Rich Mermer 2008 Harp Guitar
"Thor's Hammer"

All photos copyright Rich Mermer, except where noted

Is that a great redwood top or what?! 

The body of the instrument is bubinga, finished in gloss nitro cellulose lacquer, while the neck is made of stunningly figured Honduran mahogany. 

'Peghed' tuners installed on the sub-bass strings. These may look like old-style wooden friction pegs, but the shaft is actually metal and houses a 4:1 gear system. Great for fine tuning!  Bubinga overlays both headstocks as well.

Another one-of-a-kind creation (his previous instrument here) by master luthier Rich Mermer, who has become a permanent fixture in the escalating harp guitar movement.

Rich has built many stunning acoustic steel guitars and creative doublenecks (Acoustic Eidolon's Joe Scott tours with a custom Mermer).  He has some interesting ideas about guitar design, (including his recurring offset soundholes) - and is always thinking about improved modern harp guitar design as well.   I am often struck by his color design sense, and this is my new favorite, with captivating combinations of rich golden brown redwood, bubinga, exotic snakewood (price is no object where Rich's "playable art" is concerned) and turquoise (the real deal, crushed and inserted in the rosettes).

Rich builds about 12 instruments a year - usually client commissions; his harp guitars he has so far created for the love of it - and I'm thrilled to be able to offer such one-of-a-kind instruments through Harp Guitar Music.  There is no hype when Rich says that he strives in every project for "an individualized, handcrafted, work of art."

To get a sense of this process, I asked Rich to write an article for on the construction of what fellow luthier Benot Meulle-Stef quickly nicknamed "Thor's Hammer."  I wish I had this luxury on every instrument we offer, so that shoppers could see everything that goes into these custom instruments to help inform their decisions (thank you, Rich).

The 6 phosphor bronze sub-bass strings are (currently) tuned F-G-A-B-C-D from low to high (gauges: .080-.072-.068-.062.-060-.055).  Like any modern harp guitar, the tuning and playing options are limited only by one's creativity.

Rich debuted this instrument at the 6th Harp Guitar Gathering in October, 2008, where I got a chance to play and hear it firsthand, as did many others.  We immediately noticed how deep it looked, but then noticed the "Manzer wedge," which allows a comfortable feel for playing while still having a very deep soundbox.

Playability: Great, according to Don Alder (and myself). 

Tone: A very balanced instrument across all twelve strings.  I noted that, surprisingly, it was not quite as loud or "open" as a Dyer (but, hey - it was a day old!).

Amplification: This is where "Thor's Hammer" blew away most of the old and new harp guitars on stage.  Balanced acoustically, it was also the most balanced instrument plugged in (Rich used a Pick Up the World system, Stephen Bennett's favorite).  Many in the audience agreed that it had perhaps the best amplified sound of the entire lineup.  No mud, which is often the tricky part - just loud and clear with amazing separation out of the P.A.  I suppose it didn't hurt that 2007 Fingerstyle Champion Don Alder was playing it!

Copyright and courtesy John Thomas

Bottom line: Absolutely one-of-a-kind and distinctive in every way.  A collector's harp guitar and a player's instrument.  Consider it blessed.

-Gregg Miner, the "harp guitar pope"

The instrument will ship from Mermer Guitars in Florida, with a generous week-long trial period.

Offset soundholes in the top for the audience and port hole for the player!

The snakewood fretboard alone is worth the price of admission, let alone those turquoise touches.

Not-so-secret trap door for easy access to electronics, etc.

Pinless bridge for the neck, bridge pins for the subs.  More snakewood!

A custom-fitted ATA flight case is optional.

  • Curly redwood top
  • Bubinga body and headstock veneers
  • Manzer-style "wedge" body design (body tapered from bass to treble side)
  • Figured Honduran mahogany neck
  • Snakewood fingerboard and bridge
  • Snakewood and turquoise colored wood purfling
  • Turquoise chip rosettes
  • Porthole in harp arm
  • Pinless bridge for neck strings
  • 'Peghed' geared 4:1 planetary-style tuners for the sub-bass strings, gold Schaller minis with ebony buttons on the main neck
  • Trap door in the lower bout for improved access to the inside of the instrument
  • High gloss nitro-cellulose lacquer finish.
  • Separate Pick Up The World 'Stealth' pickups under the 6 sub-bass strings and main bank of strings, wired in stereo
  • Stereo Line Drive Preamp included
  • Limited lifetime warranty to the original owner
  • Nut width: 1.75"
  • Scale length: 25.354"
  • Total length: 41.75"
  • Body length: 19"
  • Lower bought width: 15.7"
  • Bass side depth: body tapers from 4.8 to 3.9", to 3.2" at harp arm peghead
  • Treble side depth: body tapers from 4.8 to 4.6" at neck joint
Case options at additional cost:
  • ATA flight case (OSP brand for keyboard), with custom fitted foam by Rich available for $450
  • Lighter weight Harp Guitar Music Gig Bag and Flight Case combo (instrument test-fit) available for $450 (includes shipping to Florida)

Price: $10,500 Sold

Shipping not included (ships from Sebastian, Florida)

On Consignment

Email to place a hold or obtain payment terms and conditions.

On Consignment (Instrument in possession of Mermer Guitars)
Harp Guitar Music acting as broker to serve both parties.
Questions about the instrument may be addressed either to Gregg Miner or directly to Rich Mermer.

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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