New Luthiers, Part 4

This will get me (and thus, you) pretty much up-to-date with the latest harp guitar discoveries that have come to my attention over the last year.  As opposed to Part 3, where I have added those builders to the Luthier page, these are folks who may or not eventually be listed, as they appear to be more personal, first-time instruments.  As always, if you have more recent news to share, drop me a line!

Several have been tackling their own Dyer copies (and I always regularly sell those plans), including:

Mike O’Melia, who we followed on the Forum as he built his first one with striking bubinga back, sides and headplates

Sean Woolley, a recent Foundation donor from France, with his first Dyer copy

Don Druckenbrodt from Texas, here restoring a vintage Dyer Style 7.
From there, he decided to try his own, with a couple in the works, including an intriguing “Dyer with cutaway.”  As usual, he is very generous with showing us the process, with lots of great photos.  I love how he describes his process: “(The first) will be my prototype to make my mistakes on.  I tell people I use the Tiger Woods style of building.  I slam it into the next fairway and then find an elegant recovery technique.”

And what of the Sullivan-Elliott plans?  Well, I’ve sold 10 sets since stocking them last June.

This fellow – Guillermo (Willy) Burgos, in Ciudad Real, Spain – was ahead of that, with this copy.

And of course, more builders than ever are ignoring the plans and riffing on the harp guitar in their own way.

At the CordeFactum Guitar Festival in Belgium last year, Marc de Waey introduced this new archtop.
Here’s a video of Muriel Anderson demo-ing there.

Also shown alongside it was this fascinating creation – does anyone know if this was also Marc’s or who’s?

Benoit sent me a link to this gentleman’s site – Klaus Röder , in Germany.  I can’t find this in his Galleries, and can’t seem to get through his Contact page.  Can someone over there ask him to send us photos and details of this very interesting archtop?! member Chris Bucklen seems to keep a lookout on various guitar forums for new HG discoveries and shares them on our own Forum.
Here’s a new electric HG+doubleneck built by a fellow named Tom Tracy

Chris also discovered this distinctive electric HG built by Adam Best and his father.

Another member, Stephen Warburton up in Canada, once posted a link to another guitar forum with this very interesting electric.  Does anyone know the maker?

Another Forum mystery (player and maker) from a while back, never resolved.

Jeff Titus first turned us on to this clever contraption, played by Jack Haas – there’s a whole bunch of YouTube videos up of it, described as “a unique fusion of the harp, guitar, dulcimer, strumstick, and tanpura.”  This isn’t so much a new harp guitar build than a new harp guitar “assembly”!

Which leads us into the realm of “retro-fits” – harp guitars from 6-strings.  Here’s one by Hugo Cuvilliez of France, discovered by France’s Philippe Fouquet.

And an Andy Manson retro-fit, discovered by fellow Brit, Steve Sedgwick

Here’s multi-instrumentalist Vladiswar Nadishana.  He looks to be a wiz on wind and percussion instruments.  This is his “Dzuddachord” – not sure who made it.  Though the bank of harp strings is really a jawari-bridge “sitar” drone kind of thing, he is picking them instead (so, in this case, technically a harp guitar).

There are a couple other players of their own unique harp guitars that I’ve lost track of, including one very recent (that guy with the long blond hair that didn’t seem to know that what he had built was, in fact, a harp guitar – anyone remember?)

Builders – don’t wait for us to stumble upon you, let us know what you’re up to!

(Work in progress by Luca Milani, Italy)

  1. Burkhard Says:

    Hi Gregg,

    I’ve just called Klaus Röder and asked him to give some details about those harp archtops … he said he built about four of this kind. Expect him to contact you soon … I’m quite curious about their looks and specs, as the one shown here seems to be rather beautiful.

    Keep on the blogging!


  2. Gregg Says:

    Thanks, Burkhard – you’re helping us go global!

  3. Burkhard Says:

    Gregg, you *are* already quite global, I believe … but if I can help with German translations/contacts/whatever …


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