Interesting Harmony –

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    • #3525
      tadol
      Moderator

      My friend picked up a couple of guitars at a house sale, sent me pics and asked if I was interested – well, there were a couple of old tenors (one is a ‘32 Martin 5-17T, but it needs some repair work!) and then there was this beauty – I don’t really get into archtops as a “thang”, but he offered me a really good deal if I took all 3, so to get this, I did –

      Best I can tell, its a Harmony 1407, which is a pretty generic number for the Patrician model – seems a bit unusual, as its arch top and arch back, and has white plastic bindings & neck inlays, and a cool multicolor purfling and pick guard. Date code is unreadable, so ??


      This just kinda had me –

      But the carved back – (laminate? Pressed? How do I tell?) seems a little different than what I’ve tried to look up –

      I don’t think this is rare, or special, but its a really cool looking guitar, and I’m hoping with just a tiny bit of work, it’d be a fun one to play, too. I got the bridge realigned to get the intonation right, but tuning it back up I broke the high e string, but even playing just the bottom 5 is pretty cool sounding – but I’m not sure when I last got a tetanus shot, so I’m gonna wait til I can clean it up a bit and get some fresh strings on –

      New Santa Cruz’s are great, but sometimes, an old cheapie just hits the right spot –    😉

       

       

       

    • #3529
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      Hey that’s awesome!  I actually want to pick up a nice old vibe archtop myself, I love the attack and response of the archtops as well their voices… I’d get an L-5 but the price is more than a set of tier 1 brazilian!

    • #3531
      Daniel
      Participant

      Cool!

      I’m GASing/MASing archies these days.

      https://www.archtop.com/
      these guys might be able to date it for you.

      Daniel


      • #3560
        tadol
        Moderator

        I love the Archtop guitar site – in their archives is a Santa Cruz archtop – I looked at one a few years back, but didn’t have the scratch to buy it, but shoulda taken a loan –

        The Harmony Patrician seems to have had SO many design variations, you could probably have a couple dozen of them with no 2 alike! I’m not gonna pursue these – but if someone sticks one in my hands and all it really needs is a new set of strings and tuning up, well – maybe – but my wife was definitely not happy to see these, so I need to keep that in mind –

    • #3532
      indexless
      Keymaster

      Whoa…great for slide

    • #3533
      bert
      Participant

      Here your go:

    • #3534
      Hank
      Participant

      A new Santa Cruz and a new/old project Harmony…..Tad you certainly are covering all the bases in the guitar world.


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German (For Sale)
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #3535
      bert
      Participant

      Who knows what might be good or bad with the Harmony until you dig in. My first look says that the tailpiece is just wrong, it appears to be sitting on the lower bout… gotta be dampening the vibe of the spruce top. Why someone would go that route is a mystery.

      The trapeze type tailpiece is normally used to free the top so the bridge can most effectively vibe the top. This pic shows how to make the tailpiece attractive and functional, my El Rey 4:

    • #3536
      Chrisakadigdog
      Participant

      Cool find Tad.  When I was hunting/haunting the Harmony arc tops the wood tailpiece came up on occasion and I believe from research it was a WWII period. Saving the metal  for the boys.   If you should decide to attach a pickup, I’ve got a spare detachable Pickguard with humbucker and V,T controls .  Welcome to the club of cheap dreams can come true.

    • #3538
      Chrisakadigdog
      Participant
    • #3543
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      Bring it down and I’ll set it up for you.  And if you want to unload the 5-17-T, I might be interested – I’d put a new neck on it. 🙂

    • #3562
      bert
      Participant

      1946 Gibson ES150, I had this guitar for 30yrs. Bought it in 1974 from a guy who was a member of the house band at the Grand Old Opry. He said ‘here, take it, it ruined my life’… probably did was my thought from appearances. These were very popular in the early days because of the soap bar pickup but, they were laminated and lifeless unplugged.

      After I sold it, I went looking for a more modern design. Archtops are just like acoustic flattops, so many choices makes it difficult to find the right one. The Eastman El Rey 4 hybrid is perfect for me… right between a trad archtop and std hollow body elec. I gave my AR880ce John Pisano to my son when he finished his masters degree.  all’s well

    • #3563
      tadol
      Moderator

      That El Rey 4 is a very interesting guitar to me – I have a very nice american Fender Strat, but no matter how hard I try, the narrow nut I just can’t handle –

    • #3567
      Silly Moustache
      Participant

      Hi,

      I have three archtops – a ’34 Gibson L-4 (’35 model) a 2007 Eastman AR805, and a Harmony Monterrey.

      They are all fine instruments, see this;

      • #3572
        Chrisakadigdog
        Participant

        Very enjoyable learning experience.  As you might have noticed Andy  ,on the wall of oldies, posted above,is my 1956 Harmony Monterey. Solid spruce top and solid form pressed maple back n sides.  My birth year choice.. The old arch tops are such charmingly endearing works of beauty.  Thanks for your post here.

    • #3569
      haasome
      Participant

      Very interesting Andy. Nice presentation.


      – Paul –

    • #3570
      bert
      Participant

      Thanks Andy for the demo, they all sound very good.

      tad… re: 2018 Eastman El Rey 4
      The two things I had to work out:

      Strings: Since I don’t play melancholy elevator jazz… finding the strings that work for me took a good bit of trial. I found that either D’Ad NYXL 11-49…. or EXL110+ 10.5-48 hit my spot. ER4 comes with NYXL 12-52, perfect for a lounge player. No throaty bass with the lighter sets.

      Amp: Chris Roberts (Nashville) built a custom 40w clean tube amp for me in 2018 in trade for my Eastman AR805ce archtop. It is perfect for my Duncan Tele but a bit overkill for the ER4. I recently picked up a used Roland Jazz Chorus 40, ‘got the right one baby’ as bro Ray Charles used to say. Solid state JC-40 is as clean as they come plus the vibrato/chorus work so well with the acoustic vibe of the ER4.

    • #3571
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      Whew, those look good bert… i’m becoming a real sucker for arch tops in the past few years as I’ve grown as a player still

    • #3579
      Daniel
      Participant

      Every time I see the title of this thread I think, “fourth above?  minor second?  What IS an interesting harmony?”

      🙂

      Daniel


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