Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby HughesDulcimer » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:22 pm

KenH wrote:So tell us about your plans. And your name, please!

Are you going to be making veneer instruments or solid wood, or both? Price ranges? Styles? My first instrument, back in 1973 or so was a Hughes kit that I assembled so I could teach myself to play. At the time I was living up in Fort Collins and attending CSU.



Hi! My name is Justin Rousselot and Norman Hughes (virgils son) is a dear friend of mine and sort of asked me if I would like to take over doing the Dulcimers so I of course said yes ! Norman is sort of "holding my hand" if you will and teaching me the ropes right now ..As of right now I am finishing dulcimers that where left over from when the shop was open. There about 80 of them that are about 60% finished so I am finishing those ones off before I make any brand new ones ..And i will be making both Veneer and Solid wood dulcimers .. and I both in the 60% finshed stages too
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby dholeton » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:53 pm

Justin
I'm glad to see you are starting up in Virgil's place and I wish you the best of luck with getting it going.

I talked to Virgil earlier this year and he remembered me and we had a great conversation. I visited his shop often when I lived in Denver in the 1980's and 1990's. Virgil had a pamphlet titled "A Fanciful History of the Dulcimer". I lost my copy and was interested in obtaining another one. Do you know if the pamphlet is still available?
Thanks
Dave
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby jvlpog » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:06 am

Thanks for the information. Good luck with your venture!
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby HughesDulcimer » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:44 pm

dholeton wrote:Justin
I'm glad to see you are starting up in Virgil's place and I wish you the best of luck with getting it going.

I talked to Virgil earlier this year and he remembered me and we had a great conversation. I visited his shop often when I lived in Denver in the 1980's and 1990's. Virgil had a pamphlet titled "A Fanciful History of the Dulcimer". I lost my copy and was interested in obtaining another one. Do you know if the pamphlet is still available?
Thanks
Dave


Hey Dave!

Virgil gave me one one those pamphlets to read a while ago and would bet there are some more in the shop ..I will be going to the shop next week sometime and I will see if I can't get a few
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby dholeton » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:22 pm

Thanks Justin
The old 1995 catalog brochure I have shows the pamphlet cost was $1.95. I was talking to Virgil earlier this year and he indicated he still had some but they were now $3.00. I'll be glad to send $3.00 plus shipping and handling if any are still available. I'm glad you are involved in the shop now and I hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks
Dave
Attachments
Hughes_Catalog_1995.pdf
Hughes Dulcimer Catalog from 1995
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby tentmaker » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:51 pm

I have an HS34R4S Rosewood and Spruce hourglass with 4 sound holes and no 61/2 as pictured in the 1995 catalog posted by dholeton. The top of the Hughes lineup, it was built in 1989 and Rosewood was expensive even in those days as the 1995 catalog price was $290.00. Still a great traditional sound. 8)
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby dholeton » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:56 pm

I would say your HS34R4S is rare. I don't remember seeing any rosewood dulcimers in the shop. I did strum a spruce top church dulcimer once while I was in Virgil's shop, otherwise I didn't see any spruce tops either.

Dave
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby mmkenney » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:34 pm

Several years ago, I procured several kits from Hughes Dulcimer via a Craigslist ad - 3 hammered dulcimers, one balalaika, one bowed psaltry, and a paraguayan style harp. It's good to hear that Hughes may be up and running once more, as I'm sure I'll be needing further supplies/suggestions... I had one occasion to call - and got a very prompt reply about materials from the owner who had recently retiired... Now, I'm finally getting around to working on them all, and I'm sure as a newbie here I will have lots of questions! Found this board by making internet enquiries about Hughes Dulcimers in Denver (my old stomping grounds - used to live on East Colfax!)

Mark K.
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby tjcox5 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:30 pm

I Just acquired a Hughes 6 string dulcimer. It looks OK but a couple of broken strings. Except for the bass strings looks like the strings are set in equi distance, but not sure if that's the way it left Hughes. One sound hole (cross), and no 6 1/2 fret. Anyone know how it was tuned?
Tom
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby KenH » Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:00 pm

Hi Tom;

I tuned my Hughes 6-string to DAA, DAd, DAG, DAC etc. -- the normal modal tunings for a dulcimer, except that each course of strings (melody, middle drone and bass) is doubled. The bass course is also commonly strung and tuned Dd -- two Ds, an octave apart.

I don't believe any Hughes dulcimer ever had a 6+ fret. That's the way things were back then -- we re-tuned when we needed to change tunings and get different notes.
What I might do today is string and play in Bagpipe Tuning -- DDdddd or Dddddd. This tuning, for instruments without a 6+ fret, lets you 'cheat' and play two modes (Ionian and Mixolydian) without retuning; just as the 6+ fret allows more modern dulcimers to 'cheat' the same two Modes without retuning.

Check the VSL before you go buying strings. IIRC the Hughes had longer VSLs than common today -- 28" rather than 26" or 27"
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby tjcox5 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:11 pm

Thanks Ken. I played several songs with it at our jam yesterday.. I have it tuned Dad with the two bass D's an octave apart and it has a really nice bass sound to it. The two A strings were also an octave apart. I replaced both upper d strings as both were bad. The A strings are different sizes, the one closest to the bass strings has a larger diameter than the other one. I tried bending the note to get the 6 1/2 note, I belive it's c#, but with a fast peice Im not that good at that yet. everyone in our group did like the sound of it. Thanks for your information. My other dulcimers are a yocky and a cripple creek I made myself years ago.
Tom
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Re: Hughes Dulcimer Co. Dulcimer

Postby dholeton » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:06 pm

Tom
If you have a Hughes Church Dulcimer, you might want these documents from Virgil along with one that I developed along the way in a previous ED discussion. Virgil's tuning documents date to probably the 1970's or 1980's and were written with the intent of making somebody successful at tuning a dulcimer without a tuner. From talking to Virgil, listening to some recordings of his dulcimers, and reading some of his tuning instructions, it appears he favored G tunings on mountain dulcimers with G bass, D middle, and D melody string(s). I always saw double melody strings on his dulcimers, so his Church dulcimer was intended to have double melody strings and four drone strings.
Like most mountain dulcimers, you can string it, tune it, and otherwise arrange it as you like. I tried adding all of the frets and arranging the strings in 3 sets of double strings on my Church dulcimer. That arrangement failed for my use and I have rearranged it closer to Virgil's original design. Some day I hope to redo the fret board with the original fret arrangement (and maybe a 6+ fret). With the fretboard being a solid piece of wood (not hollowed out), I like the sound better when it is played with a noter.
Dave
Attachments
Hughes_Tuning_Instructions_1.pdf
Hughes tuning instructions page 1 of 3
(533.24 KiB) Downloaded 24 times
Hughes_Tuning_Instructions_2.pdf
Hughes tuning instructions page 2 of 3
(514.03 KiB) Downloaded 16 times
Hughes_Tuning_Instructions_3.pdf
Hughes tuning instructions page 3 of 3
(679.08 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
Hughes_Mel_Bay_Tuning_Instructions_1.pdf
Instructions from one of Virgil's books published by Mel Bay
(2.04 MiB) Downloaded 17 times
Church_Dulcimer_Tuning_Arrangements.pdf
Church Dulcimer String and Tuning Arrangements
(44.16 KiB) Downloaded 20 times
Church_Dulcimer_Assembly_Instructions.pdf
Church Dulcimer Assembly Instructions
(2.85 MiB) Downloaded 19 times
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