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2.77   2003   FolkRoots Baritone – 4 String 3 Course – £Sold

Large-bodied baritone made by Folkcraft Instruments when the firm was still owned by founders David and Melissa Marks and based in Winsted, Connecticut.  Despite the FolkRoots logo, it appears to be indistinguishable from the current Folkcraft CSH (semi-custom) Baritone model.

Has an attractive solid black walnut body with a sitka spruce top, a vivid red padauk veneer on the flat headstock and darker overlay on the fingerboard, with a padauk inlay strip down the centre of the bookmatched back and a padauk heel cap.  The current Folkcraft site describes the fingerboard as being made of sugar maple, but it looks very similar to the black walnut of the body.  High quality chrome-plated Grover geared guitar-type tuners; traditional f-holes; MoP markers on frets 3, 7 and 10 with both 6+ and 13+ frets present and correct; bone (possibly micarta?) nut and bridge.  Current retail value, with these options, around $760.

Printed label: “Handcrafted by:/ FOLKROOTS DULCIMERS [logo]/ Model BT550Sp – 162 [h/w]/ Date 12-16-2003.” Overall length 37¼”, upper bout 5¾”, lower bout 7¾”, depth 2½”, FBW 1½”, VSL 29¼” (long scale), weight 2lb 9oz (1175g).  Has 6+ and 13+ frets.  Recommended strings gauges 14/14, 22w, 34w.

In as-new condition, with a bright, clear finish and neatly contrasting wood tones.  The big body and long scale length makes this instrument ideal as a deep-toned and responsive baritone dulcimer.  Yet the action does not feel particularly heavy or awkward.  Tuned AEA or ADA, it should do pretty much everything a normal register dulcimer can do.  An exciting and affordable addition to your dulcimer stable.

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