old Harmony Acoustics

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by sinner, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. sinner

    sinner Member

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    How are these old Harmony acoustics from the 60s?

    I've found a couple of nice examples, gone through and ready to play. There's a H1203, an H162, and an H3221. All about $500 buckaroos.

    They look cool, have Spruce tops, Mahogany back/sides, appear to be all like OM size.

    I like "cheap" acoustics, some have that Lightnin' Hopkins tone which I love.

    Can anybody comment about these models, or Harmony acoustics in general?
     
  2. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    I think the H-162's are pretty cool, but (IMO) the real sleepers are the H-165's... all Mahogany body and the late 50's -early 60's have great 1 3/4" nuts with nice full C shaped necks. Only problem with all of them is that they need neck resets due to the Poplar necks.

    I bought a pristine H-165 off of eBay for about $150 a while back, and had the neck reset, an adjustable truss rod installed, frets dressed, and a new bone nut and saddle to replace the plastic ones. I now have an AMAZING sounding/playing guitar for a bargain even with the money invested.

    If you dig all hog Martins, these are killer, and folks are starting to realize how great they are and prices are going up. Get'em while they're still relatively cheap :)

    Peace - jv

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  3. street

    street Member

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    I have a 60's Harmony Sovereign.
    It's been well played over the years and has seen a lot of action. back of the neck has lacquer rubbed off to bare wood around the 1st to 5th fret. Checking all over the top. It's gorgeous.
    Has a big beefy neck too, which I like.
    Never had or needed a repair. I bought it about 5 years ago for $350.00.
    Has a tone all it's own. Bass is very deep a solid and the treble rings out nicely.
    I'd put it up against guitars 20 times the price.
    I have it tuned to open D and when the slide hits those strings it's Mississippi Fred McDowell tone all day long.
    Always get comments on the tone and it records very well.
    Some of those cheap guitars from the 60's were made from tone woods we would be glad to have today on higher end guitars.
    If you want Lightnin' Hopkins, and who wouldn't, then definitely try a Harmony Sovereign. Best value out there, re. vintage guitars, as far as I'm concerned.
    I was able to play it before buying, and I would strongly suggest doing that if you can, because some acoustics can be real dogs.
     
  4. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    Ya beat me to it.
    Alot of us cut our teeth on these back in the 1960s before we could afford Martins or a Gibson. They were well built and sweet guitars. Slap a DeAmond 210 (which today may cost you more than the guitar ) across the soundhole and yeah, think Lighnin' Hopkins and Elmore James.
     
  5. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    So true. The Brazilian rosewood on the neck and bridge is gorgeous on my H-165, and the mahogany rivals my vintage Martins.

    Street is giving good advice when he says to check them out before you buy if possible. While the good one's can be great, the bad one's can be worthless and need more work than they can justify.
     
  6. blues

    blues Supporting Member

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    I have an old harmony with f holes and a wood tailpiece and nut. I can see inside the f-hole S-45 and under that one is 8044 8974. I bought this quitar 30 year ago for $ 7 at a yard sale. I use it for slide. Can anyone help date this guitar ? Any info would be nice.
     
  7. James Sallis

    James Sallis Member

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    Your archtop is from 1945; that's what the S-45 indicates. The wooden
    "hardware" is further evidence of wartime manufacture.
     
  8. blues

    blues Supporting Member

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    Thanks James
     
  9. konavet

    konavet Member

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    Don't forget Mance Lipscomb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNVSfHmz6Bw
     

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