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.