Figure 8 Harmony Goodness

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by zombywoof, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    There really is something magical about these hourglass shape Harmonys. Tens of thousands were built prior to 1957 but few seem to have survived. Probably because they were Harmonys folks did not feel it was worth their while to save them. I only own one - a 1942 all-mahogany H165. Auditorium size, pinless bridge, Kluson bent tab peened tuners, and rounded edges on the top and back. Apparently Harmony initially marketed these as Stellas. It has the clarity and that sweet bit o' chime you associate with all-mahogany guitars. But this one has an immediateness and rawness to it which gives it a bit bad attitude. While I know there is not a ton of love here for Harmonys, Kays and the like, I swear there is not a Martin 000-15M, Taylor 324, or post-War Gibson LG-0 (OK, maybe a 1942 Gibson LG-1) that could get me to part with it.

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  2. Figman Freud

    Figman Freud Member

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    Cool. Glad you are so happy with it! Plus, liking it more than "the others" gives you the satisfaction of money saved....(which should be promptly spent on another item, of course....)
     
  3. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    Satisfaction has little to do with what it did or did not cost. I genuinely have a thing for the way these ladder braced guitars sound. It is either something you appreciate or you do not. Hard to explain but they have a fundamental sound - a voice that lets you know they are in the room. Not a whole lot going on in the way of overtones/harmonics but they bloom right out of the starting gate and then get out of their own way. The strange thing is I have finally reached that point in life where I can buy pretty much anything I want. I figured when I hit that mark it would be a regular guitar fest around here. Funny thing though is that it never happened. My wife thinks it is that once things get too easy I have a tendency to back off. Me, I figure I have finally learned that no matter what guitar I am playing I just sound like me.
     
  4. Irving Pye

    Irving Pye Member

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    I want one!!!!!!! Hard to come across a non-neck reset, cracked sides and top, all around good to go H-165! Let me know if another one crosses your path that wont break the bank ;)
     
  5. Irving Pye

    Irving Pye Member

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    It's a wood shed moment when you really get that. Like you, I figured that out years ago...I know my sound, tastes, and abilities. But there are subtle differences with acoustics and my singing style...which is what I can infer from your post;)
     
  6. Pitar

    Pitar Member

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    There's also the moment of realization when you learn a guitar doesn't have what it takes to let your sound out. I learned that early on in a journey that saw many guitars come and go.

    I haven't found an all mahogany guitar yet that meets me even halfway to a satisfied ear. Also, a strong fundamental, meaning clarity of quickly decaying notes, might be the choice a bluesman opts for but otherwise it doesn't provocate a sense of mood. It barks for its biscuits.

    Nonetheless, an all mahogany guitar is nice looking. I had a Martin 000-17S I just had to have through an eyes-only online order but promptly turned around and sold it after about a week. It was a break-even lesson.
     
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  7. Irving Pye

    Irving Pye Member

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