Building a Nylon string dulcimer Page 9

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Building a Nylon string dulcimer Page 9

Postby tukanu » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:59 pm

CONCLUSION:
I strung the dulcimer up with standard classical guitar strings; #1, #3 and #4 (by the way, the tuners are geared Perfection Pegs). The volume was more than I expected, but there was a noticeable lack of sustain. With a little research on the Web, I decided on Savarez strings which are known for the sustain they produce. While I waited for the strings to arrive, I installed my Tone-Rite string vibrator on the dulcimer and let it run day and night for seven days. This simulates six months of playing time which is about the normal break-in period for a new instrument. The Tone-Rite machine is one of those happy discoveries that make a measurable difference in the tone of a new instrument. Over the seven day period I play the dulcimer each day. It is amazing how quickly the tone changes.

I installed the new Savarez strings and used the Tone-Rite machine to break them in for a couple of days. The sustain was greatly improved by the higher quality strings.
Overall, this dulcimer has as much volume as a steel string instrument. Its tone is different than a traditional steel string dulcimer, in the same way a classical guitar produces a different tone than a steel string guitar. I have included some sound samples of this dulcimer along with my traditional maple teardrop for comparison. Flat picking. I apologize for the recording quality:
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tukanu
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Re: Building a Nylon string dulcimer Page 9

Postby dholeton » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:41 pm

Tukanu
It sounds as great as it looks. The nylon strings are an excellent idea. Excellent!
Dave
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Re: Building a Nylon string dulcimer Page 9

Postby dholeton » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:46 pm

Also
If you want to try a different brand of strings, I have had good luck with St. Augustine Blacks on a six string guitar that has no truss bar in the neck.
Dave

http://www.albertaugustine.com/classical
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Re: Building a Nylon string dulcimer Page 9

Postby tukanu » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:52 pm

Thanks for the suggestion on the strings.
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Re: Building a Nylon string dulcimer Page 9

Postby KenH » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:57 am

Interesting build. Aspen is reallllly soft stuff, almost as bad as balsa; I hope it holds up. I made an Aspen blanket chest once. Never again!

It might have been better if you had combined all the build-along pages into a single post rather than 9 posts which can easily get lost from each other.

Every time I open this post I get a message about what to do with EmeraldEyes.m4a. I assume you set this up to plat upon open. Sure would be nice to just make it available, not try to force the tune on us every time we visit.
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