The dulcimer sitting next to my electric belonged to the musician providing the demo. I did some minor repairs on it for him. Sorry, but I have no other details about that dulcimer.
Jack, I'm just looking at your Appleflutes Electric Dulcimer video and at about 4:30 I am seeing a dulcimer to the side of the electric one that is being demonstrated and I see a dulcimer that looks very much like my original dulcimer that I bought at a flea market in Houlton, Maine about 1990. It had come with a mimeographed booklet by A W Jeffreys, but inquiry on FMTD didn't indicate that it was actually a Jeffrey's mode. Can you tell me anything about it?
Nice work, Jack.
Sounds like you've done some extensive work looking for the "right fit" electric system. I did the same and was able to come up with a relatively simple, high-performance system, with very reasonable costs. There are many choices available, each with their own advantages, and disadvantages. I use the piezo under-bridge bar mic to get true string tone without body interference. They come in varying lengths, so I can use them with 4, 5, or 6 strings, and even my 8-string scheitholts.
There are no limitations with my system. It is a stand-alone plug-in design compatible with all standard 1/4" amps and pa systems. I have close to 200 videos on youtube, many of which include my electric option. Search for appflutes. One of my videos uses my Fishman Presys solution and allows me to blend the dual mic option.
You make a good point about the appealing factor electric offers. I got started with dulcimers by volunteering at a local historic attraction, and was most interested in how we could educate our young people. Music is one of the most captivating ways to involve an audience, and electric offers the best means possible to do that effectively.
My business motto is, "Give the Gift of Music to Last a Lifetime".
Lovely instruments Jack. I love the reclaimed woods you use. The pick-up system would be great for gigs or church services where you need to get a 'lift' but can't mic' effectively. Is that an under saddle piezo strip you use? Do you have to cut it to length or do you buy the right size?
I've played around with a number of different systems (stick on and under saddle) with varying degrees of success. Some sort of pre-amp (on board like yours or external) is a necessity. On my recent build, the Bocs Can Idris, I'm trying a mini omnidirectional condenser mic' mounted inside. It was only about $15 but does require around 1.5v of phantom power. It works OK although I've not tested it through a large pa system yet. I played the instrument at a small village hall gig last night but just used an external mic' for that because one was available.
The great advantage of your system is that you can 'colour' the sound extensively. Apart from reverb and perhaps chorus, you can't do that with a mic. I do wonder if we'd have more younger players taking up the instrument if plugging in was a more widely available option?
Thanks for the nice comments!
Glorious craftsmanship, design and sound! Your dulcimers have got it all, Jack.
Nice work, as always, Jack!