Dulcimer just followed me home

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 years ago
1,767 posts

NSThoreau, I have the same exact same old Dulcimer Shoppe kit.  It has a 28" scale length, and the tuners had a hard time holding the strings. I changed the tuners years ago, but my dulcimer still has a bit of a problem holding its strings at high tension. Not exactly sure why that was, but I wasn't about to spend another amount of $ on a third set of tuners, so I left it with my replacements, which are working ok.  The instrument is made from quite thin wood. 
If you continue with the problem, I might suggest you change to .010 strings for the melody strings rather than .012, since the thinner strings will be at a lesser tension.  You also might want to try tuning to the key of C rather than D, which helps as well to reduce the pull on the strings.  




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 years ago
653 posts

Enjoy your Sweet Song dulcimer. Like John, I've assembled a few of them. They are a nice dulcimer. I do like the walnut ones.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

notsothoreau
@notsothoreau
2 years ago
39 posts
I was prepared to have a new "dulcimer shaped object" for my wall. I'm happy it's playable. It's a different instrument from my other two, so need to spend some time with it and see what it can do.
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
2 years ago
206 posts

That's great that you could pick up that dulcimer "for a song".  McSpadden/Dulcimer Shoppe makes a nice kit, and I've assembled several of them.  Mine came out well each time. The plans are clear and the materials are good, unlike some other kits that I won't mention.  Congratulations, and enjoy the newest addition to your family!

notsothoreau
@notsothoreau
2 years ago
39 posts
I am wrong again. I need a better light to read this label. The bottom reads "a kit from the Dulcimer Shoppe". Must be an early kit and the workmanship is good. I wonder if maybe they had lessons and helped people put their kit together?
notsothoreau
@notsothoreau
2 years ago
39 posts
It's 35.5" total length. I've read some dulcimer makers in the 70s made a travel size. That's what this remins me of. I'll try and find out more when I call the Dulcimer Shoppe. The label does say Mountain View Arkansas.
Skip
Skip
@skip
2 years ago
251 posts

It's not a McSpadden kit, I have one. The sound holes are too big, the holes on the large bout are at the 12th fret [McSpaddens are at 14th] and the fretboard looks to be too wide.

notsothoreau
@notsothoreau
2 years ago
39 posts
Correction. I took another look and the maker is John A. Morris. I thought about a kit but those don't usually have a maker's name. I planned to call Dulcimer Shoppe tomorrow. I did find a previous post that talked about tightening those screws and it seems to help. I put a set of D'Addario dulcimer strings on it (.012, .014, and .022) which sound okay. Someone set this up to play with equidistant strongs so it's hard to tell where the strings should go on the bridge and nut.

Still going to do the happy dance here! It will have a good home.
Steve Smith
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
2 years ago
35 posts
The label should have a model number on it. Some of the Sweet Song dulcimers (with SS in the model number) were kits, and Morris may have bought and built a kit. Strings you can get at lots of music stores or online - you can use any loop-end string of the right size. And the tuners have small screws in the ends you can tighten a bit to keep them from slipping.
notsothoreau
@notsothoreau
2 years ago
39 posts

My husband sent me a link to the Facebook marketplace yesterday. There was a dulcimer for $40. I felt sort of sorry for it and checked to see if it was still available. All I had to go on was that there was a label with a date of 1976 and that it was from Arkansas. I picked it up today. The owner bought it in the 70s, played a bit then just kept moving it with him. He decided it was time to let it go. 

It's from the Dulcimer Shoppe, March 1976 and the label says the builder was A. Morris. It's walnut plywood, with those metal pegs that are slipping right now. And it needs new strings. Can I call it a McSpadden?

 

 


updated by @notsothoreau: 03/20/20 01:20:16AM