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2.46 – 2006 – Meredith Slone 4 String Hourglass – £190

This is a handsome dulcimer, made by Meredith Slone of Hi Hat, Kentucky.

Although modern, this has an old-fashioned feel.  It is both narrow and shallow by modern standards, with fiddle-edged sides, reminiscent of an Amburgey dulcimer.  Made of solid cherry throughout, it has a thick single-piece back (with small, typical cherry shakes) and slightly thinner top; tall one piece cherry fingerboard with full width frets, but no 6½ fret; old-fashioned notched wooden nut and bridge; and twin dowel string anchor.   The hand-hollowed headstock is nicely proportioned with a neat, plain scroll shape and modern, twin-hole geared guitar tuners.  The soundholes are decidedly modern maple leaves on the UB, and a cat and dog on the LB. Overall length 34½”, upper bout 4¾”, lower bout 5¾”, depth 1¾”, FBW 1¼”, VSL 27½” (medium scale), weight 2lb 7oz (1105g).

A neat dulcimer in a traditional style, with an attractive forward, bright sound with some complexity.  It is well made and in excellent condition.  Slightly high action, wide twin melody string spacing and not quite perfect intonation (in DAD only) make it more questionable for absolute beginners.  However, strung with only 3 strings and played in 1:5:5 (usually DAA) tunings or similar, it would certainly repay the experienced player.