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2.107  2014 Ron Gibson Teardrop, 6 String   £240 + £25 hard case

Ron Gibson has been handcrafting dulcimer from his base in Marion, Ohio for over 35 years, using solid tonewoods.  This is his “Barbara Allen” teardrop model, but with 6 strings and several upgrade options.

Printed label:  “Ron Gibson Mountain Dulcimers/ Marion, Ohio/ Ron Gibson [signature]/ 662  14/ [website]”.  Warm, slightly pink, all-cherry instrument, with cherry sandwich scroll and pegbox, hollow cherry fingerboard, deep sides and a non-bookmatched but nicely figured back.  Simple arrangement of holes for soundholes, with extra hole through to body cavity in strum hollow – as in older Virginian dulcimers.  Bone (?) nut and bridge with large brass screws as string anchors on tail.   6+ and 13+ frets, with nice MoP markers on frets 3, 5, 7 and 9.  Unison strings on melody and middle courses, but octave strung on bass course – to give that authentic 12-string sound!  Upgrades include the attractive gold Grover tuners (with a two hole capstan) and gold strap buttons on head and tail.  Overall length 36″, upper bout n/a, lower bout 7″, depth 2½”, FBW 1⅝”, VSL 26⅛” (short/medium), weight 1lb 15oz (877g).  Original string size 0.012/0.012, 0.014/0.014, 0.010/0.025w.  Has 6+ and 13+ frets.

This dulcimer is in excellent condition, with no scratches or nicks.  It is light, nicely constructed, using solid woods and good quality hardware, with a decent action and good intonation (although the octave strung bass course has the usual 12 string guitar tuning problems high in the register).  Neat body and soundholes, but perhaps a rather bland design.  Not great volume, despite the deep body, but pretty well balanced tonally.  An excellent quality plush-lined hard case is available at extra cost.

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