Special custom model for Harp Guitar Music!
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I am extremely proud to offer another brand new 2008 harp guitar by Duane Noble. Duane consistently builds some of the most beautiful harp guitars in the world - each one a work of art, with no two quite alike. And this one may be even more unique. How so?
Not only is Duane's harp guitar design one of my personal favorites, but I really wanted to keep both the rosewood instrument I demonstrated at Healdsburg and the quilted mahogany instrument sold through Harp Guitar Music last year. What prevented me? Well, my budget for one (I tend to scrape together just enough to obtain the occasional rare vintage instrument). I also wasn't as comfortable with the neck of those instruments as I would have liked. This is a personal bias, and nothing to do with Duane's standard necks.
While I was nitpicking, I also brainstormed with Duane about a couple of hypothetical aesthetic modifications. And, lo and behold, gentleman that he is, Duane built a harp guitar that accommodated most of my ideas! It is not quite a "Gregg Miner signature model," as I have too many other wild ideas to work out (and would have to actually save some serious cash) before that dream could be realized - but this comes pretty close.
Duane's nut width is a standard 1-3/4". I prefer (and seem to require) a wider string spacing, so asked if he could just copy my vintage Dyer Style 8 (my favorite HG to play). I also commented that his fretboard felt too flat. Again, Duane uses a standard 16" fingerboard radius, so he sent me a radius measurement device in order to properly determine what the Dyer actually is. Turns out, it has a substantial compound radius, which - for me - makes it extremely comfortable to play. Duane took this up as a challenge and duplicated the exact configuration, making a neck with a 1-15/16" nut width and compound fingerboard radius of 10" at the nut to 17" at the 20th fret. Not surprisingly, it plays like my Dyer, only better, since it's brand new - so fret dressing and intonation are true. In a word - paradise. My suspicion is that other Dyer players may appreciate this feature as well.
Absolutely nothing wrong with any of Duane's previous instruments - each is attractive in its own way - but I suggested two ideas which he gamely incorporated. The first was reducing the size of the arm soundhole to be more in keeping with the armhole-to-soundhole ratio of the Dyer and Knutsen instruments. The rosette then becomes tighter and more delicate also. Just an aesthetic experiment I was curious to see...either one looks "right," but I do rather like this - what do you think?!
It comes with a custom Colorado soft case in forest green with black trim - almost identical to the Harp Guitar Music case, but without the logo (case may be swapped for any HGM gig bag for $25 extra - and don't forget that this will fit the new HGM flight case).
Built specifically with many of my own "specifications," there is no way this beautiful harp guitar cannot receive the most beneficent "pope's blessing"!
Frank Doucette, who is as discerning about new hand-built guitars as they come (see his many articles on Harpguitars.net), rated this an exceptional value for the money – compared not only to his new Wingert, but to new instruments by many of the top makers. He also pointed out an obvious key marketing aspect, which none of the quality Dyer copies can claim. With my Dyer neck profile combined with Duane’s 14 frets-to-the-body and significant cutaway, this is perhaps the most ideal modern instrument yet offered for vintage Dyer players who dream of playing beyond the 12th fret. With the Noble, one can easily play all the way up to the 20th fret. Why not you?
- Gregg Miner, the "harp guitar pope"
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