Narrow waisted hourglass shape
I'm looking at a couple used dulcimers right now. One is a teardrop Keith Young with modern fretting that I could finance. The other is a no name, homemade one, with some inlaid strips down the back and fretboard, pictured in my first post. Its a five string, notched for double bass, double melody, though I'd probably stick to 3 or double the melody. It looks like it was made with love, and I'm thinking, not from a kit, given the narrow waist. I'm trying not to get over excited and pull the trigger, buying something I'll regret. I can see Not regretting the KY, I'm sure it's very well made with great intonation, given his reputation. The wasp waist really appeals to me also, it has character, and I wouldn't feel so bad getting a scratch on it, as its got some battle scars. Soooo, I don't know, lots to think about. Both are for sale far away, no chance of playing them. Lisa
updated by @lisa: 01/08/19 11:45:33AM
If you have very sensitive acoustic recording gear like an oscilliscope, I believe that you can see the difference between an hourglass (especially a wasp-waisted design) and an hourglass -- the soundwaves would show two peaks -- one for each bout. If I remember, Richard Troughear, the scientific luthier down in Australia demonstrated this. However I do not believe the human ear is capable of such discrimination.
Although the wasp waist certainly adds to the looks of the dulcimer, I believe it does add to the tone. It mellows the tone a bit, making it somewhat less jangly. People compare the hourglass with the teardrop and say, see no difference. They forget that a teardrop has an effectively shorter body than a teardrop.
I was wondering if someone could explain about an hourglass shape with a narrow, or pinched waist. Is this simply a regional or comfort design, or does it affect tone? I mean more than the average amount of pinch than I see on most instruments. I imagine it would be a bit more fragile, but it’s very a very lovely look.
I tried the search, but maybe I’m not using the right terms