JDH54
JDH54
@jdh54
3 weeks ago
7 posts

Ken:  I have asked for the seller to 2x check, for the VSL.  He's a music shop owner who deals mostly with guitars.  I'm thinking this is actually 28.5 inches, too.  I'll let you know what I find out. 

I did not know that regarding who sign the McSpadden labels?  So, although several folks may have been involved in building this dulcime, Larry McSpadden at least "inspected" it before gluing on the back??

Regardless,  I'm glad to hear you say " I think you are making a good decision".

Made good sense to me.  Thanks For All Your Help - John

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
782 posts

I think you are making a good decision. I would have passed on the May dulcimer for the same reason. Are you sure the VSL on the McSpadden is correct? Most McSpadden's fo that period were 28.5 inches. Also, McSpadden dulcimers were not built by one person. The craftsperson whose responsibility of gluing on the back was the person who signed the label. Someone else may have bent the sides, installed the frets, tuners, strings, done the glue ups, etc.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

JDH54
JDH54
@jdh54
3 weeks ago
7 posts

Richard:  Thank you kindly!!  I have a line on a 2001 McSpadden Spruce over Walnu, 29 VSL.   It was Larry McSpadden. 

It is in mint condition.

I think I'm going to go with the McSpadden. 

I know Warren May does beautiful work, but I have concerns about the rework on tuners and 6 1/2 fret.

Thanks Again for answering all my questions.

McSpadden M12 S 1.jpg
McSpadden M12 S 1.jpg  •  259KB

McSpadden M12 S 2.jpg
McSpadden M12 S 2.jpg  •  240KB

McSpadden M12 S 3.jpg

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
782 posts

I agree that the dark spot looks to be in the wood.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
3 weeks ago
155 posts

To me the dark spot looks like it is in the wood.

Does not appear to have a 13.5 fret. The 6.5 will not be a problem. As you learn, you just have to remember it is there. I play a dulcimore without a 6.5 fret most of the time then if I pick up my only one with the 6.5 fret, it takes me a few minutes to remember it is there.

JDH54
JDH54
@jdh54
3 weeks ago
7 posts

One more quick question.  This build is solid maple (curly maple top and bookmatched bottom).  

I am told that the dark streak on the back is not a crack, but just darker color in the wood.

To me it looks like someone dripped something across the back.  Any thoughts?

No description available.

JDH54
JDH54
@jdh54
3 weeks ago
7 posts

Thanks Richard! 

If I'm seeing this correctly the added 6 1/2 fret is right over a position dot?  No 13 1/2, correct?  Will this be a problem?  I'm looking at a possible 1st dulcimer.  It has been in a case in resident's closet for at least 25 years.  

This appears to be a Warren May built in 1987 (based on label) that has been switched to GOTAH covered tuners and a 6 1/2 fret added.   

Thanks!!

Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
3 weeks ago
155 posts

It looks like it has a 6 1/2 that has been added.

JDH54
JDH54
@jdh54
3 weeks ago
7 posts

does this dulcimer have a 61/2 fret?

Thanks

May be an image of guitar

IMG_2331[1].JPG
IMG_2331[1].JPG  •  211KB


updated by @jdh54: 04/21/21 05:10:28PM
Dan
Dan
@dan
3 weeks ago
129 posts

Warren makes fine instruments, chorded or noted. Yes his scale is proprietary as is most modern makers but I've heard many of his pieces over the years and they are wonderful! (Yes Maple has a little brighter tone)  If you are good with the price buy it! 

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 weeks ago
1,440 posts

I've heard some professional players suggest that maple instruments have more sustain than other common woods.  I can't vouch for that myself.  To be honest, I can't even be sure I hear the difference between woods.  Different luthiers make instruments that sound different, but I've never been confident that I could identify the wood as the reason for a specific dulcimer's sound.  I like the look of maple, though, for what that's worth.

That looks like a fine instrument.  And remember that things like string spacing can be adjusted with altered or new bridges and nuts later one, so that's not a feature that should influence whether you buy an instrument or not.  Scale length is different, though, so you might want to ask about that.




--
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
JDH54
JDH54
@jdh54
3 weeks ago
7 posts

Thanks to @strumelia and @John-Gribble  for getting this to a better forum and specific comment on scale!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,969 posts

Hi- I transferred this discussion to our forum about specific luthiers and instruments, since it's not really a discussion about beginning to play.

Personally, I love how maple sounds!- I think of the tone as warm but snappy, like a good toffee.  :D

@John-Gribble is right in that (in general) any hardwood dulcimer will be slightly less warm/mellow sounding than softwood.

To be honest this sounds like a wonderful dulcimer and I'm pretty sure it would win over your heart.  love




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
John Gribble
John Gribble
@john-gribble
3 weeks ago
120 posts

The scale on mine is 26 3/4", the fretboard is 1 1/2" and the string spacing is basically equidistant. I hope that helps with your decision. Mine is all walnut—not the most mellow, but that would be true of most all-hardwood instruments. 

JDH54
JDH54
@jdh54
3 weeks ago
7 posts

Hello All:  I am giving some considertion about a Warren May built in approx. 1996.  Appears to be (and seller info says) curly maple top and back.  Will solid maple sound super bright??I'd prefer something more mellow.  Seller out of town so I can't get label info.  I met Warren many years ago at his shop when he had it.  His craftsmanship on dulcimers (and fine furniture) is beautiful.  Understand that because he builds "traditional" KY scale", they are best for noter style playing and can be difficult to chord and/or fingerpick.  Seller is out of town for a few days so I can't get label info, but do know they got it about 25 years ago, took a few lessons, decided dulcimer was not for her and put it in case since then. 

Looks nice.  One scratch (I assume it is a scratch from pic) on back.

I'll appreciate any comments anyone has.   Thanks - John

131905163_477571693231648_3616304650758982459_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&ccb=1-3&_nc_sid=f79d6e&_nc_ohc=c35_V3ZskSQAX-9fuTr&_nc_ad=z-m&_nc_cid=0&_nc_ht=scontent.xx&tp=7&oh=7e320f2074f89729c3572a9c215981ca&oe=60A2BE92No photo description available.


updated by @jdh54: 04/19/21 07:38:15AM