Dyer Style 5 Symphony Harp Guitar, c.1915





This was the first harp guitar I ever brokered, before the days of Harp Guitar Music.  A couple years later, the client realized he had barely played (he has too many guitars).  I talked him into upgrading to Waverly 4:1 tuners for the subs (a $150 value).  I may have the original friction pegs around somewhere if the buyer is really interested (they were all but unusable). Otherwise it's all-original and largely untouched.  The cosmetics were left alone, as this was clearly a well-played and well-loved instrument.  The bridge was re-glued at some point, there are a couple repaired areas and small areas of glue slop here and there, and I see two small cracks - one on the side that seems closed, and a 2-1/2" long tight, but open crack on the back.  The tuners and set-up (not much) were done by Rufie Barnes of the Claremont Folk Music Center.  Some fret wear (on replaced frets I assume), plenty of finger depressions in the fretboard, action about 1/8" at the 12th fret, intonates pretty well.  I recall the tone as not being as "pretty" as most Dyers.  Now that it's back, I note that the subs are nice and strong, and the neck section not as "open" as killer Dyers, but still a great vintage sound.  It has plenty of "presence" because it is more direct - it doesn't have all the ringing overtones, which is not necessarily good or bad.  Truth be told, the strings are too dead to evaluate fully.

Style 5 is the second grade in the five levels of "Type 1" Dyer models.  This one has the preferred 6 sub-basses.  All in all, a solid instrument that is ready to go.

Comes with the client's black Harp Guitar Music gig bag (minor dirt outside).  If you prefer to shop for an alternate case, I'll give a $125 rebate on the gig bag.

-Gregg Miner, the "harp guitar pope"


  • Original label: Style 5, Serial # 756 (c.1915)
  • All original, except for repairs and new Waverly sub-bass tuners
  • Spruce top
  • Mahogany back, sides and neck
  • Six sub-bass strings
  • 25-1/2" scale
  • 1-15/16" nut width
  • Dimensions: 15-1/2" lower bout, 4-1/16" depth at tail block, ~41-1/2" total length
  • Comes with black Harp Guitar Music gig bag (additional HGM Flight Case available here)
  • Strings: Most harp guitars offered have temporary sub-bass strings (whether new or used) in various tunings.  New strings are available here.  If you need help calculating gauges for your tuning on this instrument (or if you would like help with tuning suggestions), just ask the pope!

Price: $4,900

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