The new (to me) psaltery arrived yesterday so I had the pleasure of opening up the box and finally seeing it in the flesh (err... wood?) I was immediately struck by how beautiful it is, finely made. The low resolution photos on the Goodwill auction site do not do it justice. The soundhole design is more delicate than I expected. I could see a label inside but it was difficult to read through the soundhole's fretwork. The label appeared to be printed in a cursive font - I could make out "the" and maybe the "f" from the word "of". I need to take another look in the daylight - but its that little bit closer to confirming its provenance as being a Song of the Wood instrument.
Strings appear to be fine, and the body was in very good condition, only a few light scuff marks on the back. Corners were not scratched at all - I would say it has only had light use. A few homemade note markers had been carefully cut out of paper and stuck down with tiny narrow strips of tape - for now I'll leave these in place until they're not needed. There is a spare string and pin. So why is a spare pin needed? Are the strings all the same gauge? To my eye these appear to be - I thought the lower notes would be different gauges?
Case not too bad - it must've been exposed to damp at sometime because there's little midew spots on the interior, but nothing the sunshine won't fix. One hinge has rust on it - any tips for removing that? Steel wool? And once you get the rust off, do you seal it? The rust is not affecting hinge movement but is ugly to the eye.
Bow - Seems fine to me but I know nothing about bows. it has a peg in one end which you turn to adjust the tension of the horsehair. How tight should it be? How do you know when its time to change the horsehair? Do you have to apply rosin everytime you play or only sometimes?
Tuning - horribly flat as you'd expect - I managed to tune up the white notes. Pretty tone! Stayed up past my bedtime exploring how to make sounds with the bow. Left hand, right hand, upside down, right way up etc. Short notes, long notes. Figuring out a few melodies by ear. Very pretty tone!