Dyer Style 5 Symphony Harp Guitar, c.1919

An affordable, player’s tone monster!  


If this Dyer looks familiar, it’s because it’s the third time I’ve sold/offered it.  I first sold it on consignment “as is” for just $2200 to Stacy Hobbs in 2007 (for a spare).  As it wasn’t quite playable, none of us had any idea how it might sound including Stacy, who never got it working, instead consigning it back in the exact same condition.

I next sold it in 2008 (for a bit more) to a player named Dan Dragland in San Diego.  Dan did get it working, having restoration done by Michele Beardsley at Hoffman Guitars in Minneapolis.  She’s worked on a couple of Dyers now.  Work included a professional neck reset (note that the fingerboard still slopes typically downward beyond the 12th fret), fixing some loose braces (?), securing the crack on the inner arm, and some repair/reconstruction to the missing binding and purfling on the end of the arm.  This helps dramatically (though is not a perfect match by any means).  Compare this to my original photos to see the “before” and “after.”  

Original photos are at right and left; new 2014 photos are inserted here:

They opted to leave the chipped bass headstock veneer and all the old repairs alone.  They also left the original (?) frets (she undoubtedly dressed), which show some wear, but play fine.  The bridge was also apparently deemed secure (it has a tiny gap at the rear you can slip paper into).  The top is in very decent condition with very little deformation.

Additional upgrades include replacing the original friction pegs with Waverly 4:1 tuners, brass bridge pins for the neck strings, and a slightly used Harp Guitar Music gig bag (black and tan).

Bottom line: the instrument was made structurally sound and playable enough for a professional, while improved a bit cosmetically.

What Dan may not have realized was just how fantastic it sounds (he never played it, having discovered the 8-string guitar instead).  A solid, impressive 9 for tone, all the way up and down the neck and down to the last beefy and complex sub-bass (note that it has the preferred 6 subs).  Powerful and a joy to play, just as we like our Dyers (and this is based on used strings wait til you re-string it)!

We’ve priced it to correspond to a $6-8k player’s dream with significant discount for cosmetic issues (by the way, feel free to re-veneer the head if it suits you).

Gregg (Sir Gregory) Miner










  • Original label: Style 5, Serial # 874 (or 894)(c.1919)
  • All original, except for repairs and new tuners and bridge pins
  • Spruce top
  • Mahogany back, sides and neck
  • Six sub-bass strings
  • 25-1/2" scale
  • 1-7/8" nut width
  • Dimensions: 15-1/2" lower bout, 3-13/16" depth at tail block, ~41-3/4" total length
  • Harp Guitar Music gig bag included
  • Strings: Currently used standard tuning John Pearse  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!

Price: $4800 SOLD

CDs & 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
To learn more about harp guitars, please visit Harpguitars.net
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