Mistydawn wrote:This is a great topic! I received my first HD, a new 13/12, as a Christmas gift. I knew very little about dulcimers at that point, so it seemed fine to me as I played alone in the house. But within a few months, I was playing it in a small folk ensemble and it was going out of tune very quickly. Another ED member mentioned having a J & K 16/16 for sale and I purchased it from him. I still didn't know much about dulcimers, but it was a beautiful instrument and about half the list price of a new J&K dulcimer. It sounds so much fuller and prettier than the 13/12. It suits my needs adequately as someone who plays mainly as a hobby and in public occasionally. At this point, I have no burning desire for dampers or more notes - although a low B flat could come in handy now & then.
WhistlinDixie wrote:Martin, I recently upgraded to a D650 by Dusty Strings. I wanted to just get a dulcimer that I wouldn't have to "upgrade" again. I had to sell three instruments in order to even put a dent in the price of the new one...(and it was not a very big dent)
The reason I upgraded was because I wanted 3 things; dampers, chromatics (in the octaves I need), and a full, rich sounding bass bridge. I'm pretty stout, and while the instrument is more cumbersome than most, I don't find it to be that big of a pain. Of course I just got it in November, so maybe the novelty just hasn't worn off.
The only thing I regret about it was one of the dulcimers I sold...It was a Masterworks ultra-light that I'd won. I specifically competed with the intention of using the prize to help fund my new D650...so I didn't let myself get too attached to it. But I still wish I hadn't sold it. I'd love to have a smaller option for the days when I want to take an instrument with me somewhere, but don't feel like packing up the D650 and carrying it down my stairs (which is not fun).
I can't advise you on what instrument to upgrade too, but contemplate carefully the instruments you are considering selling. That's my biggest advice.
Heidi wrote:Martin, I can't say for sure, but everything you've posted here leads me to believe you prefer MW and JRSmith sound. DS doesn't sound like MW or JRS (which do indeed have similarities). I don't think the D650 is the way for you to go, even if you did have the extra cash.
I forgot to say, I upgraded, in order of priority:
2) missing chromatics, particularly lower Bb, F and C
3) extended bass
4) higher C#
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