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Galax-Style Hourglass

Sides, back and top appear to be walnut, the top stained a reddish colour.  The body is large and shaped with the equal sized bouts and reversed curve at the headstock end which are typical of some earlier Virginian dulcimers.  The fingerboard is one piece of walnut without overlay.  Simple scroll head with effective wooden, hand-carved pegs.  Unusual handmade brass tailpiece and distinctive D-shaped end block constructed in a laminate fashion for strength.  Both nut and bridge are chunky plastic.  Overall length 37½”, upper bout 7″, lower bout 7”, depth 2¼”, FBW 1⅜”, VSL 27″ (medium scale), weight 2lb 4 oz. (1053g).  No 6½ fret.

This is a loud dulcimer, with its big volume, highish action and unison strings – especially when played vigorously.  The large upper bout helps accentuate the treble and produce the intense effect of the unison strings, so typical of the Galax.  It is not for beginners, but ideal for fast, noter playing in a string band/dance music context.  An interesting but very useable rarity.

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