28 inch Vibrating String Length
Once the Betty design was complete, I wondered about the string length being less than the Kentucky standard; about 28.5 inches. Understanding the weight to mass ratio, I began a study to determine the dimensions of a 28 inch piece. Elongating the piece required narrowing it and removing as much material as possible and the ultra-lite was born! The very narrow waist is reminiscent of the Thomas pieces. It is difficult if not impossible to make a traditional Appalachian piece without picking up some aspect of his work! It did after all change very little in some sixty years.
Although a very different approach to the traditional sound as the Betty, it simple fulfills a different tonal dimension. The 28 inch VSL is best tuned somewhere around (C), where as the Betty’s 26 inch VSL is better suited up around a (d) or even (e). Not that either can be tuned higher or lower but they have sweet spots dependent on their dynamics.
Prices start at just $425. All Poplar with your choice of Rosewood, Boxwood or Ebony tuners, shellac or hand rubbed oil finish!
Customization; let me know what traditional aspects you want on my designs and I can make it. I make Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore!