The Root

The Root is my original idea that got me building musical instruments. After several version’s of it I realized how much I loved building these creation’s and so my new journey began.

A four or five string instrument that uses a mountain dulcimer type tuning. Where the two high strings are doubled (Course).

Scale length vary from 17" to 23" and can have various tuning.

It can be plucked or bowed and is great for creating drone music sounds.

The Root is a great experimental instrument, that allows one to explore many sounds.It has an extension tailpiece to host the sympathetic strings, that have fine tuners to dial in the right tuning with itself.

This is why it has been already used in studio session’s, film, game and is a great tool for any composer. I’m pretty proud of what it has been used for.

Below are two pictures of me playing the Root at the very beginning. I was working on a down tempo/ chill out album at the time and wanted to create my own instrument for myself

Latest Root

Plugged in. (Stereo jacks)

Effects pedal

Using a bow

Plugged in. (Stereo jacks)

Effects pedal


Acoustic recording.

Custom built Root for you?

The Root is something I do offer as a custom build. There are some standard things I recommend, but am open to knew ideas.

Scale length I recommend is 17” to 23”. Longer than this scale length would be hard to do because of the extension tailpiece. For best performance I recommend these lengths.

String setup. 4 or 5? 

Tuning- there are a lot of option. If there is a tuning you want please let me know.


Spruce top

Richlite fingerboard

The Shell is usually done with Walnut, but check in to see what also is available.

Mahogany or Maple neck

Pau Ferro tuner knobs

Other choices for the decorative woods


Goto 510 mini tuners 18:1 ratio

Mi-Si active pickup #1

Piezo tailpipe pickup #2

Carbon Fiber neck reinforcement

Email me about the Root


Filippo commisioned me to make him a Root back in 2015. Fillipo is this amazing multi instrumentalist, producer and sound engineer that still to this day is using the Root in projects like The Vela.

New York based producer, composer, arranger, sound engineer, multi-instrumentalist, with a M.A. in Ethnomusicology, Filippo De Laura has scored and created original music for film soundtracks and commercial jingles, as well as for recordings projects by major label and indipendent artists in Italy and in the USA. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work.

The international company that employed his talent include RAI (Italy’s largest broadcasting television and radio company), Warner Brothers Inc, Virgin Records, ENEL S.p.A (Europe’s third largest energy provider), MIBE Music library online (USA), Sky Television (Italy), Wavepaths (UK).

He has produced albums as well as played the role of composer, arranger, co-producer, sound engineer and sideman musician with several established recording artists such as Robert Miles, Jassi Jasbir, Patti Pravo, Niccolo’ Fabi,  Grazia Di Michele, Rossana Casale, Mariella Nava, Simone Cristicchi, Bungaro, Massimo Ranieri, Nada, Paolo Vivaldi, Chiara Civello, Elisabeth Cutler, Francesca Cassio, Davide Ambrogio, Valerio Camporini Faggioni.

De Laura has also produced new emerging artists for X Factor Italia, and other contests at a national level.

Filippo’s album “Tales From String Hill” (2016), represents his unique talents as a self-produced artist and features his multi-instrumental skills; it is currently available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and YouTube under his artist name “Phil De Laura”.

“This is the day of "Dreaming To Travel", the first single by The Vela. It is a project born between the encounter of me and Andrea Filippucci, both multitasking musicians, straddling the ocean on the axes Rome-New York. We started with this song a few times ago and then, one after the other, we made a whole album. Released by the prestigious Putumayo World Music label, mixed & mastered by the Guru of Sound Eugenio Vatta, video by the visionary Aritak Studio, in this song Andrea plays acoustic guitar and charango, I play zither, dulcimer and the root tar, which is the bowed instrument. Handcrafted by Ray Vincent, there are about 10 existing pieces of it, and it's literally an enchanting instrument. Thanks to everybody, now let's take off, to the moon! “

Filippo De Laura   HereHere

Arpeg Mala Root by Fillipo De Laura

Like a buttery by Fillipo De Laura

Nicolas’s rich cinematic scores bring a new dimension to storytelling. 

Born and raised in Ottawa Canada, Nicolas has been composing and experimenting with music production since the age of 14. His emotive signature sound is often filled with unusually rare live instrumentation that leaves a special flare on each of his pieces. This distinct filmic style and production twist have won him a global scoring competition, numerous collaborations over the years including Netflix, Disney+, Bandai Namco and more.

He is currently working with music production studios Cavalry Music, Two AM Music Global and Atomic Overture. 

Besides collecting and hoarding unique instruments from around the world, Nicolas is also a sound designer and beta tester for the world-renowned sample library company, 8Dio/Soundpaint. 

Cavalry Music

 Two AM Music Global

Atomic Overture




Recorded with The Root by Nicolas Stackhouse

Music composed, arranged, produced, mixed by Nicolas Stackhouse

Mastered by Lukas Burton


Cavalry Music

Sound sample of Nicolas’s Root before it went out. I planned to do a better recording before I shipped it, but I cut my finger (razor blade accident) just before and was stuck with only this recording.

Salt spring studios

"What attracted me to "the Root" was the wonderful visual design and the uniqueness of the concept. I love the sound of a cello or violin and I found the prospect of an instrument that could get similar sounds exciting. The fact that it also sounds similar to an oud was also a huge plus.
I am looking forward to learning this cool instrument much better... I've had it for a few months and have had a great time exploring what it can do!"

Deep sigh by Carl Clark

Past builds and moments with the Root.