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why no harmony reissues?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Dwills94, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Dwills94

    Dwills94 Tele-Meister

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    With all of the people out there using old rockets and stratotones like the Black Keys and the Alabama Shakes why hasn't anyone offered a reissue that faithfully replicates these guitars? It can't be that hard, these guitars are hardly masterpieces hand made by magical elves. They were cheap mass produced plywood guitars with some funky pickups so why haven't we seen them? Danelectro for the most part is putting out stuff that is vintage correct, masonite bodies and lipstick pickups. I definitely think a harmony (or similar brand) reissue could do just as well
     
  2. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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  3. hessodreamy

    hessodreamy Tele-Meister

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    Check out eastwood guitars. They're doing re-issues of various vintage guitars, including at least one harmony model. Demos look good.
     
  4. DrumBob

    DrumBob -------------------------

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    This must be the second attempt at reissuing Harmony guitars. The first was about five years ago, and they flopped for some reason. I hope these do better.
     
  5. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    As one who only had Harmony guitars for the first few years I played, I think I'll pass on reissues of any of them...
     
  6. Johntodd

    Johntodd Tele-Meister

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    I dont know anything about the Harmony company's history. But my first guitar was a Harmony and it was a POJ. I'm grateful to my parents for purchasing it for me, but it didn't take but a few months of newbie playing to realize that the guitar was going to hold me back.

    So Harmony may have been a great guitar maker at one time, but I suspect the brand's image has been tarnished by their later offerings; hence no one would buy a quality instrument from Harmony.

    just speculation on my part, though. Thoughts?
     
  7. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, if those reissues are halfway decent, they may be better than the originals.
     
  8. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I'm leaning the other way and I'm amazed that anyone thought that reissuing them was a good idea. They were always cheap student model guitars, and they're still available for pretty cheap money.

    I think the only market they fill is those that have a need for vintage kitsh, and most of that crowd would rather have an old one.

    It's damned near impossible to manufacture something with such limited demand at a price that competes with a vintage one. I'm amazed they were able to get funding to start production.
     
  9. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Probably for the same reason there aren't any reissues of the Chevy Vega or an AMC Gremlin. They just weren't very good.
     
  11. Woody Duke

    Woody Duke Tele-Meister

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    The SC red Rocket with 2 DeArmonds I played from '67 to '70 was a damn good rhythm guitar through my '64 Tremolux. I did need to upgrade when I started playing lead so I traded it for a '61 Gibson ES-330TDC.
     
  12. banjohabit

    banjohabit Tele-Holic

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    i've got a bobkat with goldfoils, it does many things very well, especially loud.

    i had another bobkat with goldfoils, it was a POS.

    the one i still own and occasionally play was made april 4, 1964. the POS was made oct. 29, 1965. same factory, same model number.

    i stripped both and modded the '64 with a tunomatic bridge and schaller tuners. the difference under the paint was hardly to be believed !

    the '64 was 2 piece solid wood with a thick maple verneer back & front and a maple neck with an ebony fingerboard. i never could figure out what the '65 was made of (greenish colored wood, body and neck. poplar ?) though it had a paper-thin maple verneer and an ebony (poorly done) fingerboard.

    the '64 was used in a professional setting many times by a good friend, myself, and my son, aquitting itself quite well. the '65 couldn't hold tune long enough to play 3 tunes.

    what happened ? overseas competition ? management changes ? lack of resources ?

    little of that applies to the harmony story at this time. so, the only thing i can think of is, the beatles happened. these entry level electric guitars went up in demand far beyond anything the makers could anticipate. so they began to cut corners and shovel them out the door, but, they still couldn't meet demand.

    so the sellers turned to the emerging japanese and korean manufacturers to fill the gap, beginning the demise of the entry-level, usa-made guitar.

    that's my theory and i'm stickin' to it until i hear a better one.
     
  13. Chris Browne

    Chris Browne Tele-Holic

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    It worked for Danelectro. With the right business plan and marketing I'm sure it would work. Speaking of Danelectro, looks like they have some new models out!

    http://www.danelectro.com/gtr_67_red.html
     
  14. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a hollow-body, full-size blond Harmony in 1958 with 2 pick-ups - a jazz-box.

    My best friend still has his from those years, mine is long gone.

    Beginner guitar, one step down from anything good.
     
  15. AlexCarlson

    AlexCarlson Tele-Meister

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    My #1 is a '64 H59 Rocket three pickup, and I've been curious about the reissues for a while. There were no dealers any closer than 300 miles, so that never happened. I was in NYC in January, happened to be relatively close to Sam Ash on 47th, so I decided to stop in and check them out.

    When I asked, the sales guy said, "Oh man, I haven't seen those for a long time. At least a year." I did a little internet digging and found out the company behind the reissues folded, and 62_Jazzmaster's link above is the first I've seen of the new company. And it looks to be basically down the road from the previous company's home base, so I wonder if there was some internal shakeup that interrupted importation/distribution for a while.

    I'm still really curious to see how they stand up to my old one.
     
  16. Olgabowl

    Olgabowl Tele-Meister

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    I'll put a good H22 bass against any Hofner all day long...
    Wonderful stage and recording basses, and that DeArmond pup just rules...

    Here ya go...
     
  17. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    I'm not sure why a company would want to reissue a guitar line that has such a bad overall reputation. Their reputation won't draw customers, and, if people didn't think much of them, then nostalgia won't either. Unless it was a really different styling or something I can't see any particular attraction for them.

    Just my $0.05...
     
  18. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Part of the problem is that nobody has recreated the Rowe Industries pickups (which aren't "gold foil" pickups, which came on Teiscos, but were made by the same company that made DeArmond pickups.). The recent Harmony reissues increased the tilt of the headstocks, added some taper to the neck, etc. and made them more playable than the vintage ones, but blew it on the pickups. Real Rowe Industry pickups aren't especially low output and often left the factory in microphonic condition. Vintage Harmony guitars have a cool sound, but aren't especially playable.
     
  19. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    y'all keep ragging on Harmonys, maybe you can drive the price down for those of us who love 'em. I've got a Roy Smeck with a P13 in it that's a killer slide machine. Of course, the neck is a mess, but it doesn't matter for what I use it for. And my pal Erik Ray (the King of the Cowboy Wedding) has a whole fleet of 'em he uses every night.

     
  20. purpletele

    purpletele Friend of Leo's

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    This is where I'm at. The Jupiter Stratotone is IMHO one of the coolest guitars ever, but if they don't try to replicate the pickups...meh.

    I see the blend knob is just a master volume too. Come on now!
     
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