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Harmony Steel Reinforced neck


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#1 changingshades

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:59 AM

Hey, I just got this Harmony and was wondering if you guys could tell me a about it. I'm pretty sure it's authentic, but I don't know how to prove it.



#2 Hobs911

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:07 AM

That may be a diffrent brand, but one brand named Harmony are sold at JcPenny. I may be wrong or you may have yourself a bluelight special

It does say made in USA and thats usually a plus

Edited by Hobs911, 29 April 2008 - 07:08 AM.


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#3 changingshades

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:21 AM

hmm, thanks

#4 dadfad

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:28 AM

It looks like a late-50s/early-60s Harmony. Might be older but it's hard to tell because I would say it's likely been refinished. (Originally there was probably a rosette decal aound the soundhole.)

Harmony is a budget guitar. The name has been around for a long time. (I have a 1930s Harmony.) When it was still made in the US although it was a budget guitar then, it still was of a quality most modern-day budget guitars don't often have, like solid tops of a decent quality wood. (Many old USA Harmonies are bought by luthiers who remove the tops to use them for making their own new guitars.) You can see if it's a solid top by checking the soundhole edge for a cross-graining (which is what you'd find on a laminate top).

Being a budget guitar, certain corners were cut of course. The tuners are often tight, or slip. The neck sometimes will start to bow from the joint. The term "Steel Reinforced Neck" means that while it is stiffened to help prevent over-bow and warpage, it doesn't have an adjustible truss-rod running the whole length of the neck, and so often you'll find the action is pretty high. (Sometimes within correctible limits and sometimes not, without an actual neck reset.)

It very likely has pretty good tone if it's a solid wood guitar. If the action is way high, it still might make a pretty nice guitar for dedicated slide playing (which is what a lot of them get used for). You might have a pretty nice instrument even though in it's day it was considered a budget guitar.

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#5 Hobs911

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:37 AM

I knew DADFAD was bout to bust in a say whats really up.

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#6 changingshades

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:38 AM

QUOTE (dadfad @ Apr 29 2008, 09:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It looks like a late-50s/early-60s Harmony. Might be older but it's hard to tell because I would say it's likely been refinished. (Originally there was probably a rosette decal around the soundhole.)

Harmony is a budget guitar. The name has been around for a long time. (I have a 1930s Harmony.) When it was still made in the US although it was a budget guitar then, it still was of a quality most modern-day budget guitars don't often have, like solid tops of a decent quality wood. (Many old USA Harmonies are bought by luthiers who remove the tops to use them for making their own new guitars.) You can see if it's a solid top by checking the soundhole edge for a cross-graining (which is what you'd find on a laminate top).

Being a budget guitar, certain corners were cut of course. The tuners are often tight, or slip. The neck sometimes will start to bow from the joint. The term "Steel Reinforced Neck" means that while it is stiffened to help prevent over-bow and warpage, it doesn't have an adjustible truss-rod running the whole length of the neck, and so often you'll find the action is pretty high. (Sometimes within correctible limits and sometimes not, without an actual neck reset.)

It very likely has pretty good tone if it's a solid wood guitar. If the action is way high, it still might make a pretty nice guitar for dedicated slide playing (which is what a lot of them get used for). You might have a pretty nice instrument even though in it's day it was considered a budget guitar.

I really want to thank you for this. Everytime I have question about my guitars you have been there to help. I really appreciate it.

QUOTE (Hobs911 @ Apr 29 2008, 09:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I knew DADFAD was bout to bust in a say whats really up.

seriously, this guy knows his stuff

#7 dadfad

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 08:25 AM

Thanks for the kind words! I've just been playing long enough to have learned a little, that's all!

I bought my daughter a Harmony 12-string from the same era that looks very similar to yours. (I was told it was a 1959 or 1960 by the person who owned it.) It's one of the nicer 12's I've played. Nice crisp tone and good separation (many 12s, even Gibsons, can get kind of "mushy.") But the quality of the wood really comes through on that Harmony. Hopefully yours has good action and tuners (although if the tuners need to be repaced, it's probably well worth spending a few dollars to upgrade them.)

I can think of several old bluesmen who used similar late 50s/early 60s Harmony guitars offhand (after their "re-discovery")... Mance Lipscomb, Robert Pete Williams (a tremendous artist) and Pink Anderson (the guy who provided the first half of the name for "Pink Floyd.") ("Hubcap" Floyd Council providing the other half.)

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

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When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#8 changingshades

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 09:15 AM

QUOTE (dadfad @ Apr 29 2008, 10:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the kind words! I've just been playing long enough to have learned a little, that's all!

I bought my daughter a Harmony 12-string from the same era that looks very similar to yours. (I was told it was a 1959 or 1960 by the person who owned it.) It's one of the nicer 12's I've played. Nice crisp tone and good separation (many 12s, even Gibsons, can get kind of "mushy.") But the quality of the wood really comes through on that Harmony. Hopefully yours has good action and tuners (although if the tuners need to be repaced, it's probably well worth spending a few dollars to upgrade them.)

I can think of several old bluesmen who used similar late 50s/early 60s Harmony guitars offhand (after their "re-discovery")... Mance Lipscomb, Robert Pete Williams (a tremendous artist) and Pink Anderson (the guy who provided the first half of the name for "Pink Floyd.") ("Hubcap" Floyd Council providing the other half.)

I got it cheap at a garage sale out in the burbs this weekend. I'm thinking of either selling it on ebay or giving it to my friend for his birthday. He got one of those custom stand up basses for himself so I may just give him one of the old electrics I have standing around instead.

#9 misterhat

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 12:05 PM

Like dadfad said, it is a late fifties or sixties made in the US Harmony acoustic.

Edited by misterhat, 29 April 2008 - 12:10 PM.


#10 builtmyownbass

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 04:53 AM

QUOTE (dadfad @ Apr 30 2008, 01:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It looks like a late-50s/early-60s Harmony. Might be older but it's hard to tell because I would say it's likely been refinished. (Originally there was probably a rosette decal aound the soundhole.)

Harmony is a budget guitar. The name has been around for a long time. (I have a 1930s Harmony.) When it was still made in the US although it was a budget guitar then, it still was of a quality most modern-day budget guitars don't often have, like solid tops of a decent quality wood. (Many old USA Harmonies are bought by luthiers who remove the tops to use them for making their own new guitars.) You can see if it's a solid top by checking the soundhole edge for a cross-graining (which is what you'd find on a laminate top).


Try to feel past that, incase the soundhole has been re-inforced.
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#11 SmashySmashy

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 06:43 AM

Strangely enough I saw one of those guitars the other day in a pawn shop, but it looked like it had been used quite a bit and was probably older, not to mention it had a tobacco burst finish I do believe. I played a really really old Kay full hollowbody though that was a dream to touch, it was a beat up old guitar with an input jack and two knobs on the body for tone and volume. The frets were insanely low and thus was the action, sounded great though.



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