Ken Bloom Bowed Dulcimers:
Both Sold: Ask for further information on bowed dulcimers which might become available.
3.60 2014 – 3 String: Hand written label: “Kenneth Bloom/ Pilot Mountain, NC/ Faciebat Anno/ January 2014”. Fiddle-figure (quilted) maple sides and back (apparently carved) with carved and contoured spruce top; odd, half f-holes. Top protrudes beyond sides (fiddle-edged) in traditional style, but back is flush. Top and back have black/white/black purfling round the edges. Standard viola (?) bridge and rosewood tailpiece held in place by black, plastic cord round endpin, as traditional. Fine tuners on tailpiece, chrome Klusons (or lookalike) enclosed guitar tuners on pegbox. Pale mahogany fingerboard, with radiused ebony overlay and chromatic frets, marked in MoP at 5, 7, 9, 12 (octave), 17, 19, 21. Narrow maple pegbox and “scroll”, latter shaped like the prow of a boat with a flat rosewood plate on top. Strung with viola strings (?) tuned in D (wound 0.033 bass), A (plain 0.018 middle) and E (plain 0.013 treble). In other words, this keeps the basic configuration of a lap dulcimer, with its bass string furthest away, rather than nearest, as a normal violin family instrument. The mahogany endblock is fitted with a gold strap button, as is the underside of the pegbox. Thick cord “strap” attached to these buttons to help support the weight and improve the stability of the instrument when playing.
Overall length 37½”, lower bout 7¾”, depth 2¼ [head end] to 4⅛” [tail end], FBW 1½”, VSL 25″ (short scale), weight 2lb 13oz (1268g).
Tone is excellent, with a large, but light and responsive body. There are a few tool marks in less accessible places, such as the underside of the pegbox. Hairline, stable crack on top toward tail; repaired break to “scroll” stalk. Comes with decent bow and custom Blue Heron (blue) soft case, with bow compartment and pocket for rosin etc.
3.61 2015 – 4 String: Handwritten label, “Kenneth Bloom/Pilot Mountain, NC/ Faciebat Anno/ March 2015”. Body made from attractive spalted maple with quilted/fiddle figure and hand-carved (contoured) spruce top with F-holes. Top and back have black purfling line round the edges. 4 cello strings (tuned CGDA) in conventional cello configuration – i.e. with bass nearest and treble furthest away. Heavily radiused ebony fingerboard on mahogany “neck”, with MoP markers at 5, 7, 9, 12 (octave), 17, 19, 21. Back is flush with sides but top overlaps. Narrow maple headstock with simple gold, open-geared ukulele-type tuners, inset. “Scroll” is more like the prow of a gondola, with a large ebony “cap”. “Scroll” stalk shows repaired non-structural crack at narrowest point, similar to the 3 string above. Maple bridge, fine tuners, ebony tail tied to ebony pin. Strap buttons each end with black guitar-type strap.
Overall length 37″, lower bout 7¾”, depth 2¼ [head end] to 4” [tail end], FBW 1¼ -> 2⅛”, VSL 25″ (short scale), weight 2lb 14oz (1298g).
Tone as above, finish a little better. Also comes with quality bow and custom Blue Heron (black) soft case as above. Spare cello strings to provide more recognisably dulcimer tuning pattern if required.