Does anyone recognize this dulcimer?

JenniferC
@jenniferc
3 months ago
33 posts
How wonderful! I'm so glad you got a good one. Replacing the tuning peg shouldn't be too hard...but who needs more than 4 strings, anyway? Lol! Glad I was able to help. Enjoy!
Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

This Fleming dulcimer is wonderful! It is missing one mechanical tuning peg--the outer part you turn--but sounds beautiful as a four-string! Definitely glad I got it and thank you for the recommendation that gave me the little push, Jennifer! And guess what--no buzzing! Once I got the bridge set correctly (and the strings, which, holy smokes, I'm not sure what  previous owner was thinking. . .!!!) intonation is excellent and tone is warm even with mostly old strings! Sigh. So lovely!

Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

That Fleming ad was from a different Fleming, though (who is also listed in the Directory of Contemporary etc.)!

Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

Will do!

marg
@marg
3 months ago
552 posts
Linda,
I was hoping to find an image of your dulcimer on line but instead found an old add for a Fleming, very old.
I can't seem to attached from my phone but it was a 2011 add for $500. For a 1959 Fleming. Let us know how it turns out
Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

I'll let you know! Thanks for all of your help!

JenniferC
@jenniferc
3 months ago
33 posts
If you get it, I'd love to hear how it all turns out!
Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

How lovely! And good to know that using a capo can make it playable, in the event that mine suffers from the same ailment as yours. I have plenty of dulcimers that need special accommodations to be played :), so perhaps this will be one more of those-- I will ask about the fret buzzing, but I don't think it will be productive since this person doesn't know dulcimers (that's the story, anyway!!).

JenniferC
@jenniferc
3 months ago
33 posts
Linda, I have a recording here of me playing the fiddleside. The song is "the ash grove". It will give you an idea of the sound. Used a capo, so was able to bypass the buzzing frets, lol.
JenniferC
@jenniferc
3 months ago
33 posts
Oh, wow! That's the same builder of mine! It's very well made, mine just has been played so much the frets are worn. Maybe ask about fret buzzing.
Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

HA Fleming is in the 

Directory of Contemporary American Musical Instrument Makers

but that doesn't guarantee playability ! ;)

Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

The maker is HA Fleming, but I can't hear or play it before buying. It looks great. . .

JenniferC
@jenniferc
3 months ago
33 posts
Linda, $100 is a fantastic price if it is playable. I bought mine from someone out of state, so wasn't able to try it out first. Will you be able to hear it played/try it before you buy it? Do you know who made it?
Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

Jennifer, Thank you for your prompt reply! If this is not too presumptuous to ask, would you say 100.00 was a fair price? That's the cost of the one I'm looking at, but can't play.


updated by @linda2: 07/11/17 10:00:08AM
marg
@marg
3 months ago
552 posts

george,

(ones he personally built were signed by him carving/engraving his name on the back side of the dulcimer,)

Sam Carrell also, I just picked up a Carrell fiddleside dulcimer. He also signs his name on the back

jenniferc, 

I hope you enjoy your fiddleside dulcimer, I have my Sam Carrell '84 fiddleside tuned DAA (only using 4 strings, not the 5th string) and the tone is also so beautiful. 

JenniferC
@jenniferc
3 months ago
33 posts
Hi Linda,

This particular dulcimer turned out needing the frets redressed, or possibly replaced, which I haven't had done yet. It was made in 1973 of mahogany. It has a beautiful tone with incredible sustain. Eventually, I'll get the frets fixed so it doesn't buzz so badly. It has a 29 inch VSL (vibrating string length), which makes it rather difficult to chord if you have small hands.

Happy dulcimer shopping!
Jennifer
Linda2
@linda2
3 months ago
25 posts

How did this dulcimer turn out? I'm thinking of buying one like it. Thanks.

JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
Thanks, George. Maybe I should send the pictures along to Mr Clemmer and see if he recognizes it, lol.

My sister is going to go pick her up today from the gentleman selling it, and ship it to me. My fingers are very itchy! Lol.
Estes George
@george-desjardins
9 months ago
112 posts

I have never seen a Bill Davis with the upper f holes, and only a couple that were done with heart holes, mine also has just the upper round ones, I'm attaching a couple of pictures of the signature, and the headstock so you can see the Davis looks quite a bit different. My understanding is, and I very well could be wrong on this, is that Davis was the "original" builder of the fiddle side design. 

 Looking at the photos you posted, I would still lean towards it being a Clemmer.

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JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
George....28? You've got it bad! I just have the sniffles, you've got double pneumonia, lol.

Thanks for the info on the Davis kits. Do you know for certain he did a style with the f holes at both the top and bottom? The only ones I have seen had round holes at the top, f holes at the bottom.
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,522 posts

Good to know about the Bill Davis fiddle shapes and kits;  I stand corrected!

 

Estes George
@george-desjardins
9 months ago
112 posts

As was mentioned about Bill davis, it does look like his style, and he did sell kits, the ones he personally built were signed by him carving/engraving his name on the back side of the dulcimer, kits were not signed. I was fortunate enough to find a Bill Davis sometime back, signed that way but also carvet with the name of the person he built it for.

 Otherwise I would also lean towards Mike Clemmer.

 Either way a sweet one, I love the five strings, and as far DADisease, I am now up to 28, the dulcimers live in the house, if I add any more I'll be sleeping outside.

JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
Thank you, John. I think I'll be happy with it either way!

Lol, I've been happy with one dulcimer for 4 years, now I'm afraid I've been afflicted with the dreaded DAD!

I guess it was bound to happen eventually.
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
9 months ago
160 posts

It looks like cherry in these photos, but it could be walnut with reddish lighting when the photos were taken.

Cherry looks deep orange or orange-red, and sometimes has small black "pitch pockets" here and there in the wood.

Walnut usually shows more grain, and can be medium- to chocolate-brown in color.

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
9 months ago
527 posts

Jennifer, while I can not be certain, from the photos it does look like cherry. That would be my guess.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
Thank you, Ken! All these little tidbits of information are sure interesting.

What type of wood do you suppose this is? Cherry?
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
9 months ago
527 posts

On Saturday at the Pocono Dulcimer Club Winterfest I encountered a similar dulcimer. The shape is the same. The peg head shape is slightly different. The pegs on the one I saw are wood, not mechanical friction tuners as in the photo here. The lower sound holes are identical, but the upper sound holes on the one I saw are round. Another difference is that the one I examined was made of wormy chestnut. There was no label inside. Bill Davis did sell kits but I do not know whether any of them were this style. This shape is also the shape used to make the "Masterpiece" dulcimer in Chet Hines book How to Make and Play the Dulcimore.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
Thank you, John. I've arranged to purchase it. Perhaps there will be a label he overlooked. It looks beautiful to me. Hopefully, the sound will be good!
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
9 months ago
160 posts

Bill Davis made kits for this style.  I know, because I helped a lady repair hers.  The head on his was different though-- it had chip carving on the sides of the scroll, and the end was larger.  Too bad there's no label in it.  Chet Hines wrote a book on how to build a "masterpiece dulcimore" like this.

JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
More pictures!
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JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
Thanks so much! I've been wanting a clemmer since I first started playing! And was really hoping this was one!
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,522 posts

That's no kit, believe me!  No one I've heard of in 40 years has ever made a kit for the fiddle shape; it's not a simple build.   It's not "vintage", that's for sure, but it might be a dozen years old.  There should be a maker's label visible through (usually) the lower, far side sound hole.  Mike Clemmer is the primary builder of that style, although a few others offer it.  If the seller is only asking $100, snap it up -- tonight!

JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
I just want to stay away from kit built dulcimers.
JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
He's only asking a hundred.
JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
That's what I was thinking, but wouldn't there be some distinguishing marks?
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
9 months ago
160 posts

Jennifer, she's a beaut!  Looks like a Mike Clemmer ("Wood 'N' Strings", Townsend, TN) from here.  If so, snap it up!

Bill Davis from Gatlinburg, TN and Jean Schilling from Cosby, TN popularized that particular style, with its violin shape, its 5 strings and its large size.

JenniferC
@jenniferc
9 months ago
33 posts
Hi all! This is my first post here, but I've been lurking awhile. I came across a used dulcimer for sale and wondering if anyone might recognize its builder? The seller could only tell me "it's vintage", but the price is great and I'm considering getting it. Only the one picture so far, but waiting on more.

Thanks for any help!
updated by @jenniferc: 01/17/17 12:45:11PM