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Re: [HD] installing a damper kit on HD

To: hammered dulcimers <hammered_dulcimers@lists.fmp.com>
Subject: Re: [HD] installing a damper kit on HD
From: Chuck Boody <cboody@mcfmail.net>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 19:11:24 -0500
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Hi Peter,

A couple of quick thought off the top of my head below.  Hope to see you and 
your new instrument at Spring Fling...

Chuck Boody
On Oct 21, 2010, at 3:21 PM, ptommerup@juno.com wrote:

> - 1) Have any of you tried Rick Fogel's damper kit? If so, do you have any 
> suggestions for installing it? 

Not tried it
> - 2) Since this vintage D-300 has Rizzetta style internal bracing--consisting 
> of several wooden braces going from one pin block to the other and in 
> parallel to the 2 fence rails--how would one locate where to drill the 
> control string holes for the dampers without drilling through one of these 
> braces? Also, how would you figure out where the pin blocks are located so 
> that you don't drill into them? 

DS (or Sam R.) would doubtless be able to give you the locations of the braces, 
and you may be able to see the situation through the hand hole.
> I'm guessing that locating and drilling these holes may be the hardest part 
> of the installation, since one would need to drill 8 holes (4 per side) 
> through the sound board and the back, and have them line up pretty 
> accurately. The element I am most concerned about is that the only visual 
> access there is to viewing (and measuring) the location of the braces is 
> through the little slits on the fence rails that are directly beneath the 
> sound board, and these slits are probably only about 1/4" wide. It would be 
> difficult, I think, to squeeze a tape measure (or other measuring device) 
> through these slits to get an accurate measurement of where the braces are 
> located. 

I think only 4 sets of holes each through top and back are needed.  Two sets on 
each side.  Placement should not be particularly critical.  I suspect you could 
actually drill through the braces without problem (if the kit uses a set up 
like my dampers the holes are a rather small diameter.  However I certainly 
would not do that without some consultation with DS or Sam if the instrument 
came from him and not DS.   Rick Fogel would probably help out too.

> Just out of curiosity, would a stud finder work in locating the braces? It 
> would greatly simplify this task if it could be used. The sort of Rizzetta 
> style bracing in this vintage D-300 seems to me to be a bit reminiscent of 
> the set up of studs in a wall. 

I've no idea 

> - 3) Is there anything else to be aware of before embarking on installing 
> such a damper kit project? 

No.  You are right that it is simple.  Rick doubtless has all the answers.

> - 4) Since my friend has been playing piano for 70 years, he's rather used to 
> the style of damping that you can activate in a piano which, if I understand 
> it correctly, is "on" until you disengage it by depressing a pedal. Typical 
> hammered dulcimer dampers are set up in the opposite manner: they are "off" 
> until you depress the pedal to engage them. I know that pianos also have a 
> separate damper for each note, but I think that's a bit beyond what we might 
> be able to come up with for my friend. :)
> Has anyone ever tried to set up a set of dampers on HD that are "on" until 
> you depress the pedal which would turn them "off"? My friend is not 
> altogether in love with the amount of sustain that is typical of hammered 
> dulcimers. 

Sam R. designed a set like that at one point I believe.  Perhaps he could 
comment.  The design is common on Cimbaloms too, so if you can find a cimbalom 
maker you might be able to find out about that issue.  Alex Udvary in Chicago 
is a nice guy and a fine player and might have some answers.
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