Narrow waisted hourglass shape

Lisa
Lisa
@lisa
2 weeks ago
10 posts
I found out the wasp waist is a Berg, so I'm going to pass. Not that they aren't fine instruments, but they are still in production. I just have to really think about adding a loan payment into my budget.
Lisa
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 weeks ago
1,484 posts

Personally I'd regret not getting the Keith Young instrument.  I was considering having him build me on of his Virginia traditional dulcimer, when he up and passed away...

Lisa
Lisa
@lisa
2 weeks ago
10 posts

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

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updated by @lisa: 01/08/19 11:45:33AM
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 weeks ago
539 posts

I like that shape of that dulcimer, Lisa.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 weeks ago
1,484 posts

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.  

Matt Berg
Matt Berg
@matt-berg
2 weeks ago
45 posts

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.

Bob
Bob
@bob
2 weeks ago
84 posts

I think John Knoff is correct on it being mostly for aesthetics. I like the term John used: "wasp-waisted".

My own dulcimer designs generally have that thin waist. I just like the lines, and also have been told (and agree) that it also makes for easy carrying.

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
2 weeks ago
155 posts

It's mostly aesthetics, Lisa.  Some like the look of a wasp-waisted dulcimer more than other body styles.   Uncle Ed Thomas of Bath, Kentucky and C. N. Prichard of Huntington, West Virginia popularized the shape over a hundred years ago.

Lisa
Lisa
@lisa
2 weeks ago
10 posts

Hi, 

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

Thanks, Lisa