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TapTheForwardAssist

Is anyone making affordable solid-body electric dulcimers these days?

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Posted (edited)

I saw a questioner on another forum asking about electric dulcimers, and I was kinda surprised that on Etsy I could find makers of electric strumsticks and the like, but I couldn't find many electric lap-dulcimers, and the few that were, were quite pricey.

Are there any makers making relatively affordable solid-body dulcimers currently? Not to underrate luthiery skill or anything, but it seems pretty simple to construct.

Alternately, if someone is on a budget and wants a solid-body electric, am I right that they could just get a fretboard from the Cardboard Dulcimer people, glue it onto any slab of material to make a body, and then find a way to rig a lipstick pickup through the strum-hollow?

Edited by TapTheForwardAssist

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"Relatively affordable" is the problem.  Most people who want a solid-body electric dulcimer want really good electronics, which aren't cheap!  Sure you can make a solid-body dulcimer from a scrap length of 2x8, a fretboard and your lipstick pickup.  But my understanding is that lipstick pickups don't provide all that 'true' of sound. 

I would not necessarily mount a pickup in the strum hollow, as hardly anyone strums there.  Most folks strum between fret 10 and fret 14.   There's about an inch of space between fret 10-11, and 3/4" between 11-12.  You might be able to mount a lipstick there.  Mounting other, better, pickups is not a particular problem if you are reasonably good at  using a sharp chisel (notice I said sharp) to cut cavities to hold the electronics.   

I confess that I made a couple solid-body dulcimers for a client years ago.  Had to have help wiring things up -- I'm a wood-butcher not an electron-pusher.  They were pretty maple planks with walnut fretboards, but I never liked the sound.  But the client liked the way things turned out. 

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Folkcraft also sells fretboards if the cardboard dulcimer maker doesn't sell them. 

Folkcraft

I rigged a temporary method for attaching an old Lawrence guitar sound hole pickup in the strum hollow of one of my dulcimers and I liked it better than a Dean Markley "stick on" acoustic pickup.  I am one of the few who strums in the strum hollow.  I actually made a dulcimer with less frets so the strum hollow would be closer to where many other people strum.

Lawrence Pickup

Dave

 

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