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What are the most prized/higher quality models to look for in old Harmony/Silvertone/Kay etc types?

Sweetfinger

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,340
Reviving this thread to ask about this particular line of guitars: Alamo.
Were these considered good overall?
They are in line with Harmony as far as build quality. They're much more rare than any of the "catalog" brands. Like other older guitars from less successful brands, they have their quirks. If you're really used to a Gibson, Fender, or PRS neck, these ain't nothin' like those! The electronics are oddly configured vs. modern "normal" guitars.
Harmony held costs down by using a non-tapered neck- the string spacing at the nut and bridge were identical. Other distinctive features were the short scale (24"), and sliders instead of rotary pots.
The set neck Harmonys like the H-62 absolutely have a taper. Those go from about a 1 3/4" nut to 2 5/16" at the 20th fret, and they have a 25" scale. The bolt on electrics also have a taper, it's not as dramatic as that, going from 1 3/4" to about 1 31/32", essentially two inches. The wider than Gibson or Fender nut, plus that less dramatic taper over the 24" scale does give the impression that the neck is the same width.
Hardware was crap on all of them- cheap, sticky open-gear tuners, stamped and riveted metal parts, especially on the cheaper ones like the Rebel.
Same tuners used on most Gretsches. Doesn't mean they were good, just that if you'd just spent 8 grand on a fifties or early sixties Gretsch, you'd have the same tuners, and they might seem better, mentally.
Depending on the year and model, a Harmony electric may have had Bigsby trems, Hagstrom trems and bridges, same as 60s Guild electrics, Hofner tailpieces, Kluson tailpieces, always Switchcraft jacks, switches, USA pots. In a few Harmonys, the entire wiring harness and pickups were sourced from Gibson.
 

talpa

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,048
Kay K6533 (value leader) into the old silvertone amp rig - tone.

that sliding chorus riff is jimmy page level phrasing
 

Yamaha 350

Member
Messages
8,824
I had a dozen or more Harmonys for several years including a Rocket 2, Rebel, Stratatone hollowbody, Sovereign, H400, Rocket 12, Lap Steel, mandolins, etc.
I mainly collected them because they were affordable but rarely played any of them. I eventually sold or traded them for player Gibson/Fender guitars and never looked back. I am amazed that many have cracked the $1k mark. My Epiphone Sheraton I bought for $400 blows them all away. I would never take a Harmony guitar to a gig. Never!
Cork sniff much? Say yes. :banana :aok
 

Phila67

Member
Messages
2,123
This one is so nuts, I'm half tempted to buy it! Anybody who thinks of installing a Floyd on a Tulip is okay in my book.

I have Teisco jazz bass copy from when I was 12 and I once tried to take the teisco badge off to use potentially on a replacement neck --the badges are really nailed in/bolted on and really difficult to remove. I never changed the neck as a result.
 

burner

Member
Messages
3,486
Altgought I've had a few Rockets and currently have an original Stratotone....honestly, the most prized to *me* are the....
STELLAS

They record slide beautifully!
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,179
Hi! Do you know if this guitar is an Alamo? I bought it but I dont know nothing about it.





Thanks!
I haven’t seen that model, but that sure looks like an Alamo pickup.

Is that the original finish? I can’t tell one way or the other?

Looks fun!
 




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