New Harmony guitars... anyone interested?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by DHart, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    The Harmony "brand" is resurrected (affiliated with Bandlab Technologies) and done so in high quality!

    The Silhouette model (offset design with rear-body and forearm contours) combines high quality and simplicity - really appeals to me.

    Apparently these are quite well made, in the same factory as the Heritage Guitars, in Kalamazoo, MI. All USA-made, with top grade components. I'm really looking forward to playing them!

    They are just now beginning to show up in selected guitar shops across the USA. Priced somewhere between Fender's USA Performer and Professional lines.

    John Bohlinger takes a "first look"

    https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/29292-first-look-harmony-silhouette
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  2. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    I like them! But the Juno needs Hershey Bar pickups and at least one of them needs to have DeArmond style gold foils, not just humbuckers.




    FYI, here are some 1960s models that (I think) inspired the new ones. Note, all of them had single coil pickups.

    An original Silhouette
    [​IMG]

    And Stratotone H44
    [​IMG]

    And Stratotone Jupiter
    [​IMG]


    And Rebel
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  3. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    I’m as much into nostalgia as the next guy, I love to reminisce about the good old days.
    But Harmony wasn’t a name associated with quality back then, so why resurrect it now?
    If you don’t remember it or you weren’t around back then , the name means nothing to you. But if you do remember it then you know that they were cheap, poorly made guitars. They did have a few higher line models, but still nothing to get excited about.
    So I don’t see the benefit of bringing the name back now. I wouldn’t buy one. Ymmv.
     
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  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    That's my feeling as well.

    While I've like the similar retro Airline models from Eastwood, I've balked at their $500-$900 price tag. These are almost double that price.
     
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  5. 440mhz

    440mhz TDPRI Member

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    Wow, what a blast from the past. My first guitar was a Harmony Patrician (jumbo western), back around 1969. The damn thing was bigger than I was.
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I'd guess the target market is guys who had these as kids and would buy one for the nostalgia. This seems to be a higher quality one bridge wise. Harmony necks although made of poplar survived very well, as did the electronics. You would have been thrilled to own a Harmony back then. A fender or Gibson was probably not in the cards unless your parents were loaded with money.


    It should be noted that most of the non Fender and Gibson guitars available were designed with similar features that today everybody poo-poos, but back then all you wanted was a guitar that worked. Supros, Hagstroms, Vox, and even some Gretschs and Guilds were like this; You didn't care about tonewood, pickup magnets, number of winds, number of pieces of wood in the body, and the rest of the crap that everyone stresses about today...LOL.


    This particular model shown being played sounds good, uses the material that people like and Fender uses, and has a minimalistic appeal that I for one would buy if I liked offset guitars. If this is MIA as opposed to MIC than that would be a plus too. Eastwood has the funky old-school designs, but they are still imports and cheap which is a deal breaker for me. $1200 dollars isn't too bad if you like new boutique MIA guitars either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  7. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    These are not anything like the Harmony guitars of old. Only the name remains. The old ones were sure ugly and were nothing that I wanted to play, when I began playing in the mid sixties.

    SO... no nostalgia attraction for me. But I do like what the new ones look to be!

    These new models have a clean, simple elegance to them that I like. If they have a great neck, play really well and sound great, I'd certainly consider one... the Silhouette would be my choice, if I were to get one. I love how it looks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  8. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

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    My first guitar was a mid 60's Harmony hollow body electric. It's long gone. I still own a vintage Harmony Sovereign H1266 jumbo acoustic. But any nostalgia I hold doesn't motivate me to purchase a supposed "'reboot" of the brand name. If they manufacture an instrument that feels good in my hands and sounds good to my ears, maybe I'll purchase one! But the competition is stiff.
     
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  9. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Congrats if you consider $700 cheap. It isn't cheap for me, it's a major purchase.
     
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  10. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I like them, I'd get one used if it popped up.

    I don't think the generation that hated these things as kids is the target market. It's guys like me who like CAF-looking guitars that play much better, are actually cheaper than the original artifact and can be readily modified with no 'ethical' dilemmas.

    I bought a mint used Supro Westbury that's killer, including the gold foil pickups. I hope the new Harmonys offer the same value, though to be fair the original asking price for those Supros was nuts.
     
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  11. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    I think they relaunched in 2018. I've been eyeing them on Amazon for a while. The lack of NGD threads I see about them says something about the pricing, I'd bet.
     
  12. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    These look fantastic, although as yet there's no word on them coming into the UK.

    I don't think these are aimed at the nostalgia market. The bottom line is, if you have fond memories of looking at Harmony guitars in the local guitar shop window in the 60s and now you're a rich grown up you want to check that box, there's a ton of old Harmonys you can buy for relatively cheap. I suspect lots of them end up being wallhangers, but with everything we know about setups and fretwork nowadays they can usually be made into decent playable guitars if you do want to play it.

    Heritage have a plenty big market knocking out 335s and Les Pauls for baby boomers, so if they're getting behind these I think it's to do something that appeals to a more contemporary audience. I think what the current owners (it's a company called Bandlab at the helm, Japanese guys that seem to be expanding rapidly and own both Heritage and Harmony) are going after is going players that like the idea of cool 60s guitars they've seen people like Jack White and (pre-signature model) St Vincent play but they also want something with a modern feeling neck that's going to stand up to regular gigging.

    I would imagine they have a very close eye on brands such as Fano and Bilt that are doing great business reworking 60s retro designs for a modern audience - however, these Harmonys are a lot cheaper which brings them in line with Godin and G&L, who are pretty successful taking slivers out of the US Fender market with a comparable US/Canadian made product.

    I think the US made thing is really important, especially tied to such an enviable factory - the world really doesn't need more Far East made, retro inspired mid priced guitars. The Made In USA territory is a much less crowded playing field.
     
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  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    My most expensive new guitar was a 2007 Gibson Melody Maker D when they came out at about $399. I wouldn't spend 1000 or more dollars on any guitar. All mine tend to be used and most of them were broken and repaired. I'm OK with that.

    That being said when an Epiphone LP is 500 dollars...., an American Made boutique guitar for $1200 isn't too badly priced. I paid 11 dollars for an impossible whopper, fries, and small coke the other day. That kind of surprises me because I can go out to dinner and get real food for that kind of money. Prices have gone up over the past few years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  14. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I played a couple at CME, not bad guitars at all. But once you start popping bolt on necks on offset bodies with gold foils and half tele bridges rabbit I just kind of find the parts caster thing to be more fun because you can spec any old monstrosity.


    The prices are fine IMO but I don't mind dumping 4+ figures into something I spend all freakin' day with!
     
  15. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I missed the part about being made in USA. That makes a difference, or at least the price is understandable.
     
  16. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Yep, Harmony and Silvertone were the first guitars I ever owned. I'll say this however, my Silvertone Rocket was actually a really good guitar, and I sure wish I had it back today! I sold it for 100 bucks 20 years ago... It's true what you say overall but I do give kudos to them trying to revamp the name. Who knows, maybe they will become the next big thing ;)
     
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  17. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Interesting guitars! Remember all of em back in the day. Ah... the modern benefits of high tech allowing such guitars to be made vs. the old days. Would be interesting to mod some of these babies up and create a frankenpicker! :cool:
     
  18. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I agree... these aren't aimed at nostalgia buyers yearning for the days when they were young and played cheap, crappy Harmony guitars.

    These are aimed at those wanting something of a vintage vibe, a step aside from the usual Strats, Teles, & LPs, but with modern-day, high build quality and finishing.

    Price seems slightly steep, but not considerably so, given the USA/Heritage factory build, nitro-finish, high-quality components, etc.

    If I could get a good deal on the Silhouette, I'd probably spring for one.
     
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  19. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Having owned an original Harmony back in the day, I have no wish to have something with that brand ever again. The new ones -- that is, completely different builds that happen to have the word Harmony on them -- look well done, but I wouldn't want one given other choices out there. Honestly, I thought it was a plus when Harmony stopped making mediocre guitars. They're b-a-a-c-k. Yeesh. Fortunatley,most players are not burdened by the sound knowledge of what "Harmony" is. And yes, I know about Sovereigns (had one; sucked) etc. Some players made those guitars sound OK; the guitars contributed nothing.
     
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  20. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Yep! I don't think I'd kick one out of the stand if I had the opp to spring for one either ;) They all sound pretty darn good to me! Look real good too! And.... I do like that they are USA made! That's ALWAYS a big plus in my book
     
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