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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.




Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge each photo:


  • David Young Bitterroot 1980 #40 - 1
  • David Young Bitterroot 1980 #40 - 6
  • David Young Bitterroot 1980 #40 - 3
  • David Young Bitterroot 1980 #40 - 4