1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby Robin the Busker » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:49 am

jkitay wrote:Richard,
I was afraid something like that might happen! And it did. I just added up the numbers in Excel and get the same result you did, and remeasured the dulcimer using a tape and still get 27 7/16. So I must have measured something incorrectly with the caliper, or written something down incorrectly. I'll have to remeasure with the caliper - but I thought I was pretty careful the first time. Maybe I wasn't careful enough.

I noticed that the distance to the first fret was less than that to the second as well. It's noticeable just by looking, once you know what you're looking for.
Jim


You did measure centre to centre on the frets - just not the spaces? That could loose you a good inch over the fretboard length.

Robin
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby jkitay » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:49 am

I think I've solved the problem. I remeasured with the caliper and got the same results as before. I then took the fret measurements using my tape measure - which is calibrated in 1/16" rather than the 1/32" of the caliper - and got results that were very close but not always exactly the same. So I compared the calibrations on the tape measure and the caliper, and 1" on the tape measure at any point (not just the first inch) is about 31/32" on the caliper. Do that for 17 frets, plus some for the distance from the 17th fret to the bridge, throw in a factor for the fallible human doing the measuring, and that seems to be the answer - measurement error! The difference is about 3/4",which seems like a lot, but it makes sense when you have very small errors repeated many times. Both results are therefore "right", depending on which tool I use.

Which is "really" right? I don't know. I would need a measuring device that I knew was exact, and I don't have that. I'm just glad that I'm not the one trying to build a dulcimer. It would probably come out looking like a zither and sounding like a glockenspiel.

In answer to Robin's question, I did my best to be consistent and measure from mid-fret to mid-fret, but I wouldn't swear that I got it exact each time. That could of course have contributed to the discrepancy.

No, I don't know why I didn't think to compare the tape and the caliper before. But I'm glad I did. It was bothering me!
Jim
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby rtroughear » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:04 am

Jim
I wonder what I used when I measured the length six years ago - I can't remember. I suspect the actual length is closer to 27.75" than 26.75". You need an accurate reference to tell you which of your measuring instruments is the more correct. And that's WFret. You could print off a template of arbitrary length, say 27.75", to the 0.01" accuracy, and also print the chart of the numbers. I've found the marks on the paper to be quite accurate when compared to my digital vernier calipers (actually several calipers), so it's a reasonably good reference. Check the distances on the paper with your calipers and tape measure and use the more accurate of the two for the frets. You should be able to estimate the lengths at least to an accuracy of half the least graduation on the tape i.e. 1/32" or about 0.03". Measuring from the nut to each fret rather than from fret to fret will reduce total overall error, and rounding up and down an equal number of times.

It's harder than it looks to measure these things so that there's only about 0.5mm error in the total length, but that's the sort of accuracy we'd like. 1/2" error in total length (implied by 1/32" accuracy and constant round up or down at each fret) means that the temperament of the instrument could not be reasonably determined. If we can figure this instrument out, it is probably the same as the other 300 Ritchie/Pickow dulcimers.There must be at least 3 people who want to know that. I do, now.

Richard T
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby JohnH » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:06 am

jkitay. Just an idle thought here, is it worth measuring the original marked 'tang' position of each fret(often descernible by a slight 'oversaw' of the fret cut) rather than the crown of the driven fret ? It is possible for frets to 'drift' a fraction during driving despite extreme care ?
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby jkitay » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:23 pm

I'll post some sound clips when I figure out how to use a suitable recording device. Or rather, figure it out again, because I haven't used the device I have for a long time. I'll think about it when I get back from a short trip I'm about to take.

Richard, I'm not sure what you're suggesting I do. Something to do with WFret, but I'm not sure exactly what that is.
Jim
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby rtroughear » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:06 am

Jim
Don't worry about the measurements, a recording of the musical scale as Lisa suggests will be better. The fret positions can be figured out from that.

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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby jkitay » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:01 am

Apologies if this is going in slow motion. I've been away.

I re-read the manual for my Zoom H4 recorder and have made some MP3 clips. If I understood what Strumelia was requesting, I've done open string to third fret, and then third to tenth fret. In addition I've done 10th to 17th fret. All on the melody string only. I tuned the string to D at the third fret.

I can only post two clips, so open to third fret and third fret to 10th fret are with this message.
Jim


Open to F3.mp3
[ 347.35 KiB | Viewed 4017 times ]


F3 to 10.mp3
[ 660.82 KiB | Viewed 4017 times ]
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby jkitay » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:03 am

Now 10th to 17th frets.

I can record in higher quality if necessary. If you would like additional clips, please let me know. I'm eager to hear your views!
Jim


F10 to 17.mp3
[ 608.57 KiB | Viewed 4016 times ]
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby berimbau » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:44 pm

Could we get a blood sample and your SSI number, too?




Just Kidding,


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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby rtroughear » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:30 am

Here's the whole scale from open to 17th fret. No processing done on the notes, only cutting and pasting.

Ritchie_211_Open to Fret17.mp3
[ 693.1 KiB | Viewed 3970 times ]

And here's a listing of the frequency of the note at each fret with a comparison to equal temperament.
NoteFreqs_Dulcimer #212.jpg

Like all stringed instruments the plucked note has a higher frequency at the start because of string tension increase, but towards the latter half of the note it settles to a more stable frequency. The measurements were made with the PRAAT software program, which is trustworthy. I checked it manually by measuring milliseconds in Audacity and the match is good. I also got gross indications by using an electronic tuner device. So I think the measurements are OK.

Allowing for errors in fret placement by M. Pickow, errors in frequency measurement by me, and pitch variations caused by Jim pressing the strings with different pressure at different frets - the scale looks pretty close to equal temperament.

We do have blood in Australia, but not SSI - society is pretty secure already.

Richard T
Last edited by rtroughear on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby KenH » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:17 am

Good job, you lot! I'm on what we're coming to call Social Insecurity!.
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby Robin the Busker » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:32 am

Well, going back to the original question (many pages ago). I think that on the 27 7/16" scale the string gauges of 0.022w, 0.012, 0.010, 0.012 tuned to D,A,d,A should play just fine with a noter apart from a few sharp notes high up the fretboard. I would be inclined to blend the drones against the d note played on the 3rd fret, rather than tune the drones with an electronic tuner. The scale looks/sounds fine apart from a few sharp notes high up the board. The slightly flattened 3rd (5th fret) will probably sound 'true' as it has a more natural temper. The slightly flatened 5th (7th fret) can be lifted with an adjust on noter pressure. The slightly sharp 7th at the second fret will be barely audible and a light touch there with a noter may help. When I set a fretboard by ear I actually ended up with the 2nd fret a little sharp (acording to a tuner) and the 5th fret a little flat (acording to a tuner) but the scale actually sounded and played just fine. Your Ritchie/Picklow looks perfectly acceptable as a scale on an older dulcimer played in noter drone style. You will find that it is possible to make a good 5 cents or more of adjustment with your noter style or use a little noter vibrato when a sustained note on a slightly 'off' fret is played.

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