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2.96 – Tom Yocky 2005 – 4 String Hourglass – £Sold inc. original soft padded case

Individually named dulcimer from an original US dulcimer-making talent.  Handwritten within “pegbox”:  “Tom Yocky Jr./ 10-2-05/  ‘Reaching’.”  Tom Yocky decided to take an important evolutionary step in mountain dulcimer design some 10 years ago.  Instead of a 29”/30” body with a 5” long head (pegbox/scroll) extending from it, he made the body 35”/36” long and mounted the “pegbox” and fingerboard on top of it.  The resulting design is streamlined and provides significant advantages in terms of sound (big volume of moving air), but comprises an unusual, long tapering hourglass body which is not to everyone’s taste.

Mahogany sides and (bookmatched) back with redwood or western red cedar top, with soundholes to far LB and near UB which are decorated with small vines leaves.  Tall mahogany head and tail blocks make it look rather like a double-ended boat.  The “pegbox” and fingerboard are in one piece and mounted directly on the soundboard, but comprise a light, box-shaped cross section made from a 5 piece lamination.  The dulcimer has 6+ and 13+ frets with dark wood markers at frets 5, 7, 9, 12 and 15 (for the double octave).  Simple open-geared tuners with white plastic buttons.  Thin ebony nut and (fixed) bridge.  Construction is very light throughout, but with some bracing on the wide back.  Odd, not-quite-hourglass shape, with widest point of LB at octave and a long taper to tail.  Overall length 34¼”, upper bout 6⅝”, lower bout 7½”, depth 2¼”, FBW 1⅝”, VSL 27½” (medium scale), weight 2lb 0oz (918g), strings (?original) 12/12, 15, 24w.  Has a 6+ and 13+fret.

I’m really impressed by this dulcimer.  It has a big, open sound with very clear articulation and no boominess.  Slightly firmer than average action but excellent intonation.  This example is in excellent original condition, hardly marked.  A very attractive dulcimer to play although its overall design might divide opinion.

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