New player / New purchase / Wellborn dulcimer

Spam1977
Spam1977
@spam1977
4 weeks ago
1 posts

I'm new to fotmd, but I discovered this forum thread when I was googling Fred Wellborn, Sr. to see if I could learn more about my dulcimer. Let me tell you what I know.

I purchased mine as a Western Carolina University student from Balsam Dulcimer Gallery in Waynesville, NC in 1996. I was told that Mr. Wellborn made dulcimers that supplied several music stores in the Blue Ridge area. Sadly, he died of a cardiac event while delivering some instruments to a store in or around Asheville in 1997. 

I have enjoyed my curly maple dulcimer all these years. It was well-made. My only regret was that he used cheap plastic tuning pegs. One day I intend to replace them. I know this is an old thread, but hope you're enjoying your instrument--you had a good find.

All the best, Todd

Wmacky
Wmacky
@wmacky
2 years ago
8 posts

Ken Hulme:

There are photos of two different instruments there... one with a walnut back, one showing a maple back with a thin walnut 'racing stripe'.  One with a maple fretboard, the other with a walnut fretboard.

Hi Ken,

A couple posts back I stated that I had  purchased a second dulcimer. The maple backed pictures were posted at the beginning of this thread. I did notice that if your looking at pictures and start scrolling them, the forum will show all attached pictures from the entire thread. I thought that might be confusing!


updated by @wmacky: 03/18/19 10:11:58AM
Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
2 years ago
136 posts

Wmacky, you have purchased a beautiful instrument. Congrats. I saw it on ebay but did not pursue it.

I have purchased 5 dulcimers over the years which appeared that someone purchased, looked at, and put in a closet waiting for the "some day" when they would learn to play. But never did. One even had the pick and noter stick still sealed in a little envelope. So long as they have been stored where there is not extreme temps or humidity, one can find some good buys in this scenario. Usually the dulcimer will need new strings, and sometimes some care of the fretboard as frets will sometimes oxidize a bit over time.

I know you are looking forward to many years enjoying your dulcimers. It sounds like your DAD (dulcimer acquisition disorder) may be at bay for a while. Thankfully, that disorder is not harmful, unless it makes the spouse unhappy.sweating

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,801 posts

There are photos of two different instruments there... one with a walnut back, one showing a maple back with a thin walnut 'racing stripe'.  One with a maple fretboard, the other with a walnut fretboard.

Wmacky
Wmacky
@wmacky
2 years ago
8 posts

Even better is that although it's 10 years old, he sold it as new / unplayed.  Never left it's case.......

 

Looks like it's maple top. sides, and fretboard, walnut back and scroll?

 

Look like this is missing the 6 1/2 fret, so now I have one of each fret layout.

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updated by @wmacky: 03/17/19 11:09:30PM
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
2 years ago
174 posts
Way to go! My favorite dulcimer: is the one I’m playing.
Steven Berger
Steven Berger
@steven-berger
2 years ago
131 posts

Yeah, I'd agree that's a special dulcimer! Congratulations!

Bob
Bob
@bob
2 years ago
87 posts

Holy moley thats a beautiful instrument!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,801 posts

Outstanding!  I'd say you stole it!  Congratulations.

Cindy Stammich
Cindy Stammich
@cindy-stammich
2 years ago
53 posts
How many Dulcimers does a dulcimer player need???
Just one more 🤣
Wmacky
Wmacky
@wmacky
2 years ago
8 posts

It's official. I'm out of control!  My first purchase won't arrive until tomorrow, and I have made my second purchase moments ago. I truly was in no rush, but then saw a nice special looking MD on eBay that looked like it was going to go cheap. It did! I'm no Dulcimer expert being a beginner, but I think I stole it  I hope no one here was bidding on it too?

Not much info on the "deceased" builder, but can tell from the construction that he must have been great.  Fred T Wellborn?

Paid $161 with a hard case.  Here's a quick peek! And yesy, more flamed maple.

 

 

 

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updated by @wmacky: 03/17/19 09:33:11PM
Steve Smith
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
2 years ago
33 posts
I've only played Richard's dulcimers once, but I could be very happy with one. I play a 30 year old custom McSpadden that I absolutely love, and I think his had much the same sound. Very mellow but solid, and the build was excellent. I'm sure you'll love yours.
Banjimer
Banjimer
@greg-gunner
2 years ago
111 posts

Welcome to the FOTMD community.  As you have already discovered, you will receive a warm welcome and friendly advice on this forum.  This community will continue to welcome your questions and suggestions, and we will do our best to make you keep coming back for more.

While I have no personal experience with your dulcimer maker, his dulcimers sure look sweet.  I'm sure your new dulcimer will serve you well and provide you with many hours of joy.  

Wmacky
Wmacky
@wmacky
2 years ago
8 posts

Thanks so much for the warm welcome everyone. That's a breath of fresh air compared to some of the hobby forums I visit.  I have not received the dulcimer yet but the anticipation is great. I've been intriuged since first seeing one about 45 years ago on a episode of "The Walton's". My God, has it been 45 years?

 

Any way, thanks for not scolding. I know as a beginner, that was not the standard path. However I do appreciate finely crafted pieces using choice woods. I just had to have it. I made a offer that brought the price down to almost what a standard McSpadden goes for, and he accepted, so I jumped. I'm already thinking about another.whistle I came here as a so so struggling guitar player. So I'm familiar with strumming. fretting, and musical concepts, but of coarse, know little about the dulcimer.

 

Ken, I'm going to read that article right now!   Do some of you that know of Richard, ever heard his dulcimers? Just curious which way the sound leans. Modern / traditional.... It doesn't much matter to me as which ever way it goes, I'll compliment it with another that leans the other way!


updated by @wmacky: 03/15/19 10:23:21PM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 years ago
1,801 posts

Welcome to our musical family.  Great purchase as a first instrument.  Here's  link to an article I wrote several years back for folks in your position

https://fotmd.com/strumelia/group_discuss/2316/ken-hulmes-i-just-got-a-dulcimer-now-what-article

The article is called I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What?  It's an illustrated glossary of dulcimer terms, so we all talk the same jargon, plus answers to many beginner questions about tuning, playing, care and feeding of your new best friend.

Enjoy your journey -- you're in for a fabulous ride!

 

Steve Smith
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
2 years ago
33 posts

Yes, Richard builds some nice instruments!  If you're interested in hearing him, although not playing dulcimers, he and Tom Fellenbaum (another builder of wonderful dulcimers) are the alternating hosts of Celtic Winds on WNCW here in western North Carolina every Sunday from Noon-3pm Eastern.  You can listen live at wncw.org or through several apps.  They play some great music, and very occasionally you'll hear some dulcimer, too!

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 years ago
1,134 posts

That sure is a pretty instrument-- happy strumming! 




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
2 years ago
136 posts

Congratulations on your purchase. That is a beautiful dulcimer. I know you will enjoy it for a long time

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 years ago
748 posts

That is a beautiful instrument. Enjoy and have fun playing it (which I am sure you will). Richard makes wonderful instruments.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Steven Berger
Steven Berger
@steven-berger
2 years ago
131 posts

That dulcimer looks like a keeper! Congratulations and enjoy!

Susie
Susie
@susie
2 years ago
406 posts
Looks really nice, congrats!
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 years ago
1,388 posts

That looks like a mighty fine instrument, @Wmacky.  Really beautiful.




--
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
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
2 years ago
174 posts
I hope your instrument is one that you will treasure for a lifetime. Relax and enjoy!
Wmacky
Wmacky
@wmacky
2 years ago
8 posts

Dusty Turtle:


Congratulations, @Wmacky. I'm sure you'll make that dulcimer sing in no time.  Do you have any pictures to share?


(By the way, I think the name is Richard Beard , though I'm sure he eats bread every now and then. grin )



Haha  Yes Beard!


 


Here are some pics.


 


 

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Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 years ago
1,388 posts

Congratulations, @Wmacky. I'm sure you'll make that dulcimer sing in no time.  Do you have any pictures to share?

(By the way, I think the name is Richard Beard , though I'm sure he eats bread every now and then. grin )




--
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
Wmacky
Wmacky
@wmacky
2 years ago
8 posts

Well I did it. I purchased a new Dulcimer and will learn to play it! I looked at the usual big production units, and thought I had decided, but then found a small production dulcimer from a individual Luthier. The Luithier does not seem to be well known to the dulcimer community, (Richard Bread?). Research shows he make excellent guitars, and Mandolins with Very glowing reviews. I guess the negative would be resell value compared to better know instruments? The positive seemed to be a lot of deluxe features and upgrades for the same price as a "regular" upper end standard Mcspadden.

 

This one comes with a red cedar top, highly flamed Maple sides and book-matched back. Walnut scroll , end block, and fingerboard, ebony fret-board, ebony tipped Grover tuning keys, and a high gloss polished lacquer finish. It's quite striking! :-) This was a internet purchase but with a 14 day return period.


updated by @wmacky: 03/15/19 10:44:20AM