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Post-May 2006 McSpadden Dulcimers

All McSpaddens after May 2006 are solid wood.  Previously, the solid, bookmatched back was available only on “Special” models.  The new range had designations starting with 4 – e.g. 4FHWW (Flat head, Hourglass shape, Walnut body, Walnut top).

2.144:  Model 4FHWS July 2011 #56307  £395 inc original padded case:

Modern, flat peghead, hourglass McSpadden with walnut body and fine-grained spruce top.  Usual 2nd generation label with handwritten “..Randy Sloan/ 4FHWS/ July 2011…”

Solid wood throughout, as all second generation McSpaddens post-May 2006.  Straight-grained, bookmatched walnut back and sides, with very fine-grained spruce top.  Small stress fracture from far-side lower bout soundhole, probably caused by changes in temperature or humidity rather than impact.  This has been stabilized and is not moving or affecting the sound at all.

Overall length 35½”, upper bout 5⅝”, lower bout 7″, depth 1⅞”, FBW 1½”, VSL 28⅜” (long scale), weight 1lb 15oz (887g), strings 10/10, 14, 23w.  Zero fret, 6½ and 13½ fret.

Two very small nicks on the top edges and the aforementioned repaired fracture.  Otherwise in excellent condition.  Has a crisp and slightly brighter, punchier sound than the standard walnut bodied McSpaddens.

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2.132  August 2006 McSpadden 4FHWW #50502   £395 including original padded case

Usual label signed by Lawrence Chapman.

Must be one of the first of the new era with solid wood body, smaller flat headstock and a new luthier’s name on the label.  Has a straight-grained solid walnut back and a nice rippled bookmatched walnut top.  Otherwise the normal two piece walnut fingerboard, zero fret, composite nut and bridge, cross-grained walnut strainer, stainless pin anchors, Gotohs…but no strap buttons.

Overall length 35¾”, upper bout 5¾”, lower bout 6⅞”, depth 1¾”, FBW 1½”, VSL 28⅜” (medium/long scale), weight 2lb 5oz (1057g), strings now 10/10, 14, 23w.  Has a 6+ and 13+ fret.
Excellent intonation and full sound from this almost unused dulcimer, which is only a few minor nicks away from being unblemished.  Has original TKL branded brown McSpadden padded case.

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2.130  Model 4FHCC May 2008 #52770   £390 including original padded case

Signed by Larry McSpadden.  All cherry solid body with cherry fingerboard.  Usual white composite “nut” and bridge.  Chrome Gotohs, chrome pins for string anchors, inset into tail.  Bookmatched top, sides and back with neat cherry figure.

Overall length 35⅝”, upper bout 5⅝”, lower bout 6⅞”, depth 1⅞”, FBW 1½”, VSL 28⅜” (long scale), weight 1lb 15oz (887g).  Zero fret, 6½ and 13½ fret. Strings 0.010/0.010, 0.014, 0.023w.

In excellent condition, with normal good action and a bright, full sound.  Has original TKL branded McSpadden padded case.

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2011 McSpadden 4FHCR #56602   £Sold

Model 4FHCR – flat peghead, hourglass shape, cherry body with redwood top – signed by the craftsperson who made it, Brant Richardson.  In mint condition, still with music instruction book, McSpadden guarantee and original invoice from UK-based Bird Rock Dulcimers, dated October 2012.  The solid woods of top and sides/back complement each well – it is a beautiful colour.  Apparently this is the favoured McSpadden wood combination of the widely influential MD player, the late David Schnaufer.  Great full sound but with plenty of subtlety.

McSpadden are perhaps the best known and most consistent craft maker of mountain dulcimers in the world.  They continue to produce beautifully-made, reliable and great sounding instruments.  This is no exception.

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