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Last Update: May, 2014

Disclaimer:
Harpguitars.net is not affiliated with, nor endorses the products of, nor necessarily shares the philosophical, political or religious views of any of the luthiers on this page.  All are listed as a courtesy to them, potential clients, and for archival purposes.  When notified by customers of a serious breach of professional ethics (ie: non-delivery, etc) I may note so on an entry.  If anyone sees a comment that is in error, please notify me immediately if these issues have been resolved. - GM

 

This page features alphabetical listings of professional and amateur luthiers who have built at least one professional quality harp guitar.  Historical (pre-1970) luthiers are listed on the Makers page.   Modern builders are separated into these loose and broadly defined categories - they are not separated by type or style of instrument, as some build a variety of instruments, while others' designs are difficult to describe!

Dedicated Harp Guitar Luthiers   Includes professional and up-and-coming builders who have established a reputation for harp guitars (or beginning to) and/or are serious about offering harp guitar models or commissions.  Most have built several instruments.

Occasional, First-Time or Retired Harp Guitar Luthiers  Includes newcomers to hobbyists to the finest luthiers in the world.  This group has dabbled in the harp guitar world, making one or two instruments. Perhaps some of these will become established repeat builders like those above.  Some instruments may now be ancient history, others are brand new (some may still be available).  The list includes a few well known harp guitar  builders who have since disappeared or retired.

Personal Instrument Harp Guitar Luthiers  Includes innovative builders ranging from highly skilled professionals to part time amateurs.  They have created instruments for their own use and may or may not build for other clients.

In Memoriam

LUTHIERS - please help me keep this page current!  Contact me with:

  • Your latest build
  • Your web site "Making Of" articles (now listed under each entry; should be fairly detailed, not just a few build process photos)
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  • Updated or improved photos for the Galleries/Luthier page
  • Updates regarding your status and activities for this page

 

Featured Harp Guitar Lutherie Article

 

Additional Internet articles on harp guitar projects


Dedicated Harp Guitar Luthiers

This first alphabetical list includes professional and up-and-coming builders who have established a reputation for harp guitars and/or are serious about offering harp guitar models or commissions.  Most have built several instruments.


Allan Beardsell (Canada)

Original design

Brunner Guitars (Lavin, Switzerland)

Outdoor Harp Guitars (travel harp guitars)

Lukas Brunner and the World’s First Travel Harp Guitars! by Gregg Miner

Luciano Buscarini (Osimo, Italy)

One-of-a-kind designs

 

Fred Carlson (Santa Cruz, CA)

Harp-Sympitars and one-of-a-kind designs

Fred Carlson: Making Sound Look Good by Wade Vonasek
Fred Carlson: The New Dream: 39-string acoustic Harp-Sympitar with MIDI-capability (2006)
Fred Carlson: Big Red: A 38-string custom Harp-Sympitar (2005)
Fred Carlson: The Flying Dream: 39-string acoustic Harp-Sympitar with MIDI capability (2003)
Fred Carlson: The Harpouditar: A 26-String Guitar/Oud/Zither (2002)
Fred Carlson: Design and Construction of Oracle, 24-string Harp-Sympitar (2002)

F
red Carlson: Kali: 12-String Guitar with 2 Added Sub-basses (2000)

Alan Carruth (Newport, New Hampshire)

Original harp guitar designs

   

Davide Castellaro (Italy)

Acoustic and electric harp guitars for Paolo Giordano and others 

 

Kerry Char (Portland, OR)

Dyer copies and vast experience in restoring harp guitars

       

Tim Donahue (Japan)

Built his own electric fretless and fretted harp guitars, and now has factory production instruments available

 

 

Mike Doolin (Portland, OR) Original designs for Muriel Anderson and others

doolinHR21-doolin.jpg (66806 bytes)  

Mike Doolin: Muriel Anderson's Harp Requinto
Mike Doolin:
20-string Harp Guitar
Mike Doolin:
17-string Jazz Harp Guitar
Mike Doolin: 22-string Double Neck Harp Guitar

doolinRBHG-doolin.jpg (58022 bytes) doolinBKHG-doolin.jpg (58321 bytes) doolinHG20II-doolin.jpg (57475 bytes)
Michael Dunn (New Westminster, BC Canada)

Builds various custom Knutsen-inspired instruments

dunn_uke-miner.jpg (79619 bytes)  

Harry Eibert (Syracuse, NY)

Dyer/Knutsen inspired harp guitar, ukes and mando

    eibert_tenoruke-eibert.jpg (81153 bytes)    
Jeffrey Elliott (Portland, OR)

Designed John Doan's original 20-string harp guitar, and nylon string harp guitar

       

Emerald Guitars (Ireland)

Alistair Hay has productionized carbon fiber harp guitars

Dave Evans (Brussels, Belgium)

Harp guitar for Pierre Bensusan and additional instruments

Email

Dave Evans: Pierre Bensusan's 23-String Harp Guitar

Harry Fleischman (Sebastopol, CA)

Original designs

         

Fritz Harich (Austria)

Schrammel guitars: 2 models

       

Duane Heilman (Yakima, Washington)

Harp Ukuleles, with and without bass strings

harpuke-bearcreek-s.jpg (21592 bytes) org-re1.jpg (5736 bytes)

Jim Hewett (Panorama Village, TX)

Dyer variants and originals

      

Kenny Hill / Hill Guitar Company (Ben Lomond, CA)

"Terry Schumacher" 11-string

Note: Kenny's instruments are tricky!

The instrument at left is a harp guitar with the lowest strings floating (see George Smith entry in second section)

The instrument on the right is not a harp guitar, but an otherwise identical Schumacher-style 11-string with one fret fully spanning all strings.

Charles Hoffman (Minneapolis, MN)

Dyer copies

Charles Hoffman: Harp Guitar

Holloway Harp Guitars
(Pasadena, CA)

Scott Holloway's USA shop hand builds Dyer-style harp guitars (in addition to imports)

Pete Howlett (Wales)

Dyer style harp guitars, "Sharp guitar" and harp ukuleles

 

howlett_harp-uke-howlett-s.jpg (29188 bytes)

Tony Karol (Canada)
Bernhard Kresse (Cologne, Germany)

Restoration and reproductions of Early Romantic era harp guitars

         

Oliver Klapproth (Markneukirchen, Germany)

"Aliquotguitar" (sympathetic string harp guitar)

Yuri Landman (Amsterdam)

Electric harp guitar and other sympathetic string electric guitars and zithers

Marko Lipovsek (Slovenia)

Original instruments

Linda Manzer

42-string Pikasso guitars for Pat Metheny and Scott Chinery,
Medusa harp guitar

 

wpe2.jpg (41351 bytes)

Rich Mermer (Sebastian, FL)

Original designs

wpe2.jpg (5107 bytes) wpe4.jpg (6204 bytes)  wpeD.jpg (28347 bytes)  

Rich Mermer: The Making of "Thor's Hammer"

Merrill Guitars (Williamsburg, VA)
(804) 462-7777

Stephen Bennett model and other Dyer copies

         

Roland Metzer (Warngau, Germany)

Replica of wappen-shaped 1907 Hans Raab

         
Benoît Meulle-Stef  (Belgium)

Builds original harp guitar designs and restores  kontragitarres

Massimiliano (Max) Monterosso (Padova, Italy)
English            Italian

Original harp guitars, including travel electric-acoustic

  David Newton (Beaumont, TX)

Harp mandolins

       

Duane Noble (Richland, WA)

Contemporary own design hollow-arm harp guitars and harp ukulees

noble_uke1-300-miner.jpg (30123 bytes)

Michel Pellerin (Canada)

Mike Doolin-inspired harp guitars

 

Alan Perlman (San Francisco, CA)

"Arch guitars" for James Kline, and similar harp guitars

       

Alan Perlman: Arch Harp Guitar

Anthony & Dave Powell / Tonedevil (Idaho)

Knutsen-inspired instruments

   

Antonello Saccu (Genoa, Italy)

Built two Gazzo reproduction Italian instruments for Beppe Gambetta, and modern harp guitars as well. The latest is for Christian Saggese

wpe1.jpg (5630 bytes)

Bernd Schneider (Germany)

Schrammel guitars

         

Stephen Sedgwick (England)Numerous harp guitar designs, modern, reproductions, and in-between.  Stephen is also a scholar of the harp guitar's history

Stephen Sedgwick: Making Harp Guitars
Stephen Sedgwick:
Torres 11 String Copy
Brad Hoyt: Stephen Sedgwick

Seraph Harp Guitars (England)

Designer Tony Seeger and luthier Nathan Sheppard created this new design

Jeff Sigurdson (Canada)

Dyer copies

Michael Thames (Taos, NM)

The "Dresden" - a 13-course theorboed classical guitar

Trembita Instrument Factory (Lviv, Ukraine)

"Jay Buckey" Dyer style harp guitars, harp ukuleles and "John Doan Signature" Sullivan-Elliott harp guitars, sold through Jay Buckey

http://www.harpguitars.net/history/org_images/Mandolins,etc/buckey_uke1-buckey.jpg

Scot Tremblay (Victoria, B.C)

Lacote heptacorde copy, 8-string Staufer copy

Jan Tuláček (Czech Republic)

8-string Ries copy, 9-string Schenk bogengitarre copy

Mitsuhiro Uchida (Japan)

Original designs inspired by John Doan's Sullivan-Elliott

4947-27 Fujisawa Takato-cho, Kamiina-gun, Nagano, JAPAN Post Code: 396-0301 Telephone: 0265-96-2145
Mr. Uchida does not have a PC. His client Morihiko Yasuda has kindly created the above web page for him

Instruments Lamour (France)

Cédric Verglas (previously Pierre Lamour)

Original harp guitar designs

 

Pierre Lamour: Eclose: 17 String Extended Guitar, Cyclopea: 12 String Harp Guitar

Edgar Vila (Cookeville, TN)

Dyer style harp guitars

         

David White: De Faoite Stringed Instruments (Bucks, England)

Original designs

white_taro-david_white.jpg (15119 bytes)

David White (De Faoite Stringed Instruments): Making a Harp Guitar

Woodley White (Hawaii)

Original Sullivan/Elliott-meets-Mike Doolin harp guitars

               Gregg Miner: Meet the (Harp Guitar) Maker

Kathy Wingert (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)

Harp guitars for Frank Doucette, Stephen Bennett, Pete Bradshaw and others

wpe9.jpg (6599 bytes)

Steve Wishnevsky (Winston Salem, NC)

Highly unusual, simply- constructed designs

 

Sean Woolley (France)

Classical and Flamenco harp guitars

woolley_flamenco-t.jpg (85062 bytes)

 

Jim Worland (Rockford, IL)

William Eaton lyraharp guitar variations and original designs inspired by Gibson, Sullivan/Elliott and more

       

Jeffrey Yong (Malaysia)

Dyer/Knutsen inspired design for Don Alder and others

 

         

Occasional, First-Time or Retired Harp Guitar Luthiers

From newcomers to hobbyists to the finest luthiers in the world, this group has dabbled in the harp guitar world, making one or two instruments.  Perhaps some of these will become established repeat builders like those above.  Some instruments may now be ancient history, others are brand new (some may still be available).  The list includes a few well known harp guitar  builders who have since disappeared or retired.


Alberto Bonafini (Ceneselli, Italy)

Original design

Des Anthony (Australia)

Dyer/Knutsen inspired design

Arul (India)

Composite harp sympathetic guitar, vintage Dyer copies for Harp Guitar Music

 

wpe5.jpg (57442 bytes)

Peter Biffin (NSW, Australia)

Modern theorboed guitar

Julius Borges (Littleton, Mass)

"Mini-Harp" Guitar for Emmylou Harris

Mike Brittain (North Fort Myers, Florida)

Dyer copies

 

R.E. Brune (Chicago, IL)

Scherzer restorations and copy for Brian Torosian

Douglas Ching (Chester, VA)

Dyer inspired design

Jim Claridge (England)

Dyer inspired designs

claridge_full-size-jim_claridge.jpg (55485 bytes)

David Dart (Northern CA)

Bowl-back theorbed harp steel for Ben Harper, Dyer style for Ed Littlefield, Jr.

Mervyn Davis (Gauteng, South Africa)

13-string "Baroque" Smoothtalker

J. Thomas Davis (Columbus, OH)

Dyer style for Bill Dutcher

 

Sergei de Jonge (Quebec, Canada)

17-string guitars for Ted Lebar, Tyler Hawkins and others

Ellie Erickson

Electric harp guitars

 

Steven Ganz (Bellingham, WA)

11-string classical guitar

 

Michael Greenfield (Quebec)

Harp guitar for Andy McKee

Edward Hiew (Malaysia)

Harp guitar for Roger Wang

Stephen Hill (Granada, Spain)

"Ha Shem" double-neck harp guitar for Antonio Esteban

Erik Pierre Hofmann (France)

Modern theorboed guitar, 8-string Stauffer copy

 

Del Langejans (Holland, MI)

Dyer/Knutsen inspired design for Muriel Anderson

 

Maik Malguth (Laucha, Germany)

Dyer & Sullivan-Elliott copy and original harp guitars

 

Mauro Marchesini (Crevalcore, Italy)

Contemporary hollow-arm harp guitar

 

Michihiro (Michi) Matsuda (Oakland, CA)

Original harp guitar designs (#1 for Michael Simmons)

 

matsuda2-s.jpg (40157 bytes)
Joseph Mayes

7th floating D string, a la Lacôte

 

Orville and Bob Milburn (Sweet Home, OR)

Variants of the Sullivan-Elliott harp guitar

 

Ken Miller (Tallahassee, FL)

Harp ukulele

 

Dennis Mitchell (Oak Point, TX)

Original harp guitar designs

Ralph Novak (San Leandro, CA)

Built Phil DeGruy's electric "Guitarp"

 

Oakwood Instruments (Leeds, England)

Martyn Banks & Gordon Hewson built this copy of a William Eaton design
[with 2 banks of strings on the body] for Indian guitarist Rajan Spolia

 

Bruce Potter (Willits, CA) 

Dyer style harp guitar

Nick Pyall (London, England)

Reproduction of c.1860 Martin 10-string and 1861 Scherzer 10-string

 

Yvon Robert (Quebec)

Harp Stick for Naki

Michael Sandén (Sweden) 

Jack Sanders (Los Angeles, CA)

Lacote decacorde reproduction

 

Michael Schreiner (Miami, FL)

Sullivan-Elliott variants

Don Sharp

Original design

http://www.harpguitarmusic.com/images/merch/sharp/sharp6.jpg
Federico Sheppard (Green Bay, WI)

12-course Spanish guitar [3 floating basses] for Peter Lang

Email

 

Charles Shifflett (Alberta, Canada)

Email

 

Takahiro Shimo (Tokyo, Japan)

Original dual-arm design

 

George Smith (Portland, OR)

Original 11-string guitars for Terry Schumacher

 

Ervin Somogyi (Oakland, CA)

Original design

 

Hubert Soumis-Pilon (Canada)

Modern Schenk-inspired 21-string

Gary Southwell (Nottingham, U.K.)

Scherzer restoration and copy and James Kline's first "archguitar"

 

Walter Stanul (Boston, MA) 

Creator of the arch-guitar for Peter Blancette and others, 
two of these instruments were in harp guitar form

Daniel Stark (Apen, Germany)

11-string Torres style

Ron Steiger (Ventura, CA)

Dyer/Knutsen inspired designs

 

David Taylor (Nashville, TN)

Steel-string harp guitar for Muriel Anderson

 

Dake Traphagen (Bellingham, WA)

Nylon-string harp guitar

Wallace Guitars (Niota, TN)

Harp guitar for Kyle Reeder


Personal Instrument Harp Guitar Luthiers

These makers include innovative builders ranging from highly skilled professionals to part time amateurs.  They have created instruments for their own use and may or may not build for other clients.


Bart Applewhite (Phoenix, AZ)

Financial manager of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery: electric harp bass

   

 

William Eaton (Phoenix, AZ)

Director of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, numerous unique harp guitar and related designs


In Memoriam

Harp Guitar friends who are deeply missed

Lance McCollum

Dyer-inspired instruments

Lance passed away suddenly on February 1, 2009

Otto Schneider (Germany)

Schrammel guitars

Otto passed away in 2009. His son Bernd is carrying on the business.

John Sullivan

John Doan's original 20-string harp guitar

John passed away on April 21, 2007


Additional Internet articles or photo essays on harp guitar projects

Fred Carlson: Making Sound Look Good by Wade Vonasek
Fred Carlson: The New Dream: 39-string acoustic Harp-Sympitar with MIDI-capability (2006) 
Fred Carlson: Big Red: A 38-string custom Harp-Sympitar (2005)  
Fred Carlson: The Flying Dream: 39-string acoustic Harp-Sympitar with MIDI capability (2003)  
Fred Carlson: The Harpouditar: A 26-String Guitar/Oud/Zither (2002)  
Fred Carlson: Design and Construction of Oracle, 24-string Harp-Sympitar (2002) 
Fred Carlson: Kali: 12-String Guitar with 2 Added Sub-basses (2000)  
Mike Doolin: 17-string Jazz Harp Guitar (2006) 
Mike Doolin:
Muriel Anderson's Harp Requinto 
Dave Evans: Pierre Bensusan's 23-String Harp Guitar 
Charles Hoffman: Harp Guitar 
Pierre Lamour: Eclose: 17 String Extended Guitar, Cyclopea: 12 String Harp Guitar 
Alan Perlman: Arch Harp Guitar 
Stephen Sedgwick: Making Harp Guitars 
Stephen Sedgwick: Torres 11 String Copy 
David White (De Faoite Stringed Instruments): Making a Harp Guitar 
Jim Worland: The Lyraharp Guitar, a 24 string harp guitar


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