New McSpadden Flatwater Dulcimers

Susie
Susie
@susie
17 hours ago
430 posts

Congrats on your new Flatwater, ADK. From what I see, they look and sound great, and have a great price to boot. I think McSpadden has really filled a niche with these new dulcimers.

ADKzookeeper
ADKzookeeper
@adkzookeeper
one week ago
5 posts

Thank you Dusty,Ken,Wendell and Strumelia for your good wishes. You guys are an encouraging bunch!

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
one week ago
783 posts

It sounds like you are really enjoying your new dulcimer. Have fun playing it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

ADKzookeeper
ADKzookeeper
@adkzookeeper
one week ago
5 posts

Steven Berger:

Looks good, sounds good, AND it comes with a case...all for a quality-built McSpadden at a great price! What's not to like?

It’s a win win all the way around. And the padded case is way more than I expected.Now to see if I can find someone in the family to pass my cardboard dulcimer to try.

Steven Berger
Steven Berger
@steven-berger
one week ago
137 posts

Looks good, sounds good, AND it comes with a case...all for a quality-built McSpadden at a great price! What's not to like?

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
one week ago
1,441 posts

@adkzookeeper, I'm glad to hear you're so happy with your dulcimer.  And in general, it's wonderful that McSpadden is offering a more affordable model.




--
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
Wendell G
Wendell G
@wendell-g
one week ago
9 posts

Congratulations, Lynn! It sounds like you got a keeper for sure. Enjoy!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
one week ago
1,969 posts

@ADKzookeeper , what great news- I'm very happy for you!  jive




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
ADKzookeeper
ADKzookeeper
@adkzookeeper
one week ago
5 posts

Eeeekkkk! My Flatwater arrived yesterday and it’s gorgeous! And the sound........even when I play all the wrong notes it sounds so good!  And the (I think you call it sustain?) notes just linger in the air for a long time. Sweet. I admit to asking them to put on a micarta fretboard (it helps me to better see the separate frets.....ok and I love how smooth it feels under my fingers). This Flatwater will keep me busy and happy for a looooong time😊😊😊😊. Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the Flatwaters. After a year of playing on my cardboard dulcimer this is just the push to keep me practicing.

‘Lynn

Belinda Link
Belinda Link
@belinda
4 weeks ago
9 posts

Thanks so much, @dusty-turtle ! I really love my Flatwater!   

Wendell G
Wendell G
@wendell-g
4 weeks ago
9 posts

Hi Lynn,

Dusty is right, you can’t specify the woods and while there are some visual differences (check out the Facebook page for The Dulcimer Shoppe) that only makes each one unique. The tone woods are excellent and the wood combinations vary. If you go to their Facebook site, check out the Flatwater intro video around Black Friday 2020. Former National Dulcimer Champion Duane Porterfield introduces the Flatwaters to the world and the one you’ll see him play is the one I bought. By the way, I didn’t know that until I opened mine on Christmas Day. Good luck, have fun and I hope you get yours soon and let us all know your impressions.

ADKzookeeper
ADKzookeeper
@adkzookeeper
4 weeks ago
5 posts

Thank you for the detailed feedback, Wendell and Dusty T. They do not have any in stock........they sell out fast! I’m going to call this week and order one. They certainly fit my budget, and with my current playing ability I don’t feel I can justify spending more than that (at least for now).

Lynn

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
4 weeks ago
1,441 posts

My understanding is that the Flatwater models are indeed made from fine tonewoods, but you can't specify the wood when you order one.  They put the instruments together with wood leftover from their other builds.  In terms of the visuals, my guess is that they will vary a bit.  But the quality of McSpadden builds is unquestioned, so they should all play and sound very nice.

I've seen a YouTube video by FOTMD member @belinda playing one that both looks and sounds great.




--
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: 04/18/21 01:38:28PM
Wendell G
Wendell G
@wendell-g
4 weeks ago
9 posts

Hi there, I got one of the very first Flatwater dulcimers that were made for Christmas from my wonderful wife. In fact, I by chance got the one that is played in the video that introduced them. The Flatwater is just plain fun. The wood may not be super top grade visually and the volume is not as load as my McSpadden or some of my other dulcimers. However, the build quality and tone are excellent. The 26 inch scale is terrific and the intonation is spot on. I love mine and have had a lot of fun playing it. Sweet dulcimer for a good price.

ADKzookeeper
ADKzookeeper
@adkzookeeper
4 weeks ago
5 posts

I have listened to several YouTube videos of people playing their Flatwaters. Has anyone here purchased one? What do you think of them? I am looking to upgrade from my cardboard dulcimer.

Susie
Susie
@susie
6 months ago
430 posts

Dusty Turtle:


My guess is that they will play the role of entry-level dulcimers as people's first instruments, so there will always be a small market for them, much like the Folkcraft cardboard dulcimers.  And like some of the student-model dulcimers that some luthiers make, some people may prefer them to fancier instruments.



Yes. It will likely do well as a travel/back-pack type instrument too. People have an easier time taking a lesser priced instrument like that. So I think it will do well to some degree and since it really has its own niche, i think it will stick around and not just be a fad. But, what do I know. shrugger

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
6 months ago
1,441 posts

My guess is that they will play the role of entry-level dulcimers as people's first instruments, so there will always be a small market for them, much like the Folkcraft cardboard dulcimers.  And like some of the student-model dulcimers that some luthiers make, some people may prefer them to fancier instruments.




--
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
Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
6 months ago
185 posts

Will they become popular or a passing fad?

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
6 months ago
1,441 posts

This flatwater dulcimer is definitely a good idea, although it's also a sign of how expensive dulcimers have become.  It's hard to get a newbie to invest $500 or more for an instrument they're not sure they're going to play, so the price point on this model is welcome.  I also like the trapezoidal shape as well. And most importantly, the demo sounded great.




--
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
Susie
Susie
@susie
6 months ago
430 posts
Ken Hulme:

Looks good.  I don't think there has been a production trapezoid-shape ever, except for the cardboard dulcimers; they've always been one-offs by individual builders.  Looks good and sounds good, and it's a decent price point.

I agree with everything you said Ken. It is an interesting approach. An inexpensive all wood dulcimer, that sounds good and helps out McSpadden in using wood that wouldn't be otherwise be put to use. Plus, it brings back that traditional dulcimer design. I hope they do well (I bet they do).
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
6 months ago
1,822 posts

Looks good.  I don't think there has been a production trapezoid-shape ever, except for the cardboard dulcimers; they've always been one-offs by individual builders.  Looks good and sounds good, and it's a decent price point.

Susie
Susie
@susie
6 months ago
430 posts

Robin Thompson:

The Flatwater looks and sounds great!  Thanks for the information, @susie! 

No problem. Thought it would be fun for people to see. 

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
6 months ago
1,182 posts

The Flatwater looks and sounds great!  Thanks for the information, @susie

Susie
Susie
@susie
6 months ago
430 posts

Ken Hulme:

At $265 it's not a version of a $75 cardboard dulcimer!  Call it an Entry Level instrument.  Good to see though that they're being more frugal  -- using not necessarily uber-attractive pieces of wood for their own builds.  

I know it's not a version of a $75 cardboard dulcimer! THEY were explaining in the video how it came about. They wanted to create something like a cardboard dulcimer. But through the process, they decided they wanted to take it a step further and have the quality of a solid wood instrument. They even admit that they never accomplished the task of creating a cardboard dulcimer. The video gives the whole story and they call it like it is. (The link works for me, because I have a FB account. I'm not sure it it works for everyone.)


updated by @susie: 11/25/20 03:40:07PM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
6 months ago
1,822 posts

At $265 it's not a version of a $75 cardboard dulcimer!  Call it an Entry Level instrument.  Good to see though that they're being more frugal  -- using not necessarily uber-attractive pieces of wood for their own builds.  

Susie
Susie
@susie
6 months ago
430 posts

McSpadden will be releasing their new Flatwater dulcimers this friday (Black Friday). It is their version of the "cardboard" dulcimer, though it is of better quality, made of solid woods. It will have a 26" vsl and will have 3 strings. This is their way of creating a simpler, less-expensive dulcimer using woods that they wouldn't otherwise be able to use on their standard dulcimers, because the pieces of wood wouldn't be big enough. It will start at $265, which includes a case. They will be choosing the woods out of their supply and will use the woods that sound good and look good. They announced it on Facebook today. I have no affiliation with McSpadden, but just thought I'd pass this along to the group. 

https://www.facebook.com/McSpaddenDulcimers/videos/1082866002137021


updated by @susie: 11/25/20 02:39:07PM