16/16 Chromatic RAC
MW Russell Cook Edition Extended Range. This is one incredible, Ultimate Dulcimer!
Russell Cook and Co. are once again pushing the envelope for what is possible, to extract the maximum from his instruments. This instrument was custom ordered by me to reflect what I have found to be the most useful layout.
Aside from the personally selected rosewood endrails, this extended range includes a soundboard which has been made 1" taller to accomodate an extra course of strings at the top of the instrument. The 7-note bass bridge allows you to play an entire octave below the normal range of a Standard Russell Cook Ultralight/Bantam/RCE -- the extra notes on top allow for completing octaves in F, BFlat and EFlat. The treble Chromatic bridge is extended to four notes, ending on High G.
In addition, the pin blocks have been hollowed out to lighten the instrument so that, in total, it weighs no more than a regular Russell Cook Edition dulcimer.
Combine the capability of this instrument with all that beauty and craftsmanship -- and a refined, balanced tone.
Did I say this is one INCREDIBLE instrument?
$3,199. plus shipping includes case.
Pictured: 15/14 Pioneer Sapelli with Dark Cranberry Stain, $769.00
This model is sold as a package which includes a sit-down X-brace stand, case, electronic tuner.
All dulcimer models come supplied with Student Hammers and a tuning wrench, but the Pioneer has the stand, case, and electronic tuner added in a “package deal” that can't be beat.
The “Sapelli” refers to the soundbaord material, an attractive quarter-sawn wood with properties similar to mahogany – but less expensive. The Pioneer is also available with a laminate birch ply top, at $679, but I stongly recommend getting the upgrade of a solid wood top! Not only is the tone much better, but it will improve over time, unlike plywood.
Pictured: Here is a Bantam Weight 16/15 chromatic. The walnut one shown has been sold, but I'd be happy to arrange for one custom-built for you.
I do have a 16/15 Chromatic Bantam Weight, with cherry endrails, very similar to the pictured instrument, with one big exception: it has had an additional 3-note bridge at the lower left, and has been strung to allow the addition of 5 bass notes an octave below the lowest corresponding notes on the instument. Incredible! I sacrificed the rarely played low D# and F (keeping the low Bb) in order to gain two more bass notes. As tuned, they are D,E,G,A,and B, with the “normal” chromatic Bb at the top of the tier.
The Ultralights weigh in at only about 14 lbs. The Bantam weight feature trims about 2 pounds off the weight of the instrument by shaving down components, drilling out the bracing, and replacing a birch laminate back with mahogany. This feature definitely enhances the voice of an already great sounding instrument! Totally worth it!
The Walnut instrument as shown would be $1549. (Additional $200 for the chromatic option, and another $200. for the Bantam Weight option).
The Cherry Bantam chromatic currently in stock is a $1749.instrument. Same as above with an additional $200. for the added bass bridge. This instrument was custom made for me to try the bass bridge option, and will generally be available only on the top of the line Russell Cook Edition. I have been currently “field testing” this instrument and consequently is not quite as “shiny new” looking as factory fresh, so I would be willing to knock 100 bucks of the total for a price of $1649. Still carries a full warranty.
Pictured: Speaking of the top of the line, here we have a phenomenally beautiful and fantastic sounding Russell Cook Edition. By definition, all RC Editions feature:
Hybrid redwood/mahogany soundboard,
Fancy wood end rails (Koa on this one)
Dark stained top
Wound string package
Scalloped bridges (low sustain version on this one)
and extra slots around the soundboard to free it up even more, for the most vibrant tone imaginable.
To this one I have had added an incredible 7-note extended bass bridge to replace the usual 3 note chromatic bridge on the left (see picture). Price with extra bass: 2500.
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