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1.29 – 90s Cripple Creek with Vine and Butterfly Top – 4 String Hourglass – £175

A popular model with walnut headstock and fingerboard, solid pine top and birch laminate sides and back.  Cripple Creek, run by Bud and Donna Ford, has been in business since the early 70s, producing affordable but well-made dulcimers.  The same design is still used by the builders of Cedar Creek and O’Brien dulcimers (for the US market) and Red Kite (for the UK).  Printed label:  “Cripple Creek Dulcimers/Harbor Town Mall, Branson, MO/[model #] 21C  264/ [2 signatures inc] Mark R Harper [?]”.

Neat vine and butterfly decoration on top; micarta nut and bridge; open geared guitar-style tuners with pearloid buttons; brass capped pins as string anchors.  Has original 6+ fret but no zero fret.

Overall length 35¼”, upper bout 6¼”, lower bout 7⅝”, height 2¼”, FBW 1⅝”, VSL 27⅝” (medium scale), weight 2lb 14oz (1294g).  6+ fret.  String sizes currently 11/11/15/23w.

This sounds surprisingly good, with excellent intonation and punch all the way up the fretboard.  It has a wide fretboard, easy action and reasonable scale length, so is ideal for those starting out – OR for someone wanting an affordable second dulcimer to take to festivals or folk clubs.

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