Tonedevil S-12 harp guitar
Tone and Dave Powell have been building guitars,
mandolins and harp guitars for many years now, and continue to make
improvements on their harp guitars. Their
new Idaho factory has updated equipment and lots of space for more of an
assembly line flow to help keep costs down.
Their S-12 harp guitar ― their base model ― is thus
one of the most affordable harp guitars currently made in America.
Inspired greatly by Chris Knutsen’s hundred-year-old harp guitars, the Powell brothers have created a repeatable product with sufficiently attractive aesthetics that fills a nice niche between entry-level and more expensive handmade harp guitars.
To this end, appointments are kept simple, the satin finish is held to a reasonable minimum with visible open grains on the back and sides, while hardware, set-up and tone are all excellent. They’ve recently started to add top and back solid wood binding, which this one has. It’s nicely balanced and powerful acoustically, with a passive Tonedevil 3-contact piezo pickup system to crank it up live. Note that it has 14 frets to the body, as compared to the Dyer’s 12! As you may have heard, I insist on stocking the best-sounding (and looking) instruments the brothers can supply. This one's just about like the last with a couple extra "bear claw" figures on the top (they source their tops from Collings' supplier).
It also comes with a prototype (at a deal) of their new form fit wooden case - a roughly made, but very cool accessory!
A growing list of players have been trying out this worthy alternative to the ubiquitous Dyer copies out there. Perhaps you should, too!
-Gregg "Sir Gregory" Miner
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