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Seagull 039227 Merlin Spruce SG Dulcimer 4-String Diatonic Instrument
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- Solid spruce top
- Rock maple, string-through body
- Rock maple neck, drive-through neck design
- Nut Width : 1.280"
- Tusq nut by Graph Tech
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Merlin Spruce SG Dulcimer Guitar Natural. Inspired by the dulcimer, the Seagull Merlin is a portable 4-string diatonic acoustic instrument that's just simply fun to play and hard to put down. The Seagull Merlin Natural Spruce SG features a solid spruce top with a 'mustache' style Tusq bridge, compensated saddle, 3-piece rock maple body with drive-through neck design and tune-up with vintage style open-geared tuners.
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The mating edges are precise.
I got one with a spruce top.
It is solid spruce, not ply.
The maple neck is very nice.
Everything looks great.
The tuners are not high end but they are adequate.
One place this really stands out for instruments of this type is having a real bridge and saddle that does not move around.
I have a couple I built of my own design which tune and hold their tuning well.
However, the volume projection and tone of this design are way better.
Mine are the same tuning, DAD, but have two octaves per string.
This one only has one octave on each string.
For most people that will be adequate, unless you are more than just a casual player.
This instrument could be used by an adult, but is also great for a kid, because it is small and light.
It can be played traditionally by just fretting the high pair of stings or playing chords on all three.
There's plenty of free iformation online, and loads of books available.
It's much easier to play than a guitar, and even sounds okay without any instruction when tuned properly.
Buy an electronic tuner (<$10).
Mine was mailed in it's minimal box designed by the factory.
It could pass for a temporary case, although it is not rugged; just a thin cardboard box.
It probably should be double boxed because there is very little padding.
But it got here in good shape, so I have no complaint.
It was tuned high out of the box, which is unusual.
Usually instruments are shipped with loosened strings.
Could be that it is because it is colder here than where it was strung.
Again, no harm done.
Bottom line is that this is an innovative design "stick" done by pros.
It looks it and sounds it.
Manual is decent too.
You can't go wrong unless you need that extra octave!
I don't see where the manual calls out the required strings, but I assume regular D'Addario dulcimer strings should work. (12-12-14-22)