Hi JDH, and welcome to the wonderful world of the Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer. It's a good place to come, spend some time, learn about the dulcimer, and to meet some good people.
Hello , John and welcome to FOTMD. McSpadden used laminate (plywood)walnut and cherry backs for many years. Lynn felt that it helped to make the sound of the dulcimers consistent from one dulcimer to another. As far as I know there have never been any problems with the laminates. David Schnaufer, a noted dulcimer player, had a model named after him and he specified that it be made of cherry laminate. McSpadden had to discontinue this model when the laminates became unavailable. I imagine if the laminates were still available McSpadden would still be using them. One advantage is that the laminate will not crack like solid wood. Lynn and I were acquaintances and corresponded with each other because of the distance we lived apart.
The dulcimer you are looking at seems to be in great condition.
As Jim mentioned, I am a Folkcraft dealer. The reason I have not sold McSpaddens is the requirements for being a dealer. It was a little easier with Folkcraft. I did purchase several McSpaddens over the years for customers who wanted one and they have been very pleased with them. I am considering purchasing one of my own as I've moved back to a traditional style of playing. I think the McSpadden dulcimer is excellent for this style as it has the longer 28 1/2 inch string length and narrower fret board. Plus I think the fretboard is a little taller than on other dulcimers.
I hope this helps you in making your decision. Best wishes.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
John, that is a beauty for sure. I can't tell you exactly what you want to know, but any McSpadden that's out there you won't be sorry having. Tell you what...Talk with Ken Longfield, he's a greeter here also and he hasn't said his hello's yet. He would know more about it. He builds dulcimers and is a rep for Folkcraft, but he knows his stuff.
Welcome JDH54 to Friends of the mountain Dulclimer. Glad you joined. This is a great place with some great folks who love the dulcimer. Look around, join the discussion, ask questions. We are here to help you. Best wishes on your dulcimer journey.
Hey JDH, welcome aboard. Glad ya found us.