Vintage Dyer Style 5 Harp Guitar
multi-instrumentalist composer Bruno Coon,
Bruno Coon is the multi-talented Hollywood composer multi-instrumental performer I told you about in my 2012 listing for his Style 7 Dyer. Now you're gonna laugh. No sooner had I shipped it off to a happy customer in Australia than Bruno regretted it! (Well, we've all been there, right?) And so eventually he went out and found another. He planned to come to the Harp Guitar Gathering last year in Carlsbad with this, but had a last minute emergency. He also has just hasn't had time to explore harp guitar properly and so dropped by the other day to discuss finding it a new home.
I thought it was a great one and so we now offer this to the public (and Bruno, I'm giving you fair warning...again!).
It's a recently added serial number (916) to our list. I put it at c.1919 - but then, that's still a complicated theoretical hypothesis guess. Say "circa 1920" and you'll be safe.
It plays wonderfully, sounds spectacular like a Dyer should, and is fully functional in every way. We spent some time here going over it. The strings didn't need to be new for me to easily rate this as a solid 9 in the tone department. Once fitted with new strings in your own tuning, you will be nothing less than thrilled (or return for full refund, no questions asked). With a modified bridge it intonates perfectly, and with the sub-bass tuners replaced with Waverlys (at my recommendation; the neck tuners are original), it's a fully professional instrument. It plays great up to the 12th fret, from whence the fingerboard dips down toward the soundhole. All Dyers have this; its fixable (with a trick, not a neck reset), but 95% of players usually just live with it.
I wasn't at all put off by the cosmetic issues, and would call this good average condition (you can see the full gamut of Dyers "as found" on my Sold page). Please check all photos at maximum size. There is a spruce splice at the far left of the arm as seen in the photo and a side repair at the bass side lower bout. Finish is subtly and randomly checked (or "alligatored"), which invariably affects the ebony bass headplate as well. Speaking of, you'll note that this has the preferred six subs. Again, he/we are not re-stringing it prior to sale and you'll undoubtedly have your preferred neck set and can discuss sub tuning and gauges with me (investigate here as necessary).
As mentioned earlier, Bruno had the original bridge modified by G. V. Rubio (the same guy building those incredible "Coco" guitars for Pixar). Rubio removed material on the neck side in order to install a new intonating bone saddle. I see a slight crack through the pins there which doesn't seem a problem so far. Side views show that the top has normal bellying; no one seems to have over-strung this instrument in its lifetime.
It has no case; I gave Bruno a lightweight gig bag, which you can have for an extra $100, or I have better ones coming soon.
Despite the increase of new harp guitar production, an original Dyer is still the preferred choice for many, myself included (and was certainly good enough for Michael Hedges!). With the global harp guitar craze exponentially expanding, it won't be long before every harp guitarist realizes that they should have a vintage Dyer as, if not their main, then certainly their prized second, harp guitar. Don't wait too long!
- Gregg "Sir Gregory" Miner
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