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why no harmony reissues?

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

  1. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

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    The reason the reissue Harmony's were a flop was because there were enough vintage ones out there with the real deal pickups at reasonable prices. I picked up a 68' H-54 Rocket in near mint condition about 3 years ago for less than they were selling the reissues for and the gold foils really scream, it's a fun guitar and I'll likely keep it around. When I want to blast a few old Kinks tunes it'll do them quite nicely. The reason I picked it up was my buddy has an old one pickup rocket(no truss rod era) and I always loved playing it, the neck is great. To me there's just something about the old Harmony electrics, I used to have a Bobcat with the silver foils for a long time but it went away to help finance my Les Paul purchase years ago. The Harmony's are what they are, low budget USA made units. Some are great players and some are great wall hangers. I've never heard any real positive things about the reissues.
     
  2. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    I agree- Harmony guitars often look like they were built in a hurry, without much quality control. Look at some of the stencil positions on the sunbursts, they are often off-centre and asymmetrical. I've worked in places where the main goal was production numbers and the quality of product always suffered.
    There certainly is a demand for those original pickups, I've seen them go north of $150 on that auction site.

    The Rowe DeArmond pickups on my '62 H59 Rocket run around 11.3K. It's certainly not a shredder style neck, but I find it comfortable enough to play below the 12th fret.
     
  3. Dwills94

    Dwills94 Tele-Meister

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    All of the quality control issues seem somewhat irrelevant to me and is kinda why i asked the question. With the advent of cnc and arguably the best entry level market offerings ever in the short history of the instrument why haven't these cool entry level guitars of the past been reissued in an environment that could rather easily solve many of their original issues
     
  4. Shidoin

    Shidoin Tele-Holic

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    This guy doesn't have any problem playing a vintage Harmony

     
  5. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    There were a lot of different models of Harmony guitars, from really cheap beginner guitars to the higher end models.
    Personally I don't like the necks on most of the Harmony guitars I've played, a lot of them have narrow fretboards that are the same width all the way down the neck.
    Some of the older high end models did often have Gibson pickups, P92s, mini humbuckers.
    Those old Rowe Dearmond pu's can sound really good, I like the Harmony / Silvertone Jaguar looking models with those pickups, but again I'm not real crazy about the necks on them.
     
  6. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

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    We're really spoiled with how well made and consistent "inexpensive" guitars are these days. Vintage Harmonies seem really inconsistent by comparison. I have 2 H-168's, made only a couple of months apart. The necks feel about the same size and they sound pretty similar but one of them has had a neck reset (and could use another) the top bowed out enough to pop a couple braces and the bridge lifted. The other one has been dead solid and reliable, it hasn't needed any sort of work.

    1361326074482.jpg

    The previous poster hit the nail on the head-they cranked these things out a million at a time to keep up with demand so some will be dogs and some will be awesome. I can tell you all their acoustics were solid woods, no plywood so they should sound OK. The electrics OTOH...

    °
     
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    +1

    Brother, you got that right.
     
  8. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    that....



    was a lot of notes!

    He is hip though!

    My fingers actually hurt watching him do that having owned a few harmony guitars...

    I did love my sovereign... but it was a flat top!
     
  9. 68tele

    68tele Friend of Leo's

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  10. rcboals

    rcboals Tele-Meister

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    Harmony H59 Rocket Reissue

    I just got this Korean made 2008 brand new in the box. I have bought and sold several original Harmony guitars and I can tell you Harmony never made one this nice. Always, loved their look but the playability, fit and build just aren't there. This guitar is every bit as nice as any of the higher end modern Korean builds. Beautiful finish and the look is there. So it should be a winner on stage for my stuff.
     
  11. oldteleguy

    oldteleguy Tele-Afflicted

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    Eastwood Guitars has the Airline series. They look pretty interesting.
     
  12. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

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    Even the original Airlines were better guitars than Harmony electrics in the mid to late '60's, my brother had one of the two pup wooden Airlines, it was pretty sweet.

    When I finally talked my Dad into a new electric, I played a couple new Harmonys, if anything, they were worse than the Kay I already had. Ended up walking across town (Uniontown, PA, maybe 1/2 hour) to the other music store, found a used '62 Melody Maker for the same price, $125.00.
     
  13. TheHoneyMonster

    TheHoneyMonster Tele-Meister

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    a friend of mine got a Harmony Bobkat single P/U model, got it a pro setup, and it played great with a low action an virtually no string buzz, neck was a bit of a hand full though and he did try two others beforehand which he said were nowhere near as good
     
  14. mbell75

    mbell75 Tele-Meister

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    Sorry but you must have played a really cheap one or a knock off. Those old fiberglass hollow bodies with the incredible DeArmond pickups (especially the gold foils) produce tones and sounds you will never get on any Fender or Gibson with their alder or mahogany solid bodies. I have several rare Airlines from the 60s and a 64 Silvertone Jupiter as well as a few of the Eastwood/Airline reissues. The reissues are excellent guitars as well, traded my Les Pauls for a couple of them. Bottom line is, if you like the generic sounds every Fender and Gibson has you've heard millions of times, stick with it. If you want a truly unique sound from a golden era of guitars you don't hear everyday, you look for guitars like the Harmony/Airline/Silvertone models.
     
  15. brianswindall

    brianswindall Tele-Afflicted

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    The Harmony Meteor was a pretty decent guitar. I have a Rocket. The tuners on Harmony's are the weak spot - horrible. They are not overly well made but that's the charm. As many have said, it's the pickups man. If they can't reproduce the pickups, there's really no point in reissuing them. Nobody would buy them, except kids...which is where they started...wait a minute, I've got an idea!
     
  16. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

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    I'd take a Vega over a Harmony any day. :lol:
     
  17. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Afflicted

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    LOL sounds like many of you need to actually find an old Harmony and plug it into a tube amp and revisit your opinion of these awesome guitars. Your ears way back when were probably clouded by them being sold in the Montgomery Wards catalog, thus rendering it impossible to conceive they were amazing, unique guitars with killer pickups, and many other fine features like the cool short scale. You might be surprised what happens.

    Notwithstanding, who in the heck would prefer a plastic dipped Chinese reissue when you could have the real McCoy for around the same price, replete with vintage Mojo and better quality steel, vintage DeArmond PUs, aged wood, and more.

    Here is another superb player on a Harmony.

     
  18. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

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    I think the problem a lot of players who remember these as "new" guitars have, is these were what you HAD to play instead of the Gibson or Fender that cost 6 months worth of salary, so they never were seen as something you'd play because you wanted to, just something to put up with until you could get the "real thing". Sure nowadays Harmony's and the like are "just another color in the sound crayon box" and maybe we can listen with a more open mind but for a big group of people they will never accept these as more than nostalgia for an age before yours. Or something. I'd never buy a re-issue of the Hondo I started on that was literally made of particle board. I would give one of these New Harmony's a try though. Especially if they made an H-27...
     
  19. mbell75

    mbell75 Tele-Meister

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    Have you played any of the Eastwood/Airline reissues? Probably not because they are excellent guitars, most are MIK. It all descends really. Id take an Eastwood reissue any day over an original Harmony/Airline/Supro in anything less than great condition.
     
  20. mbell75

    mbell75 Tele-Meister

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    That might have been true 50 years ago when everything was built with better quality, not these days. Sadly, most every Gibson and Fender model under $1500 these days is sub par. Sloppy build and questionable wood, especially Gibson. I had a 2014 LPJ I bought for $800 that was simply awful. My 1964 Silvertone is built much better, so are my Eastwood reissues made in Korea.
     
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