luthiers???

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luthiers???

Postby alisa53 » Thu May 15, 2014 6:05 pm

I am new to the mountain dulcimer - a lifelong guitar player. Recently bought a little guitar dulcimer and really love the sound. Play it on my lap - not easy. So... I'm trying to buy something. I think I"m interested in a chromatic. I definitely don't love little hearts, and would like something more contemporary looking. It's a frustrating enterprise. I am blessed with money to get something on the extra nice side. But most of the luthiers I encounter either don't answer emails or have a back-log of years. Fell in love with the crop circle dulcimer by Greg Brouelette - seems like he's pretty busy and rarely makes dulcimers now. I love Gary Gallier's work - not even accepting any more orders on his wait list. He referred me to David Beede - so busy, I guess, that he doesn't answer emails. Ron Ewing also seems very busy. Anyone know of an up-and-coming luthier who has the time to take new orders and produce quality instruments? I'm 60 and afraid I might be dead before I get an instrument I like. :shock: :shock:
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Re: luthiers???

Postby Skip » Thu May 15, 2014 6:13 pm

You didn't mention Blue Lion, Aeolus, Bear Meadow, or David Lynch at Sweetwoods.
Edit: I forgot to mention that there may something you may be interested in at Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer, [FOTMD].
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Re: luthiers???

Postby deborahbozek » Thu May 15, 2014 7:44 pm

Try Modern Mountain Dulcimers (MMD):
http://www.modernmountaindulcimer.com/M ... /HOME.html
I have a chromatic MMD that I absolutely love!
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Re: luthiers???

Postby alisa53 » Thu May 15, 2014 7:47 pm

Thanks, and yes - I'm aware of those options. I'm kind of looking for a less traditional looking dulcimer - something a little bit more contemporary. Mostly I find Blue Lion and Aeolus are fairly traditional instruments. Sweetwoods is a bit closer. I'm not playing the most traditional music, and would like something that feels more like what I'm doing. But I'll keep my eye on those, and thanks for the suggestions.
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Re: luthiers???

Postby alisa53 » Thu May 15, 2014 8:35 pm

Thanks, Deborah - I think I found them a while back and they dropped out of my brain! (Like much does.) Do you know if they make anything four-string - all I see on the site are three-string models.
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Re: luthiers???

Postby Sam E. » Thu May 15, 2014 11:46 pm

Alisa, you mentioned that Ron Ewing "seems" busy. Did you ask him how long a custom order would take?

When I ordered a custom from him (admittedly more than 5 years ago), I'm pretty sure it was in my hands in less than 2 months.

I've played a fair number of Ewings over the years, and never found one I didn't like.
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Re: luthiers???

Postby Judy K » Fri May 16, 2014 12:18 am

Welcome to ED, Alisa. There are several luthiers. Some well known and many more not so well known.

I have a dulcimer made by David Hanson in Arizona. Last count I had, David had made less than 70 dulcimers, but his work is excellent.

Another maker is Nic Hambas in New York. His website is called Blackstrings. I love the sound of my Hambas teardrop.

I have a chromatic MD (mountain dulcimer) made by David Lynch in his hour-drop shape. Dave will work with you to get you the dulcimer of your dreams. He has even used my designs for the sound holes for 2 of my dulcimers. Hearts are not required! :)

Like Sam suggests, you could try contacting Ron Ewing again. I had no problems getting in touch with him when buying my baritone dulcimette a little over a year ago. Gary Sager (Prussia Valley) is another maker with a super product, but usually has a waiting list.

One maker I haven't tried but may have just what you're looking for is Mike Clemmer. At one workshop of over 30 players there was no problem picking out the distinctive sound of a Clemmer MD.

A dulcimer no one can call 'traditional' is HX dulcimers. Might be just what you're looking for.

Dulcimer can be made in several string configurations - 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. That's really your choice. If any dulcimer festivals are in your area, you may find several makers in attendance. If you live in Ohio, a visit to Gary Sager's shop in Waverly will give you a chance to play several brands of dulcimer.

Happy Hunting!
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Re: luthiers???

Postby alisa53 » Sat May 17, 2014 7:41 am

I did hear back from Ron Ewing, but it does seem like he's busy. And - I'm thrilled for people who stay busy. It's wonderful to not have enough time for these newbie orders! Glad to see dulcimers are so popular. Will check out these other links, and thanks so much for everyone's help.
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Re: luthiers???

Postby Rob Zamites » Sun May 18, 2014 3:12 am

If you're interested in a more bouzouki/octave mandolin styled instrument, I'd drop a line to Stan Pope at Big Leaf Mandolins. Just google.
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Re: luthiers???

Postby hergert1 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:03 pm

Hi Alisa - I am one of those "not-so-well-known" luthiers making Dulcimer-guitars for those who like the sound and music of the dulcimer but come from a guitar background. (Yes, the challenge is to reverse the string position on standard Dulcimer TAB.) I will share some pictures and info with you if you want. I usually build instruments with a 25" scale length and four diatonic strings. But I have built 6 string and shorter scale length instruments for individual taste. Building a chromatic would be like the various guitars I build also. Glad to share with anyone. I have not quite figured out adding a picture (JPG) into this post. I am new to Everything Dulcimer. Great place to hang out!

Dennis
Surprising Folk Instruments
California
surprisingfolk@gmail.com
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Re: luthiers???

Postby GCreek1 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:39 pm

I am building some extremely nice custom models (teardrop or hourglass). Beautiful, precisely constructed instruments from carefully selected hardwoods
and tone woods.
Price range is $400.00 ~ $450.00. (Depending on wood selections).

Please see "James Phillips Custom Walnut/Sassafras $415 (NEW)" in the Classified/Mountain Dulcimer Instruments forum for one of my offerings.
I could send pictures via E-Mail of two other newly built instruments that are available.

James Phillips

gcreekjp@gmail.com

Ph (419)563-5054
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Re: luthiers???

Postby dot » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:23 pm

I have a Nic Hambas and absolutely love the sound. I purchased mine last year - ordered in July/August and had it by Xmas. He returned my emails very quickly and was great to work with. Good luck on your search. P.S. -- he also has some videos on youtube that you might want to check out.
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