January 9, 2020 at 5:45 am #3525
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 – 😉
January 9, 2020 at 5:56 am #3529Acoustic SoulParticipant
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!
January 9, 2020 at 7:02 am #3531DanielParticipant
January 11, 2020 at 5:38 pm #3560
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 –
January 9, 2020 at 2:31 pm #3532indexlessKeymaster
Whoa…great for slide
January 9, 2020 at 2:51 pm #3533
Here your go:
January 9, 2020 at 3:55 pm #3534HankParticipant
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.
January 9, 2020 at 4:15 pm #3535
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:
January 9, 2020 at 4:40 pm #3536
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.
January 9, 2020 at 4:46 pm #3538
January 9, 2020 at 11:02 pm #3543Matt HaydenParticipant
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. 🙂
January 11, 2020 at 7:27 pm #3562
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
January 12, 2020 at 4:25 am #3563
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 –
January 12, 2020 at 7:08 pm #3567Silly MoustacheParticipant
January 13, 2020 at 4:56 am #3572
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.
January 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm #3569haasomeParticipant
Very interesting Andy. Nice presentation.
– Paul –
January 12, 2020 at 9:04 pm #3570
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.
January 13, 2020 at 4:55 am #3571Acoustic SoulParticipant
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
January 13, 2020 at 8:43 am #3579
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