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Early and Mid-Period McSpadden Dulcimers

Lynn McSpadden founded the company that bore his name in the late 60s and his signature, together with that of just 2 or 3 other craftsmen, appears on all the dulcimers built in the 80 and 90s.  The standard dulcimers were therefore the product of an experienced and tight-knit team and by the 1990s, had reached a standard of excellence that made McSpadden the best-known and trusted dulcimer brand in the world.  Lynn retired and sold the business in 2001. His brother continued in the workshop under the new owner, Jim Woods, who decided from May 2006 to revise the range (with new designations) and move to all-solid wood dulcimers, thus ushering in a new era of excellence.

2.75   Mid-1980s McSpadden M12-W  #10,137     SOLD   £370 inc padded case & strap

Printed label, “The Dulcimer Shoppe/ Handcrafted instruments by McSpadden/ Mountain View, Arkansas/ Richard Stoltze [sign]/ Serial No. 10,137 [h/w]  Model M12-W [h/w]”.

Typical mid-80s scroll head all-walnut McSpadden in superb original condition.  Bookmatched solid walnut top and sides, with laminated walnut back.  Single piece walnut fingerboard with 6+ (but not 13+) fret, composite bridge and nut, zero fret and stylised “M” to right of strum hollow.  Elegant solid walnut scroll and pegbox, with Grover Sta-Tite friction tuners, each with their own walnut buttons.  Mushroom-headed pins for strings anchors with string strainer made from transverse grain walnut.  Usual McSpadden heart soundholes, pointing to tail.

Overall length 36⅛”, upper bout 5½”, lower bout 7”, height 1¾”, FBW 1½”, VSL 28⅜” (medium/long scale), weight 2lb 2oz (969g), strings 0.010/0.010, 0.014, 0.023w.  6½ fret, no 13+.

Excellent example of an earlier walnut McSpadden with great balance and easy action.  Almost unmarked, despite its 30+ years!

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge each photo:

2.75   McSpadden M12-S  1989 #19,977  £295 + £25 as new shell case

This is the classic middle period instrument from probably the best known and most reliable larger scale dulcimer makers in the world – and signed by the craftsman who made it.

Printed label inside:  “McSpadden/ Mountain Dulcimers/ Mountain View, Arkansas/ Richard Stoltze [h/w]/ Model M12-S [h/w]  Date 9-1989 [h/w]/ #19,977 [h/w].”  Walnut sides and single piece laminated back, solid spruce top.  Beautiful walnut scroll headstock and Grove Sta-Tite friction tuners with rosewood buttons.  “McSpadden” printed on fingerboard in front of bridge.  Four McSpadden-style heart soundholes; walnut two piece, hollow fingerboard; composite nut and bridge; zero fret.

Overall length 36”, upper bout 5¾”, lower bout 7⅛”, height 1¾”, FBW 1½”, VSL 28¾” (medium/long scale), weight 2lb 1oz (936g).  6½ fret.  Strings now standard McSpadden gauge: 10/10, 14, 23w.

Clean condition with a few small dings on the edges.  Action good and sounds bright and forward.  Period shell case in good condition.

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge each photo: