Thoughts: Folk Roots by Rugg & Jackel, D40-s 1119842

marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

Well, I had made contact with the seller & this morning again I asked where we could meet. Tonight, he said he sold it today. I guess I need to learn how to play, if something is listed - what I should do is be first at the door - don't e-mail & wait for a reply.

Thanks to all of you for all your help. It is disappointing to have lost the dulcimer but it was not a total lost - I have learn a good bit of history about Folk Roots, the Ruggs & the whole dulcimer movement in CA. 

Hoping the dulcimer has found a good home & will be played.

Thanks again

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
3 years ago
445 posts

Tony, if it indeed looks like that pic, I'd grab it.  I mean, I'd have to dig up the money since I haven't been working,  but I'm sure it would leave with me.

marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

rob,

hot

you would probably make it, I do think a bit about things not knowing enough yet. But  then, I know it would be going someplace good

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
3 years ago
445 posts

My Capritaurus is all mahogany ply, I think.  That one would probably sound really good by now.  In fact, if I were close I'd probably try to get it ahead of you.  ROFL

 

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 years ago
1,274 posts

The Capritaurus/Folk Roots dulcimers definitely hold an important place in 20th-century dulcimer history. The dulcimer boom in 1970s Santa Cruz centered around the Ruggs's shop, and many of the players from that period who are still kicking around and making music rave about what a phenomenal player Michael Rugg was and what a fine luthier Howard was.  And the dulcimers were innovative, using bigger boxes and perhaps some more bracing to get more volume.  At some point business was so busy that they split in two, with Michael Rugg taking over Capritaurus and handling the custom market and Howard Rugg & Steve Jackel running Folk Roots geared to mass production.

Folk Roots dulcimers show up on Craig's List fairly often, at least out here in California.  I have one that has been on semi-permanent loan to one of the members of my local dulcimer group (who hasn't show up recently, so maybe she took off with my dulcimer!).  That dulcimer sounds very good, but you have to get it off you lap.  If you strum a chord on your lap and lift it up, you can hear a huge difference in volume and tone.  I point this out because if you check out the sound you will want to make sure you can hear it when it's at its best. 

As I said, Howard Rugg's big innovation in instrument design was mainly using big boxes for a lot of volume.  However, since then (that was 40 years ago!) other luthiers have picked up on those principles and also make really loud dulcimers.  If you have heard a Modern Mountain Dulcimer or a Blue Lion or a Gallier or a Beede dulcimer, I don't think your jaw will drop when you hear an old Capritaurus or Folk Roots.  The industry has caught up to that old design.  However, Howard Rugg is back in business now, having revived Capritaurus  a few years ago and is now making really fine looking instruments one-at-a-time.  I would agree with Rob that you can find Folk Roots dulcimers for $100 so you shouldn't spend more than that.

Howard is a member here, so if you have questions about what a model number means or what kind of wood was involved, he can probably tell you.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty-turtle: 01/16/17 12:40:35PM
Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
3 years ago
445 posts

I'd grab it!  

marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

rob,

    You are probably right (D40-S I'd bet it's mahogany ply with a spruce top)  Sounds like in the mid 80's they were making them faster so there is a difference between your (Capritaurus dulcimer) and this one.

    Thank you for finding the videos. Below is photo taken off the site & he is asking a bit under $100

 


updated by @marg: 01/16/17 11:57:54AM
Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
3 years ago
445 posts

There are 2 videos I made with the Capritaurus.  It's not here right now, so I can't measure it.  I sent it on a vacation to Oklahoma.  LOL

I believe John's right and the 4 inches would include the height of the fingerboard.  As you can hear, tuned to CGcc it's a boomer.

 

joe sanguinette
joe sanguinette
@joe-sanguinette
3 years ago
74 posts

howard rugg visits here often.  maybe he will chime in 

John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
3 years ago
103 posts

 I would guess the 4" deep measurement includes the fretboard. That seems awfully deep to me, too.

marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

rob,

is your ( early Capritaurus ) deep, this one says 4" that sounds much deeper than anyting I've seen. Does that create a really strong sound?

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
3 years ago
445 posts

Folkroots seemed to have a variety of models but one of the most common were mahogany or walnut ply with a spruce top.  Being a D40-S I'd bet it's mahogany ply with a spruce top.  If it had no cracks or no case, I'd like to give between $50 & $100, but I may be living in the past a little. In fact if it was under $100, I'd probably buy it regardless.  LOL.  

 

marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

History:     1976 - Rugg, Rugg & Jackel broke up the partnership. Steve Jackel and Howard Rugg formed a new partnership, called Rugg & Jackel.

The Rugg & Jackel company kept the FolkRoots line, and Michael Rugg retained control of the CapriTaurus name and line of solid wood dulcimers.

 

So, if i am looking at one from the mid 80's, the FolkRoots line - does that mean they didn't do solid wood dulcimers if the CapriTaurus line did solid wood?

marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

rob,

What type of price would have you going to check it our or not going?

I read someone found one at goodwill for $29 plus shipping, this isn't that low but not $300 either.


updated by @marg: 01/15/17 09:13:05PM
marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

That's some of my thoughts ken, I can make a 2-3-4 chord on the 28 but can't do anywhere near 1-0-4. I would need to just play the melody where I can't reach a chord, which is what I do now - part chord, part melody, part flat picking. 

What would be a fair price for a Folk Roots, mid 80's?     No fancy woods, just good plain simple look but hoping a great sound.

Just trying to decide if I should drive over to see it. i don't want to get the buyers hopes up if it's just not the right fit, but then I guess I wont know till I do go check it out. 

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
3 years ago
445 posts

Price would be the factor for me in checking it out.  I have an early Capritaurus and would like to get a Folk Roots with no "Extra" frets, too.  I am trying to use my little finger more instead of the thumb.  I find it works out pretty good that way.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 years ago
665 posts

If you play a lot of chord/melody style playing this might not be the best dulcimer for you. Think of how you would play a 1-0-4 chord or even a 1-0-3 chord. How easy is it to make a 2-3-4 or 2-3-5 chord on the 28 inch scale. You could use a fret scale calculator and print out a 29 inch template, cut it out, lay it on a table and try chording. On the other hand, if you do some noter player, this will be an excellent dulcimer. One other consideration is that it will look very nice hanging on your wall.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

marg
@marg
3 years ago
554 posts

I was wondering if I should go see a Folk Roots dulcimer by Rugg & Jackel, D40-s 1119842. It has the 291/4 VSL & that is what was stopping me. I play mostly dulcimer with a 27.5 & 28 VSL. I do have thumb problems now & was worried it would just be worst stretching just a bit more. I do like the history of the Folk Roots and that alone would be a reason to go check it out. 

Any thoughts on this?


updated by @marg: 07/09/18 08:55:01PM