I was recently given a dulcimer that had spent 30 years gathering dust in a hot, dry attic. I'm told it has a much longer history, but its original owner, who possibly built it from a kit, died in 1990 and it hasn't been played since.
I searched around and found a tuning chart and some youtube videos on tuning, and actually managed to get it sounding somewhat decent. Of course a few of the highest strings snapped while I was tuning it. A friend of mine who plays said the best place to get replacement strings is from the original manufacturer, but as I said, this thing is old, and maybe kit-built. There are no markings on it anywhere aside from the design around the sound holes.
1: Do any of you recognize this instrument?
I'm seeing that most of the strings are long ones starting from one tuning pin, wrapping around the hitch pin, and looping back to a second tuning pin (effectively four strings per treble course). All the strings on the instrument appear to be of the same gauge.
2: if I need to order generic replacement strings, where should I get them, and what gauge? Searching around on the internet, I mainly see loop-end strings, which do not appear to be the kind this dulcimer was built for.
3. How worried should I be about the cracking you can see going through the bottom row of hitch pins? I suspect it may be pretty bad. This thing goes a full step flat in about a day. I'm having fun with it, but I have to do a LOT of tuning, and I worry it's eventually going to tear itself apart.
Much obliged for any advice you can provide!