason I gave it a lower rating is that I'd like to see more frets to expand the playing range of the instrument. That's no knock on it and you can do a lot with it, but it could be even more. It's still great and hence I gave it a great rating. It's a quality instrument not cheap unlike the price. You could bring it to jam with friends and play around. Not sure how "serious" anyone will be with these but man they are fun!

  • from Indianapolis April 15, 2016Music Background:
    Indy Indie musician

    Merlins

    This instrument is a lot of fun and hard to put down. Haven't had the opportunity to travel with it yet but that was the main reason I bought one. The sound is bright and not overly bold. All that being said I give it a 3.5 out of 5 for a few reasons. The finish is non existent, and the open face tuners give it a nice look but they aren't very good.

    Whenever you pay 129 dollars for an instrument that's the sort of thing you'd expect. Overall it's worth adding to your collection and is a fun time to play. Buy the Merlin gig bag for 20 bucks through sweetwater like I did to protect the little guy!

  • from Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin May 6, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbiest

    Seagull Merlin

    Nice sound and easy to make music with. I ordered the Merlin this past Saturday and it was delivered the following Tuesday which is great service from Sweetwater. I used the instrument last evening to play duets with my wife as she played the mountain dulcimer. It had a nice sound, good action and was easy to play using tablature in my wife's dulcimer music books.

    I would have given the Merlin five stars except for the misleading information on the finish. Parts of the Merlin appear to have never gotten close to finishing sandpaper and it is advertised as having a "satin" finish. It definitely doesn't have a gloss finish. IN fact, it appears to have no finish on it. I have several ukuleles with satin finish on them. The Merlin's finish is an embarrassment to a fun little instrument.

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