Obviously not much interest here, but FWIW, I'm in contact with McSpadden re their 26" vsl, but baritone tuning.
McSpadden Baritone Dulcimer
I'm looking smaller in terms of the body (depth and length). Both my Folkcraft Customs, including the baritone, have the deeper body, with galax backs. So, they are quite a bit bigger than the McSpadden. Then, throw in their awesome case, and it's just too big for festivals. Plus, they are more of an investment, in case something were to happen. I love, love them for home and playing with others around home, but another McSpadden would be nicer for festivals. Like you said, I know the quality and tone of a McSpadden too. I've just never tried one of their baritones.
Hi , you have a good memory. I did indeed have a McSpadden baritone for a spell, but was obliged to sell it to raise money (I think I needed a new catalytic converter). I no longer have the video I posted when I was selling that instrument. If I remember correctly mine had a redwood top and ebony overlay on the fretboard. I think the body was walnut. Mine also had a 1-1/2 fret.
If you already have a McSpadden, you know how consistently playable they are. They also tend to keep their value pretty well in case you have to sell it down the proverbial road sometime. I'm not sure what advice I can give you.
I have to be honest that I don't think my ear is capable of discerning the differences in tone from different wood types. I can hear the differences between luthiers, but I can't hear the difference between a cherry McSpadden and a walnut McSpadden, for example. Having come from the guitar, I prefer softwoods (spruce, cedar, redwood) for the tops, but I choose wood for the body based on how it looks.
When you say you want a McSpadden because it is smaller than the Folkcraft, are you referring to the size of the body? Both Blue Lion and Ron Gibson make baritones with smaller scale lengths. Currently I have my Rick Probst dulcimer strung as a baritone, and that is big, in terms of body, VSL, and sound. I can't imagine lugging that thing to festivals.
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
I currently have a Folkcraft Custom Baritone Dulcimer. I love everything about it. I'm toying with the idea of getting a McSpadden baritione (because it is smaller), to accompany me to music festivals, where I also take my standard McSpadden.
For those with McSpadden baritones, can you give me your feedback? Dusty, I think you even did a video once of the one you had. Can you share that? For baritones, I lean towards the cherry/cherry or spruce/walnut woods, which I feel works well with the deeper tones.
updated by @susie: 08/10/20 09:51:03AM