Two Folkcraft Custom Dulcimers:
2.120 1999 Folkcraft CF200 custom 4 string hourglass #755 £Sold inc. Blue Heron case
Printed label: “Handcrafted by/ Folkcraft Instruments/ Winsted, CT 06098/ Model: CF200 – 755 [h/w]/Date: 6-14-99 [h/w]”.
Folkcraft appear to have made a variety of high end custom instruments using the same basic body shape, including a CF300 with padauk sides and spruce top [see also NAMM Centennial below]. It is a big, deep body, quite weighty, but with excellent tone.
This CF200 has a stunning curly maple body with a bookmatched back and central reddish brown padauk purfling. The elephant trunk scroll and shallow pegbox is made from a maple/padauk sandwich, on which are mounted quality Five Star banjo tuners with pearl buttons. Fine-grained western red cedar top with heart f-holes. The arched maple fingerboard has a padauk overlay, 6+ but not 13+ frets, and pearl markers at frets 3, 7 and 10. The tail block is also padauk with plain pin string anchors on top (for loop AND ball end strings). Looks like a composite nut and bridge.
Overall length 37”, upper bout 5¾”, lower bout 7⅝”, depth 2¼”, FBW 1⅝”, VSL 27″ (medium scale), weight 2lb 9oz (1160g). Has a 6½ but not 13½ fret. Folkcraft recommend 11/11, 13, 24w bronze for their current Custom Series. This one has a new set of 11/, 14, 24w bronze (extra melody string can be added if required).
This was expensive in 1999 – $550 – and as an extra bonus comes with an excellent quality thick canvas Blue Heron case from California. More importantly, it sounds great – clear and balanced, some treble lift but without losing mellowness. Excellent intonation and decent volume. It’s a really nice dulcimer.
Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge.
2001 Folkcraft NAMM Centennial Collectors Series #8 of 100 Sold
NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants, founded in 1901. There were only 100 of these high end dulcimers created and this is 8 of 100. It has a fine-grained western red cedar top with f-heart soundholes. Air-dried Pennsylvania black walnut sides with a bookmatched walnut back and central inlay strip. The flat headstock and fingerboard are made from a three layer, contrasting colour sandwich, with maple highlights and a top veneer of beautifully figured rosewood. The fingerboard is arched (undercut) and has green abalone markers at frets 3, 7 and 10; composite (?) nut and bridge; 6½ and 13½ frets. Gold NAMM logo on head with gold Grover tuners. Four plain pin string anchors (for ball or loop end strings) set in a rosewood heel cap. Deep sides, body outline and scale length appear to be very similar to those of the current Folk Roots Custom dulcimer. Comes with a custom shell dark plush case. Overall length 36¾”, upper bout 5¾”, lower bout 7⅝”, depth 2¼”, FBW 1⅝”, VSL 27″ (medium scale), weight ?lb ??oz (???g). Has a 6½ and 13½ fret. Fitted (not original?) strings 12/12, 12, 22w nickel; Custom Series recommended 11/11, 13, 24w bronze. This one has 11/11, 15, 22w bronze. This instrument has hardly been out of the case and is in excellent condition. It is a neat and classy dulcimer with a full tone.
Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge each photo: