2008 Duane Noble Harp Guitar
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.

Custom features:

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.

Design changes:

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?!

Left: standard Noble arm soundhole
Right: custom GM arm soundhole
Something I always loved about Steve Sedgwick's harp guitars - which Kathy Wingert subsequently did also for her first instruments - is the round terminus of the back of the hollow arm.  Most builders (including Duane) normally do more of a squared-off straight "box" joint here (cheaper and simpler, I'm sure!).  This is Duane's first use of this feature, and again, I find it very nice - although either of his arm-to-basshead joints are certainly pleasing.

I requested his segmented rosettes (a design borrowed from Ervin Somogyi) - as the first Noble I ever saw had them, and I think they really go well with the modern Noble harp guitar design.  I also requested his favorite "curlicue" motif for a headstock pearl adornment and 12th fret marker (it has full side dot markers).  The sub-basses coming directly off the tuning posts (omitting the nut posts) is another of my ideas that Duane has been using for some time now.

Beyond these ideas, everything else is Duane's usual good taste and creativity in selecting wood and binding.  This is certainly one of his fanciest yet.  Check out the delicate abalone binding against the Madagascar rosewood on the top and black/white/black on the sides!  The back and sides are made of yet another choice wood - curly Claro Walnut (where does he find all these curly and quilted harp guitar sets?!).  Matching Madagascar Rosewood adorns both headplates, as well as both rosettes, which are further fit with abalone inlays.  Oh, and of course, that marvelous arm bevel.  All this coated with Duane's well refined, lustrous finish (nitrocellulose lacquer, applied to yield incredible depth & clarity) - results in another gorgeous, luscious, rich and chocolaty Noble Instrument!


I don't have the previous Nobles to compare to, but this seems to be very consistent with all of them.  Plenty of overtones (a bit "tighter" on the open trebles, which I asked for) and the sustained phosphor-bronze sub-bass ring we hard-core steel-string HG players demand!  And Nobles are built to handle any string tension and still project like mad.

As on all his harp guitars, Duane uses Gotoh mini 18:1 tuners for easy, precise tuning on all 12 strings. 

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"


  • Sitka spruce top
  • Curly claro walnut back and sides
  • Madagascar rosewood headstock overlays and arm rest bevel
  • Abalone and Madagascar rosewood top binding,
  • Abalone and Madagascar rosewood segmented rosettes
  • Black/white/black side binding
  • Ebony fingerboard and bridge
  • 5-piece neck of mahogany, maple and rosewood
  • 25.4" scale
  • 1-15/16" nut width
  • Compound radius FB: 10" @ nut, 17" @ 20th fret
  • Gotoh 510 mini 18:1 Tuners for all strings
  • Fully adjustable truss rod
  • Six sub-bass strings
  • Dimensions: 16" lower bout, 4 1/4" depth at tail block, 42" total length
  • Custom Colorado padded gig bag
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Price: $8,250 (Paypal)  Sold
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