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Re: [HD] Dual tuning

To: Maureen Barnes <dulcimergal98@yahoo.com>, Hammered Dulcimers <hdlist@hammered-dulcimers.org>
Subject: Re: [HD] Dual tuning
From: Paul Goelz <pgoelz@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 21:39:35 -0400
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At 05:19 PM 3/21/2016, you wrote:
Sent from my iPad
Rick Thum sells a HD on which treble bridge notes can be tuned from both right and left sides. Do other builders do this?
Maureen in springtime Illinois

I have seen several designs over the years that used tuning pins on each end of each string. It may appear to make tuning easier, but in my opinion, this is NOT a solution to tuning issues. Tuning from each side of the bridge not only takes longer, it also can mask issues in bridge placement. If the bridge is out of position, you can temporarily get things in tune because the strings may not slide perfectly over the treble bridge. But.... the string(s) WILL eventually equalize tension by shifting across the out of place bridge as you play and you will be out of tune again. Wash, rinse and repeat. In other words, you can end up chasing your tail. The same thing happens when you try to compensate for an out of position bridge by tuning flat then up to pitch or vice versa.

That said, having tuning pins on each end of each string is not inherently bad.... I just recommend tuning from one side only and/or making sure the bridge is perfect if you choose to tune from both sides.

Using two tuning pins per string instead of one tuning pin per string and one hitch pin per two strings also can make the instrument noticeably heavier. Especially the older ones that used piano pins ;)


Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
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