Is there anyway or should I even try to stabilize the back of my new psaltery? It is a Roosebeck- I have had it about 10 days and it now has a crack which starts at the bottom -tuning end-and runs for about 9 inches. This crack was not there when I got it as I checked it over carefully when I got it. I probably haven't looked at the back for a week-and have handled it very carefully. I have been practicing on it every day and absolutely love the sound.
I purchased this through a company that offers a thirty day money back guarantee, so should I just return it and try another one?
Thank you for any advice you can give me. I really can't afford a higher priced one and really want to master it before making that kind of investment.
Since your psaltery has a money back guarantee, I would return it and hope for better results on the next one.
A psaltery back can be replaced without a great deal of work if you have the right tools, but in your case, returning it is probably the best option.
There are a couple of reasons the back of your instrument may have developed a crack. Most likely a change in the humidity affected the wood. If the wood was not properly seasoned (dried) before the psaltery was made, some shrinkage may have caused the crack to develop. Make sure your instrument is not left in a hot car or in a room where the moisture is very low as this puts additional stress on the wood fibers. There are also accessories which can be placed in the instrument case which keeps the humidity at a constant level so the wood doesn't dry out.
The selection of the wood used in the construction is also a factor in how well an instrument holds up to rapid temperature and moisture changes. The most stable woods are cut using a technique called "quarter sawing" in which the grain of the wood runs vertical across the width of the board. This orientation also usually produces the best sounding tone wood and is used in the majority of higher quality instruments.
Thanks for the reply, I have determined that the crack is only on the veneer so I am keeping it. No light shines through from either direction. I am thoroughly enjoying the instrument.