Stoney End, 4 String 3 Course 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 the name they began to trade under 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.
1.75 2007 £210 + £15 soft case. 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.