Forum Activity for @john-c-knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/05/24 11:20:52AM
399 posts

Shifting bridge and nut


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Wow! People who wrote on that page use English in some mysterious ways!  I think the foreign manufacturer reverse-engineered a high-quality Waverly 5-Star planetary peg, then just cheaped-out on all components when they made theirs.

A low- to moderately-priced dulcimer should wear tuning pegs that are appropriate, that is, what it's designed to use.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/05/24 09:54:59AM
399 posts

Shifting bridge and nut


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Those look like high-end, planetary tuners in those Roosebeck dulcimers.  I'm surprised to see they're using those relatively expensive ones on their "cheap" instruments from Pakistan.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/03/24 01:44:31PM
399 posts

Question about a western KY dulcimer maker/James Norris


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Well, I'll make it a three-peat! 

I've never heard of that guy either, but then a lot of folks could say that about ME, too! 

I'm interested as well in seeing a photo or two of the Norris dulcimer.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/02/24 03:13:41PM
399 posts

John Jacob Niles


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

John Jacob Niles was a unique (only one of its kind) individual, it seems. 

He liked to give "theatrical" performances with his dulcimers, interpreting a folk song rather than just playing it.  He had some dulcimer builders make him dulcimers, with no frets installed, so he could add his unique fret patterns to enable him to get the musical effect he was shooting for.  And he sang some very high-pitched melodies.  Takes some getting used to...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/21/24 10:02:04PM
399 posts

FOTMD one year anniversary on July 29th, 2010 !


OFF TOPIC discussions

Well, Lisa, I'd say this teenager you brought forth 15 years ago has been on his best behavior, wouldn't you?

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/21/24 07:17:58PM
399 posts

New Knopf Dulcimers website!


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

Thank you, friends!   If I can assist you in your dulcimore requirements, please let me know.  I'm now starting another cherry Jethro Amburgey dulcimore, just like the one I finished a few days ago!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/20/24 08:24:14AM
399 posts

New Knopf Dulcimers website!


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

Thank you all!  I had plenty of assistance from Michael Willey, one of our members here.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/19/24 10:04:12PM
399 posts

New Knopf Dulcimers website!


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

Finally I have a new website for my dulcimer-building work!  It shows my current model range, as well as a few dulcimers ready to sell right now.  Give it a look, and thanks very much!

John Knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/17/24 07:26:59PM
399 posts

buzzy strings


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

A string buzzes if it's too loose, or if the next fret up from where you're noting is too tall.  The tall fret needs to be filed down slightly so the string doesn't hit it. 

You could also try raising the nut with a shim, or raising the bridge with a shim.  All of the frets need to be level with each other to keep the buzzing away.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/28/24 02:26:38PM
399 posts

anchor pin pulled out


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

MJ, the owner could buy a longer screw of the same type and put the string end (ball) through that.  It seems like an unusual design to have to unscrew the pin every time you need to change a string.  I would replace all 3 pins with headless nails that the string balls could just slip over, thus making changing strings faster and easier.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/19/24 04:43:03PM
399 posts

Dulcimer by JR


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

It might be from Dulcimers By JR, 10068 Stonecreek Rd., Newcomerstown, OH 43832

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/12/24 02:26:39PM
399 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Beth, have you contacted Robin Clark there in Wales?  He's quite the knowledgeable dulcimist.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/07/24 01:30:02PM
399 posts

Geoffrey R. Johnson Dulcimer?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I have not heard of Mr Johnson, but I would go by the VSL (distance between the inside of nut and inside of bridge) to make a determination, at least to start out, anyway.  My dulcimers usually have long VSLs (27"- 28"), and I use .012" plain steel for the first and second strings, and .022" wound for the drone.  Nice looking dulcimer.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/29/24 09:47:51AM
399 posts

If you could have just one dulcimer...


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

It's t'other way around, Ken!  VA at the top, KY at the bottom.  That Ed Thomas sure is a beauty!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/17/24 09:17:45PM
399 posts

Crack in the soundboard, by the sound hole


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Marg, as a builder I am aware of such things.  If I make a dulcimer with intricate soundholes, I'll glue some tiny wood pieces under overhangs, at right angles to them, as has been discussed below.  It's just a good practice to get into and prevents breakages later.  Glad you were able to repair your own dulcimer!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/08/24 07:24:47PM
399 posts

New Cherry Galax Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thankee kindly, friends!  The new owner is one of our members here.  Hope she loves it!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/07/24 09:29:11PM
399 posts

New Cherry Galax Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This is a new Galax dulcimer I finished yesterday.  It's mostly cherry, with a spruce top and mahogany "inner back".  It's made like Raymond Melton of southwestern Virginia used to make them.  The new owner lives in Ohio.

Feb 24 Galax 0.JPG  Feb 24 Galax 1.JPG Feb 24 Galax 3.JPG

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/28/24 09:25:29PM
399 posts

Vintage dulcimer information sought


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

That would work out to just about $95 in the US!  Talk about CHEAP!  You got a great value there, Art!  And an interesting piece of musical folk art.  I'm glad it plays well.  Good for you!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/25/24 09:30:13PM
399 posts

Birdseye Maple


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Here are 2 photos.  Not very good quality, but you can see what I mean.


birds.jpg birds.jpg - 75KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/25/24 09:23:21PM
399 posts

Birdseye Maple


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I once made an hourglass dulcimer completely out of birdseye maple.  It looked wonderful, was somewhat heavy, had an OK tone.  The wood behaved like plain hard maple when fashioning the dulcimer.  I sold it to my younger brother.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/01/24 09:18:58AM
399 posts

instrument question- Stephens Lutherie/holy grail dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ah, the search for the elusive "perfect instrument"!  It probably does not exist (just as the perfect spouse does not exist), but luthiers like me try to build the optimal dulcimer for each customer.

I have not encountered Stephens Lutherie.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/31/24 09:21:12PM
399 posts

1970 M12R Signed by L. Mcspadden


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

I agree with the others.  I think about the $400-$500 range or so.  You can try, of course.  It's a wonderful instrument!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/30/24 05:51:50PM
399 posts

Vintage dulcimer information sought


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Art, that looks like a nice one.  Not sure of the bridge-bar either, but it may be an adjustable bridge, with the "real" bridge there just to set the height and spacing?  Like a zero-fret at the other end?

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/30/24 01:28:18PM
399 posts

Reasons NOT To Get a Chromatic


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Let me help you with that, Ma'am!  The misty dulcimore past is calling out to you...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/28/24 09:38:09PM
399 posts

New instruments that I have no clue about!


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

That triangular one looks like a balalaika (Bal-al-LIKE-ah), a Russian instrument like a mandolin.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/28/24 04:11:04PM
399 posts

John Stockard dulcimer questions


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Congratulations!  What a beautiful instrument!  I don't know what the plexiglass strip is for, but I can help you with the second question.  I think the nut and bridge slots were cut so you could set it up for either equidistant spacing or for doubled-melody string setup:  String 1 stays in slot 1, string 2 goes in slot 2, string 3 goes in slot 4, and string 4 (bass) stays in slot 6.  Have fun!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/23/24 09:48:37PM
399 posts

I bought a Sunhearth!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That's wonderful news, Curt!  These things don't always turn out so well.  That's a good job of peg-fitting.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/23/24 03:39:09PM
399 posts

Looking for tabs/books devoted to old style drone & noter playing


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Abebooks.com has several copies available for around $15-$25 

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/23/24 01:21:50PM
399 posts

Looking for tabs/books devoted to old style drone & noter playing


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Yes, Frank, that's the CLASSIC Jean Ritchie dulcimer instruction book.  It was one of the first, if not the first book on the dulcimer.  Much good information to be discovered in it.  Jean also wrote "Jean Ritchie's Dulcimer People" and several other books.  Her personal story about growing up is in "Singing Family of the Cumberlands" and is well worth having in your library.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/12/24 03:10:21PM
399 posts

Dulcimer Shipping


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I shipped a large Galax dulcimore from the Detroit area to St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada (Niagara Falls area) in a plywood box using Parcel Monkey.  I took it to a FedEx office nearby for them to send it with the label I printed for it.  Everything went well that time.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/12/24 08:19:17AM
399 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

We're proud to "have you on the bus", Nate!  You have some amazing ideas.  Thanks for sharing them with us.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/09/24 08:34:14AM
399 posts

Dulcimer maker unknown


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

That makes 3 of us.  A basic dulcimer but it might have a good sound.  I too have not encountered this maker.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/08/24 04:25:28PM
399 posts

I bought a Sunhearth!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If you will excuse me for saying so, I think those pegs look like cheap banjo friction pegs, not worthy of such a fine instrument.  The previous owner probably had tuning problems with the original wooden pegs, and had somebody replace them with these.  There are nicer alternatives, including nice-fitting wooden replacements or quality mechanical tuners, such as Wittners or Perfection pegs.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/06/24 07:09:40PM
399 posts

String suggestions


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Strings.com or Guitar Center.  I go to Guitar Center for odd sizes, or when I run out of the proper string.  They have a box of individual strings under the counter, in square paper envelopes, and can usually find me what I want.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/31/23 02:15:10PM
399 posts

Beginner questions about dulcimer care


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Hi!  Welcome to the site!  I've known Warren May for probably 45 years now, and he always has a good word to say.  He's friendly and talented and likes to talk!  He'll give you more dulcimer information than you ask for.  I'd visit his shop once or twice a year in the past, and he always remembered me, by name, and would ask me how things were in Detroit.  Very fun guy to talk with.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/25/23 09:42:50AM
399 posts

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL FOMTD MEMBERS!


OFF TOPIC discussions

I want to wish you all a very blessed day today, in which we remember the birth of the Prince of Peace so long ago.  

How we need His peace today!  Merry Christmas to one and all !

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/19/23 01:54:02PM
399 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've been using Perfection geared violin pegs on some of my dulcimers, and people really like the ease of use.  Plus they look just like black ebony violin pegs, which doesn't detract from the appearance of the dulcimers.  I just ordered a set of Wittner pegs to try out.  I've heard good things about them!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/08/23 05:48:07PM
399 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Robin Thompson:

Jean Ruth Ritchie was born 101 years ago today in Viper KY.flower


She's probably pickin' dulcimore with the angelic host!  God bless her and her family.
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/05/23 04:50:00PM
399 posts

Traditional role of the mountain dulcimer.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I agree with Lisa (Strumelia) that those 2 books are enjoyable and informative reading.

1