Last Wednesday was a great success. Aaron and I spent almost four hours testing pretty much every combination of three bodies, three tops and two necks. What made the task so difficult and time consuming was that there were were no bad combinations that could be eliminated out of hand. Every combination had its strengths and possible applications. In the end, Aaron chose the claro walnut body with a Port Orford cedar (POC) top. In his hands, it sounded amazing. Aaron felt it was ideal for his intended style of fast fingerpicking. So you will soon be hearing a new tone from him compared to the Sitka spruce topped prototype.
As expected, the wood used for the sides and back of the dulcimer had a relatively small impact on the overall sound compared to the top. The woods that are to be offered on the production models have not been finalized. There will be two models of the nylon string dulcimer and we will attempt to match the woods offered on each model to the style of play most likely to be played on it. Rest assured that the differences are subtile and in the right hands, either model will work well for whatever the musician”s intended use within the realm of fingerstlye play.
So it’s back to the shop to finish up Aaron’s performance instrument. At the same time I will be completing the four steel string dulcimers in the shop in preparation for the first production run of the nylon strings. No rest for the wicked.