is the 17th harp guitar that Jim Merrill (and Company) has
built, since that very first Dyer copy for Stephen
Bennett. That was of course many years ago, and
considering how popular these instruments are, there are never
enough to go around.
That's why I commissioned a new
instrument from Jim in 2009. No, they
don't crank these out, but then that's probably why they're
still one of the absolute finest-sounding (and well-built) Dyer
style instruments ever made.
This one is no exception.
I've played it enough now to hear it opened up, and it is about
as stellar as they come. You will indeed get your money's
worth in the tone department.
Style-wise, I asked for traditional
Dyer appointments. The lovely and delicate multi-colored
purfling around the top and both soundholes duplicates a Style
5, but we also added the ivoroid back binding of the Style
6. With select Sitka top, dark Honduras mahogany back and
sides, and rosewood headplates, this is a pretty classic and
classy modern Dyer copy.
We chose 1-13/16" for the nut
width (or a hair under) to best accommodate the largest variety
of potential players. Though I prefer the nearly 2"
of the originals, I had no problem playing this for my Gathering
As far as I know, this is the only
one on the market. Secondhand instruments are rare and
have gone fast (and close to full price), so consider investing
in your dream harp guitar now.
9/1/14: A few dings in top are now
present, general light finish wear.
(Sir Gregory) Miner