Jay Buckey Ukraine factory-built Dyer-style Harp Guitar
A striking, all black finish, entry-level instrument!
This is the second instrument built in the Trembita
Guitars factory in Lviv, Ukraine at the request of Jay Buckey of
Las Vegas. Many of you
will remember that we raffled off the original prototype for our fundraiser
during the 9th annual Harp Guitar Gathering. Improvements
on this one are the centered back seam and a truss rod. After
the first all-natural-color instrument, Jay next tried a sunburst
model and this all-black instrument, as he experiments with cosmetic
options. This one uses the
same Carpathian spruce top and local maple back and sides (along with
necks and headstocks). All
are finished with black lacquer, under a mat polyurethane finish.
White and black plastic binding serve as appointments, along with nice palisander fingerboard and bridge. These instruments were built from the Dyer plans, and are reasonable “copies” of the standard Dyer. I can tell you that Jay’s original instrument more than held its own in the “Instrument Demonstration/Comparison” segment of the Luthier Panel at HGG9. This black one sounded the same or better in a direct comparison. There are slight imperfections in workmanship here and there (not easily discernible in the photos). I would say that overall quality, fit and finish, and tone quality are somewhere between the old Lark in the Morning and a Holloway.
The Korean tuners are of just-adequate quality, and would bear replacing (I can advise on options), as would the plastic nut and saddles. Beyond that, it’s ready to go, and – like the Holloways (and even L.I.M.s, in a pinch) - could certainly be used as an entry-level harp guitar for professional gigs and recordings. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed in what they’re getting for the price. A Ukraine-made gig bag is included. It's currently strung with D'Addario Bennett tuning sub-basses and generic neck strings.
A lot of us have been fantasizing about a true “black-top Dyer” for years. This would be the first. And if you buy it, you’ll be the first as well!
- Gregg Miner, the "harp guitar pope"
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