Secondhand Dyer Co. Koa Style 8

Direct from CandyRat artist Alex Anderson!


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Harp Guitar Music is proud to offer a wonderful and noteworthy secondhand instrument: Popular CandyRat artist Alex Anderson’s original “Tree of Life” Dyer itself!

I remember when Scott Holloway scored the koa he would use for the new “Dyer” Company’s second version of the fabled vintage Style 8. (The first was built with partner Jim Worland for Alex de Grassi.) I like the bear claw spruce Scott would hunt for as well. I also remember Scott putting all his blood, sweat and tears into this, his first fully solo build – his “holy grail” to build this holy grail of harp guitars, with its full abalone appointments.

I saw the finished result when everyone else did – at the 11th Harp Guitar Gathering in Connecticut upon delivery to the guy who commissioned it: soon-to-be new harp guitar sensation Alex Anderson. We didn’t hear it that year, but would end up featuring Alex multiple times at the Gatherings.

The instrument is thus well known to festival goers, video watchers around the globe, and of course, those with a copy of Alex’s “Tree of Life” CD, showcasing his baby. Despite the expected wear and tear from playing, the instrument is as good as new (better than, actually) in playability, and its impressive tone has aged nicely. Besides the koa upgrade it also features Alex's extensive electronics.

So, why is he offering it? If you haven’t heard, Alex made the move to a new custom Pellerin harp guitar, as the music he was coming up with was calling for more (7 subs, fan frets, 14 fret/cutaway, etc.). He would like to emphasize that “it was a difficult decision to part with the Dyer for the memories and inspiration it provided, but instead of it sitting in the case unplayed, I’m hoping that it will also inspire another player as much as it did myself.”

Though I have seen and heard the instrument, I will now let Alex explain the history and condition of this beautiful instrument:

“I commissioned this from Scott right when the new Dyer came to the Pasadena workshop. My guitar was the second Style 8 ever made there following Alex De Grassi’s walnut Style 8; mine was the first Koa. It is a completely handmade instrument by Scott himself with an insane amount of hours put into it. The instrumented is dated 10/10/13 and serial number 15 signed by Scott Holloway inside the label. I picked it up from Scott at HGG11 where it was shown off before I received it on the final day of the Gathering.

“Once I took it home, I began working on Hedges’ ‘Because It’s There’ and then starting work on tunes that would eventually be on my CandyRat release “Tree of Life” (inspired by the inlay as well as other conceptual ideas around that). The action always felt too high, so I took it to Barry Lipman (who worked on Stephen Bennett’s HG), who reset the neck and fully re-fretted it with jumbo stainless steel frets. We got it to a nicely playable state that has been stable for years now. Barry also installed the extensive electronic system which is:

“Main jack - stereo tip dual DiMarzio Black Angel PIezos, ring MiniFlex 2Mic Model 4
Second jack - stereo tip Sixtus sub mag pickup and ring DiMarzio Black Angel mag
Third jack - was used a separate mono for the Sixtus pickup so I would split the two piezos on jack 2 but I found the piezos sounded so similar and didn’t offer that much separation to need 3 jacks, so its a dummy jack now but can easily be wired in to whatever configuration the end player would like.

“Photos show fingernail mark areas (really only seen with light flashed on them) as well as other minor marks or imperfections. It has that signature Dyer dip from where the fretboard meets the body towards the soundhole. There is a tiny hairline crack right by the 9/10th fret low string side that was there when I got it and hasn’t gotten any worse in 5 years, Barry said it was fine and not effecting anything or to worry about it. The matching koa
wood percussion “scratch plate” is easily removable; it’s just double- sided sticky tape, as is the bass Sixtus pickup.

“It was additionally set up within the last year by Barry where he gave it a clean bill of health. It’s got a nice big and balanced tone and was used on nearly every song on my Tree of Life record as well as a bunch of live videos that people can check out to get an idea of its electronics and acoustic tone.”

So, there you have it folks. The heavily discounted price (from what a new one would cost, if you could even get one) is based solely on the normal condition issues – in every other way, it’s a bargain. Instrumental star of Recording, Stage & Screen (CandyRat, Harp Guitar Gatherings, YouTube, respectively) – direct from the artist himself!

Stage and studio ready! Muse guaranteed, talent not included… - Gregg "Sir Gregory" Miner  

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Additional Specs:

  • Total Length: 42"

  • Width: 15.25"

  • Depth: 3.8"

  • Nut width: 1.875"

  • FB radius: 12"

  • String spacing at saddle: 2.375"

  • Scale length: 25.5"

  • Bearclaw Sitka spruce top

  • Koa back, sides and headplates

  • Abalone binding, rosette and "tree of life" inlay

  • Mahogany neck

  • Ebony fingerboard, bridge and pins

  • Ivoroid binding

  • Bone nut and saddle

  • Sitka spruce bracing

  • 2-way double acting truss rod, adjustable neck

  • Upgraded Waverly sub tuners, Golden Age 3-on-a-plate 15:1 guitar tuners

  • Custom pro electronics

  • Includes Holloway gig bag and hardshell Gator case



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
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