3.50 1980 G David Young – 4 String Hourglass – £Sold
David Young is the son of Keith Young, a famous dulcimer maker from Annandale, Virginia who died in 2012. This dulcimer’s design borrows a number of features from his father, notably the cantilever tail with string anchors beneath and the small heart-shaped soundholes. It also has something of the very distinctive Young dulcimer sound, which makes them much sought after.
Pasted in, handwritten slip: “Bitterroot Dulcimers/ Moscow, Idaho/ G. David Young/ Nov. 1980 No. 40”.
This is a well-balanced design with bookmatched, medium walnut back and sides and a distinctive, quite thick, wormy chestnut bookmatched top. There are four smallish heart-shaped soundholes pointing to the tail and a pretty walnut scroll/pegbox which has a similar shape to a Ledford/Mize/Fellenbaum, only more rounded. Single-piece walnut fingerboard, undercut for 3” at the tail end, like a Keith Young. Also from Keith Young are the string anchors mounted on the reverse side of this undercut tail and the 4 fine tuners behind the bridge (now removed but can be provided if required). Has a whitish hardwood string strainer on the tail and a hardwood bridge and nut. This dulcimer was originally fitted with hand cut, spade-shaped walnut pegs in quite a narrow, chamfered pegbox, but these have been replaced for ease of tuning by open-geared guitar-type machines with white plastic buttons. Surprisingly for such a comparatively early dulcimer, has a 6+ AND 13+ fret.
Overall length 36¾”, upper bout 6⅜”, lower bout 7½”, depth 2”, FBW 1½”, VSL 27½” (medium scale), weight 2lb 6oz (1080g). Complete with 6+ and 13+ fret.
This handsome design clearly borrows a number of family features, but blends them pretty successfully into something new and very effective. It is well-constructed and nicely finished, with a stunning wormy chestnut top. The larger than average body is well disguised, but gives it good volume. The quality materials and workmanship provide a fat, rounded sound with excellent depth of tone. This is an excellent dulcimer for someone who is progressing beyond the standard factory-made dulcimers and wants a very playable and distinctive instrument.
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