gardners dulcimers?

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gardners dulcimers?

Postby Cowdude78 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:31 pm

I found a web site called Gardner's dulcimers, they look like nice instruments. Anyone have one or have you heard anything? Thanks, Daniel
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Re: gardners dulcimers?

Postby KenH » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:51 pm

Well no one else is commenting...

I've not heard of Gardner's either. But I looked over the website. Interesting.

They are unfortunately still promoting the use of the German word Scheitholt (and spelling it incorrectly with a final z) as the name for the instrument that came to America. In actual fact, what written evidence we have refers to the instruments as 'zitter' or zither'. Scheitholt is a very obscure word in Austrian German from the Tyrol region, not a common name for fretted zithers....

The thing that got me most was the photo of the tuning head. If that's an example of their craftsmanship, personally I'd steer clear. For one thing, the end of the fretboard does not appear to be glued down! There seems to be a significant gap there. Similarly the walnut Nut (far too soft of wood IMHO) appears to be precariously perched on top of the headstock, with little if any glue to hold it there. If it were me, I'd have taken pictures of my best work to put on my website; especially closeups. If that's their best work, then.....
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Re: gardners dulcimers?

Postby mrjop1975 » Sat May 05, 2012 10:27 am

My first dulcimer was in fact one from Gardners. I really did not have a problem with the dulcimer, in fact, I wound up donating it to a program here on ED that provided dulcimers to people that couldn't get one otherwise. It was a good, basic, dulcimer and was good for me to start my dulcimer journey on.

I know Ken has some reservations about them, but the website pics don't do it justice. I almost wish I had that particular dulcimer so I could take pics to show it. Hindsight 20/20 I guess.

Just my own 2 cents worth,
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Re: gardners dulcimers?

Postby dongee46 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:44 pm

To bad Ken has never been to Williamsburg Va. There in the Museum are several examples of the Scheitholt. Also if he were to visit the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee, he could also view their collection of Zithers, dulcimers and Scheitholts. As for the nut just resting at the end of the fingerboard and being made of a softer wood. All he had to do was to look to see the Zero fret to know the nut is only there to space the strings, not to set their height, the zero fret sets the height. I guess he also never looked at a violin, viola, double bass, etc., to see that the nut is glued at the end of the fingerboard and on top of the peg box, not cut into the peg box. To bad Strdavari didn't know he was doing it wrong, just think how good his instruments could have been. The test of any instruments is how they sound. Unless you have any instrument in your hands it's hard to judge the workmanship and the sound. Pictures don't tell the whole story.
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Re: gardners dulcimers?

Postby danc9 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:07 pm

This thread is five years old!

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Re: gardners dulcimers?

Postby kwl » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:36 pm

Dongee46, I'm not sure why you chose to make your first post a criticism of another member. Just because a museum chooses to label an instrument a "scheitholt," it does not necessarily make it so. The instruments in the collections are more accurately Pennsylvania German zithers or zitters. The term was likely borrowed from Michael Praetorius by either the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC or Henry Mercer who both identified PA German zitters as scheitholts. Jean Ritchie picked up on this in her book and the rest as it is said "is history." As to the discussion of the nut and the zero fret, the zero fret is one factor in adjusting string height. Another is the height of the bridge. I think you could have made your point without disparaging another member's point of view.

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