2011 Kathy Wingert Harp Guitar
One Owner Near Mint Example of the Rolls Royce of Harp Guitars!
Before I even begin, for those of you not fully looped in:
There are - believe it or not - two gentlemen both named Stephen Bennett, both of whom (now) live in Connecticut, and both owners of Wingert harp guitars. I don't even know what the odds of that happening on this planet are, but there it is!
"SB2" (which he doesn't like to be called, but hey, we need some way to tell them apart!), is a fine singer/songwriter/guitarist (even now finishing up a duo album with SB1). However, he just hasn't found the time to dedicate to the harp guitar, and so he's willing to let his own Wingert go to a good home.
This is Kathy's 7th harp guitar, which she built for Stephen in 2011, when he lived in the U.K. Astute readers of my Harpguitars.net blog might recall that I wrote a piece on a unique project using this very instrument: Fun with Harp Guitar Physics or Will the Real Stephen Bennett Please Stand Up? There, you can both hear this spectacular instrument played by Stephen's friend Dan, who conducted the physics experiment, complete with 3D imagery and some really insane math. If that's too much to digest, then just take a gander here at this beautiful instrument.
As history has recorded, Kathy was "dragged kicking and screaming into the world of harp guitars" (her words) by friend Frank Doucette, who commissioned her first HG in 2005. Already one of the top living luthiers, she hit the HG concept out of the park and has continued to do that over these many years with at least a dozen instruments, all somewhat to radically different, and all stunning. Of course, with my many luthier friends, I have to be diplomatic about all this. But with the opinions of Frank, two Stephen Bennetts, Pete Bradshaw (owner of several Wingert HGs), myself (I've played many and briefly owned #2), and the other owners, I think I can safely state that harp guitar workmanship, design, fit and finish, and tone simply does not get any better than this.
This instrument follows the geometry of the harp guitar Kathy built specifically at the request of Stephen Bennett (SB1) to align visually and physically with his vintage Dyer so that he could most easily switch back and forth (specifically, where the strings are and the harmonics land). His had a solid headstock, this one is slotted, for a different and easier Gotoh tuner arrangement.
It features Kathy's standard imported Italian spruce top, this one with a unique three-dimensional "bear claw" type artifact up on the arm. Back and sides are bubinga - for many, a perfect sweet spot between mahogany and rosewood. Ebony rounds out the wood choice (including a delightful narrow arm bevel), with a touch of mahogany on the sub-bass head. Fancy black & white binding is featured on the top and back, and the delicate inlay is by Jimmi Wingert. A clear pickguard was later added.
The instrument has been infrequently played and the only item to report is that the bridge was re-glued some years back by LPR Gitares in France. Action is low (can be adjusted) and top deflection (horizontally, behind the bridge) has settled at about 3/16".
It comes with a custom fitted Colorado gig bag (a heavy duty, padded water-proof canvas bag now going for a few hundred dollars).
For those of you have long lusted after a serious instrument or a Kathy Wingert harp guitar in particular, this is a great opportunity to turn that stagnant 401 into a real investment! The last I heard, Kathy's base price for harp guitars started at $21,000, and she is no longer taking orders (though we do hope we'll see more harp guitars from her in the future!). That being said, the seller understands the market and is willing to entertain all reasonable offers, so please don't hesitate to call!
-Gregg "Sir Gregory" Miner
DVDs by Stephen Bennett, John Doan, Muriel Anderson, Andy McKee,
Stacy Hobbs, Tom Shinness, Dan LaVoie, James Kline, Larry
Berwald, Bill Dutcher, Gregg Miner, Pasquale Taraffo
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Harp Guitar Music
PO Box 401
Middlefield CT 06455