Stoney End Hourglass
The Stoney End concern was born in the early 1990s when cabinet maker Gary Stone discovered he enjoyed making musical instruments. The family then lived on a dead-end road in rural Red Wing, Minnesota and they began to trade under a name which was a combination of their surname and that remote road. They started with mountain dulcimers as the main focus, but as time went on, harps grew in importance. They relocated to the nearby town in 2001 and now have a retail store, workshop and concert venue. The mountain dulcimers are plain and economical in design, and many are exported to be sold by firms like Hobgoblin and Amazon in the UK. Currently (2017) £275 new.
1.81 Here Inc. [Stoney End] 4 String 3 Course Hourglass £195 Case extra
Early, all solid wood instrument from the Stoney End concern, branded Here Inc. Similar design to the current model, sold by Hobgoblin in the UK, but more shallow bodied. Body is walnut, top spruce.
Pictures to follow
1.75 2007 £Sold. Handwritten in pencil: “Gary Stone/ 2007”, otherwise as below. Condition is good with few scuff marks or finish flaws. New bone nut and bridge fitted.
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1.67 2009 £Sold. Handwritten in pencil: “Gary Stone/ 2009”. Solid walnut sides and bookmatched back. Spruce top, straight grained but not fine. Plain flat guitar-style headstock with open-geared tuners and white plastic buttons. Thin white (?composite) nut and bridge. Copper pegs on end as string anchors and thick brown cowhide as string strainer on top of tail. Heart soundholes pointing to tail. 6+ not 13+ frets.
Overall length 35½”, upper bout 5”, lower bout 5⅞”, depth 2¼”, FBW 1½”, VSL 27″ (medium scale), weight 1lb 12oz (800g), strings 14/14, 15, 23w. 6+ but no 13+ frets.
Light build and deep sides give some volume and a balanced sound. A plain instrument, but made with decent materials. Odd existing string set. Original seems to be 11/11, 16, 24w, so probably fine at standard medium gauge of 11, 15, 22w or 23w.
1.76 2002 Off the Beaten Path 4 String Hourglass £285 case extra
Printed label: “Off the Beaten Path/3439 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge/ [website]/ Jerry O. Meador/ 8/2/02 [h/w]”.
Chunky body with walnut sides, spalted maple top, maple laminated back. Heavy strutting with a rather large, clumsy headstock (walnut and cherry?), open-geared chrome tuners. Heart/f-shape soundholes. Chunky composite “nut” and zero fret, with composite bridge. String anchors are simple, mushroom-headed pins.
Overall length 36”, upper bout 5⅞”, lower bout 7″, depth 1⅞”, FBW 1½”, VSL 26⅝” (short/medium scale), weight 2lb 8oz (1148g). Has a 6½ fret. Strings now 11, 14, 23w.
Modern instrument and very playable. Resonates well but limited depth of tone.
Pictures to follow