Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by NeilYoung Fever, Dec 18, 2009.
Anyone have experience with them? I looked up some old ones and they look pretty cool.
Yes. What do you want to know about them?
Like with many older guitars some are still in good playable condition and some sound really good. And some have major issues or a bunch of minor issues that could definitely hinder playability. Since Harmony guitars were inexpensive in their day, at least compared to Gibsons, many were bought for and by children and beginners. And many of them were neglected and not taken good care of. But if you look around you can sometimes find a really nice one.
About a year ago I stopped at a pawnshop in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. They had a Silvertone archtop acoustic made by Harmony. It was in perfectly fine playable condition and sounded really good. I paid $100. It is one of my favorite guitars to play around the house.
I also have a 1935 Supertone round hole archtop made by Harmony. It is made of birch and is rather cheap. But it plays really well and has a particularly nice sound for fingerpicking. It is a guitar I usually go to when I want the sound of a long time ago. I also have a 1966 Stella which is also a very playable but cheap instrument. It is also a nice fingerpicker. Many Stellas are in rather poor condition. Not this one.
I also have H42 and H44 Stratotones, both old ones from the mid-1950s. They are both very good players and sound very good. I have once or twice considered selling one of them because I could get quite a bit more for it than I paid for it. But when I play them I change my mind. Nothing else I have played sounds quite like that.
For a little while I had a three pickup Rocket. It had a pretty good sound, kind of like an old Gretsch. But it felt rather clunky. I also had a Harmony Rebel which also had a pretty good sound. But it was not much of a player. On both the Rocket and the Rebel I could get the action low enough. But there was just something about the necks which felt kind of wonky.
Try some out. You will probably find one you really like.
Depends on whatcha mean by "hollowbody Harmony guitars"? Usually when one refers to a gtr as a "hollowbody" they mean an electric gtr (since there ain't many solidbody acoustic gtrs and one generally presumes hollowness in an acoustic gtr). The hollow electric Harmony's I like run to about '59 (H-50's, H-62's etc). These had set (glued in) necks with a nice wide, comfotable contour. Most post-'59 hollow Harmony's had a bolt-on neck (no hollow gtr should neck have a bolt-on neck!), with a narrow width and clunky profile; mostly firewood, but some folks see value in 'em.
I also play old H-44's. They sound as much like a hollowbody as a hollowbody.
Whats a more solid model out of the bunch?
2 pickup Rockets are cool. I like the ones with the earlier pickups, with the wood block pedestals, as opposed to the "moustache" ones.
The Silvertone "Chris Isaak" model is a rocker. Gibson-made buckers.
The Meteor is cool too, spruce top and bound neck, more upscale.
I have a Rebel. Avocado green with the weird EQ sliders. It's kind of more of a novelty than a working axe, I guess I'm a sucker for the DeArmonds. But it still has more character than most new guitars out there.
i have a blonde, H65 hollowbody P13 single pick up guitar. it does not have the original tuners or bridge but otherwise its perfect no really wear or damage issues. it plays like a million bucks. i also have a gibson L5 and while not quite up to that standard, the harmony def gives the gibby a run for its money. has a nice neck a great sound too
We have my wife's father's Harmony.
When I mentioned it to my friend who is a top notch guitar tech/luthier. He said one big problem is a lot of them need to have the neck reset.
To me it seems like a big cost to fix an inexpensive guitar.
Meteors are nice. I have a whole bunch of Harmony guitars and my Meteors get the most playing time.
Here's the best Harmony resource on the web:
I have a two pickup rocket with the wooden shims on the pickups. It's a great sounding guitar but has a very clunky feel. I have thought about putting the pickups in a Tele body.