Not having any photos to refer to, I am guessing that Don O is right. Now, if they used Floating Bridges, it wouldn't be an issue (just pandemonium).
Information about a Change of policy at McSpadden
It IS the bridge, not the string set. When they set up the bridge on their short scale instruments for DAd, they tilt it slightly for intonation compensation.
This is a very significant move on their part, and an a knowlegement that DAd is the “new” standard. “New”, even though it’s been around since the 70’s!
They are the kindest people I've ever met at the Dulcimer Shoppe. Jim takes such great effort in everything he does, and goes out of the way to meet needs and wishes. I'm looking for a 3rd dulcimer to add to my dulcimer family, and had thought about changing makers, just for variety, but I most likely will end up getting one from Jim again, just because I love not only their product, but their attention to detail and customer happiness. Maybe the notice of the standard policy change was with us frequent flyers in mind that know his instruments are generally in DAA (GDG for Gingers) unless otherwise requested.
It's not even the bridge, Dusty; I don't believe they really intonate for one tuning over the other. It might be the string set, if anything. Personally I don't see an issue, or what all the fuss is about. I know how to use the tuners to tune the strings to anything I want within the properties of the strings
Interesting, but no surprise, I suppose.
I am curious why Jim Woods states the change has not gone smoothly. Isn't the only difference which bridge they use? You would think they would have a bunch for DAA and a bunch for DAd, and they just have to switch which pile they grab from. I must be missing something here.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
For many years McSpadden's policy was to set up all standard dulcimers in DAA, with setup in DAd available on request. That has now changed. Below is an excerpt from an email I received from Jim Woods at McSpadden.
"...we have just this month changed that policy. Now well over 90% of our standard dulcimer are sold in DAD tuning so we have yielded to the pressure and made that the default setup. I’m still working on getting that news out to the dulcimer community. Trying to implement a change like that in a policy that has been in place for 56 years doesn’t go smoothly."