Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Harmony Guitars Club

Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by LGOberean, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Mine is a Silvertone, not sure if this is the right place. But it well could me. A Silvertone 1427, from the mid 50s:


    The luck here was that it came to me in great condition, at a great price, though with a fingerboard separating from the neck. Thanks to the excellent work of my luthier friend George, the fingerboard issue was solved. New, larger frets, inlays. New nut. New, handcarved ebony bridge. One p/u repaired (not rewound), as something was loose in there. Solid endpin installed, new strap pin added near the neck, on the side. Small phase toggle switch added, tucked inside the lower f hole.

    It's the best playing archtop I've ever had. Even unplugged, has the coolest sound. Plugged in, can go some mighty wild places.

  2. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many

    Just like to say you and I share the same first guitar. From what I see on the pic you got off the net mine was identical, the only difference was mind didn't have "Harmony' on the pick-guard. I got it new in 1963 for my birthday from my parents from a place called "United Jewelers" that was considered a wholesale store that sold all kind of merchandise. They also bought my first shotgun from them. After I learned to play cords pretty good, a little lead, instead of buying a solid body electric, I just bought Kent Pickups that was two pickups built into a pick-guard with a vol, tone and input jack on the pick-guard. That was my first electric. I sold that guitar years latter to a childhood friend.

    Amazing about you living across the street from the beginnings of Bubble Puppy. I've always been intrigued with "Sweet Smoke a Sassafras". I remember that song very well and recall they were touring when that song was out as a warmup band for Stepping Wolf.

    I latter got my first Solid body electric from a musician friend of mine that was an Airline. Like you I borrowed a pix off the net of the exact model below that I got a Silvertone 1482 Amp to run it over:
    I did get another Harmony years later that I still have that is a Harmony Lap Steel. It's got the famous Gibson P-13 Pickup. Harmony help launch a
    lot of budding guitarist in the 50's and 60's. I have good happy memories about my first Harmony. Platefire
    Harmony Lap Steel 003.jpg
    Harmony Lap Steel 004.jpg

  3. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele TDPRI Member

    Dec 15, 2017
    Some in the group may view this as sacrilegious, but here goes the guitar has a history

    Picture 001.jpg

    So Lemmy showed up at the flat clutching this bin bag and inside was this wreck of a guitar with a 5 rusty strings on it - the electrics were shot, the body was held together (mostly) with epoxy where it existed at all , the machine heads were all bent out of shape the frets were all notched to hell. As for the Bigsby umm.... It has been well played (completely thrashed) as only Lemmy could - I had been keeping his Rickenbacker Bases going for a couple of years by then using curious if not downright dangerous technique of using hot switch cleaner to roast the sweat out of the pickups. He said "Can you have a go at it I think a wire has fallen off one of the pickups". So the next day we went off to France on what became the No Sleep till Hammersmith Tour and it all got forgotten about as these things do.

    So it ended up residing forgotten about in my loft for about the next 30 years. One day I was up there and pulled this thing out - still in the same bin bag and bought it downstairs. Looking at it I thought to myself I wonder if I can make this thing play, went the the store got some strings and loaded it up. This guitar was a disaster area , the bridge collapsed and then the nut was completely shot on top of everything else.

    But I had started, and the basic structure of the guitar was actually very sound at the heel joint, so I stripped the thing apart and started cleaning it up and piecing it together - I followed the same "restoration" pattern that had been used on it before - well epoxy does stick to epoxy quite well. Surprisingly it did scrub up nicely and underneath it all there was a proper instrument trying to get out. Went out and got some hardware, the original bridge was never going to come together, so an Archtop Tunomatic went on it, the Bisby got changed out for a 335 tailpiece and I put a set of Grovers on the head. It was starting to shape up but still wasn't very playable. The neck was straight, but the frets were like barbed wire and just as flat, and the Tunomatic had a sting pitch that was about half an inch too wide. Took it up the road to these two old school Luthiers who looked at me like I was mad, but they stoned down the frets, scalloped the nut to salvage it as it turned out to be Ivory and put some bridge notches in the right place. Took it home and set it up and to my amazement this was actually a very playable instrument, bit boxy perhaps but had a nice feel to it with such a great narrow neck

    I plugged it in and it was certainly very quiet. So went out and got a 335 wiring kit and a nice Switchcraft pickup selector switch and managed to get some semblance of noise out of it. Lemmy was right, a wire had fallen off the bridge pickup - it was called the coil. Rather than attempt to fix it at this stage, I got my hands on a P90 and dropped that on just to get it moving again and all of a sudden this wonderful guitar sprung back into life. Plugged into a little Class A 5W amp it just sang. So took that 1961 Rowe Industries bridge pickup off to the guys at Wild Guitars and got their guy to do a stock rewind on it. The difference between that and the P90 was simply staggering.

    All of the old bits went in a jiffy bag and Just maybe one day i'll do a full restoration on it but at the moment I am resisting the temptation just to drop the neck pickup on a Tele and see where that goes, but the guitar has a history and a story and it feels wrong use it for transplants.

    bottlenecker likes this.

  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Holic

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    My first guitar was a Harmony Archtone just like the one pictured. Thanks for the posting it. If I remember correctly, the 'binding' was painted on. I put a DeArmond pickup on mine and played it through a Wollensak reel to reel tape recorder. I didn't like the tone so I mounted the pickup over a shim I made and moved it closer to the bridge. That held me until I joined with a few classmates to form a band and bought my first 'real' electric guitar, a Gibson Melody Maker, and an Ampeg Reverbrocket amp. What I wouldn't give to have those now! Thanks for bringing back the memories of starting out with a girl, a guitar, and a garage band. They're all good ones.

  5. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2015

    Even aside from it's history, I think it'd be a shame to take that pickup off. Those sound so good on plywood hollowbodies.

  6. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele TDPRI Member

    Dec 15, 2017
    Rest assured it now has both 1961 Rowes back on it - they ain't going anywhere as it's a lovely player, and I am on the hunt for more early Rowe goldfoils knowing I have have someone who can do a decent restoration job on them.

    The challenge with this guitar was (for now) make it into a playable enjoyable instrument which it certainly is. The original bridge bugs me tho - anybody got a spare Byrdland bridge sitting in the drawer as that is the perfect fit ............................ IMG_1041.JPG

    This is it as of a couple of minutes ago

  7. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele TDPRI Member

    Dec 15, 2017

    and the rest of it is here awaiting the day


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