Dyer Style 7 harp guitar with 6 subs
This particular Dyer was well-loved and well
played since its birth about 110 years ago...and it’s still playing!
Restored to professional playing condition by Detroit’s master
guitar tech Jim Rawlings, it is ready to plug in and gig.
The restoration included a neck reset and fret job, so it plays perfectly, even beyond the 12th fret. Intonation is fine other than the octave on the low E’s a bit off. A new compensated saddle would make it perfect. As with most vintage Dyers, the tuners have been upgraded; the subs are 4:1 Waverlys (what I use) and the neck tuners are Stew-Mac Golden Age Restoration tuners (engraved bell-end Relic nickel finish). The instrument's finish is all-original, with a few French polish touch ups on the top, and the few necessary small repairs were completed.
This has a beautiful “C. Knutsen” signature on the label in Chris’ trademark red pencil. The serial number of 276 puts this at somewhere between 1906 and 1908 (per my current Dating systems). What’s unusual is that it has six sub-basses, rather than the then standard five – the earliest case of this “custom order” we’ve seen!
Even more unusual is the depth of the instrument. Despite popular belief (and common sense), it turns out that the Larson brothers didn’t have a standard body depth...at all. While the majority hover somewhere around 4”, they range from 4-1/2” deep all the way down nearly 3-1/4”! This one is not the thinnest, but close at 3-7/16” at the end pin. How does it affect the sound? Hard to say, as the top does most of the work. Compared to my 4” Style 8 (and others), it doesn't sound much different, the subs are as deep, the volume about the same (I'm comparing all these with less-than-brand-new strings, but the high neck strings don't sing quite as much as my others').
The finish has typical micro-checking in many areas, the back is well scratched (the original owner must have had some crazy belt buckles!) and the top has both severe pick and fingernail wear as you can see. Some are turned off by that, some love the “battle scars” – in this case, it does fit with the old dark patina and general condition and vibe of the instrument.
The seller had a K&K Trinity pickup installed, with a separate contact pu for the neck and piezo for the subs. Plugged in, it sounds incredible.
also gave provided it with a nice custom fitted Ameritage
hard shell rolling case (not ATA approved, but fine for shipping or
schlepping), gently used.
As you know, the Style 7 is the second fanciest of the Dyer models; and this one is a nice historical piece as well as being a fully pro player with all the upgrades!
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