NGD- Harmony Figure 8

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by zombywoof, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe it is just me but I find something magical about these pre-1957 hourglass shaped Harmony guitars. This one is a 1942 H165. For whatever reason Harmony chose to market the first H-165s as Stellas even using the old Oscar Schmidt style underlined logo. As far as is known, this is the earliest surviving example of one of these. A 1 3/4" nut and, 2 5/16" string spacing at the bridge make it one heck of a fingerpicker. Topping it off is a big fat V neck and Kluson bent tab peened tuners (Harmony entered in a deal with Kluson in 1941). Like all H165s that would follow it has the pinless bridge and rounded top and back edges. In pretty nice shape with about the only real problem being it has is a bit too much of a belly which will be dealt with in due course. I will then take it from there.

    What I appreciate about these guitars is that there is an immediateness to them. If you want a guitar that is rich with overtones/harmonics and will ring out till Kingdom Come these are not going to be your cup of tea. But if you want a guitar that gives you one big note and then gets out of its own way these are just what the doctor ordered.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    kuvash, tintag27, Totally_Tod and 6 others like this.
  2. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I’ve never had one in that body shape, but I always liked the old harmony guitars. You’re right about the immediateness - all of the ones I’ve tried had that.

    And every one I’ve ever had lit up the creativity better than most.

    Happy NGD!
     
  3. ASC67

    ASC67 Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice !
     
  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for sharing. My first guitar was a Harmony. My dad bought it in Abraham and Strauss, a pretty nice department store way back when. Yours looks beautiful. I really like the shape and rounded edges. I'm not a collector but I do enjoy looking back in time. Very nice guitar with a real history! Thanks again.

    BTW, I love this... "You start off playing guitar to get girls and end up talking with middle-aged men about your fingernails." I have that Harmony guitar to thank for my first open mouth kiss.
     
  5. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon TDPRI Member

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    That's super cool. I have two of the newer 60's H-165s, a Harmony and a Fender-branded one. They both could use some work, but I love them.
     
  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Looks great!
     
  7. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    Abraham & Strauss - I did not have to look to know you were from NY. Would not have happened to be the Hempstead Store where you got the guitar would it?
     
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  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Absolutely! A block east of Sam Ash on Fulton Street. Guitars were on the third floor behind the record department. I grew up in Hempstead. I didn't get a guitar from Sam Ash until I learned to play well enough to start a garage (actually basement) band. My first electric guitar was a Melody Maker with an Ampeg Reverberocket. I wish I still had the Reverberocket. One thing I love about TDPRI is how it triggers memories that I thought were long forgotten.
     
  9. Totally_Tod

    Totally_Tod Tele-Meister

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    I too am a big fan of these!! The neck/ and nut width are a dream.

    My main acoustic is a Harmony Sovereign Jumbo, that has been rebuilt/rebraced by Baxendale.. it’s incredible!!
     
  10. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Do all pre '57 H-165s have that shape?
    I have a '69 with a truss rod (and a more 000 martin-ish shape). I bought it for $40 thinking it would be a camping guitar, and now its my favorite acoustic.
     
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