I just had a pleasant conversation with Walter. The 2 octave instruments he's building are indeed the Sam Rizzetta designed piano dulcimers. He has an agreement with Sam to build them. I'm going to try and swing by his shop sometime as I head up I-81. He's near Boone, NC.
I'm teaching, and playing, a lot of piano dulcimer these days. This might be a good student instrument, but I want to play and hear one before making any recommendations.
I recently bought the URL http://www.pianodulcimer.com
. I cleared this with Sam R. and the Mooers at Dusty Strings. It seemed fair to talk to Walter about it too, hence the phone call. I'll stick in information only site up at that URL in the near future. The piano dulcimer opens up some really great options for those who already know how to play diatonic HD.
If you've never see one, here's a link.