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Unidentified Harmony-branded Guitar

Posts related to vintage guitars manufactured in Japan or other Asian countries

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by MaxL » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:55 pm

Well, this is my second post.

I have this little 60's-looking solid-body with two pickups and a very nice-feeling neck. A high-school student gave it to my uncle, who teaches PE or something like that, and he sent it to me, so I have absolutely no idea when or where it was originally bought. It's a cheap one, for sure, but I love the feel and the sound, and I'm curious what the actual age and origin of this guitar is. It's marked "Harmony", but I understand they purchased guitars from dozens of manufacturers and sold them under that name. Also, as you can see, the brand on the head-stock is really crudely stamped onto the wood under the finish.
It has no serial number, and the only markings are the ones visible on the head-stock. If you have any questions about the guitar, or if you'd like to see any specific angle photos, I can probably do that. The only thing I don't want to do unscrew the pick-guard, because I'm afraid of damaging the electronics.

IMG_6609.JPG

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Thanks for any information or opinions!
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by VintAxe » Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:09 pm

Hey MaxL. I haven't researched your guitar but I can tell you a couple of things based on my first impressions. The "est 1892" under the logo immediately identifies this guitar as an Asian model built after 1975. While much of the hardware on your instrument is similar to Teisco/Kawai built instruments, similar hardware was used on early Korean made products. That is the basic issue on this fella; built in Japan or Korea? The time period will be mid to late 70's.

I'll let you know if I learn more
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by Mad-Mike » Fri May 05, 2017 1:49 pm

What you have there is your garden variety early-mid 1980's Harmony H-802 there.

I made a site about these recently - https://sites.google.com/site/h804h802/

Basically put, the guitar was built in Taiwan or Korea, most likely by Samick, sometime between 1981 and 1987. In 1988 Harmony changed this model to regular Strat-Style single coil pickups and a Kramer headstock neck and renamed it the Harmony H-803 briefly before going back to the regular harmony Headstock on the 25.5" Scale H-804 model circa 1990.

SPECS
NECK: Bleached Mahogany neck, 24.5" Scale (I Think), 22 Frets, pearl plastic inlays, zero fret, six on a strip tuners, 4 bolt narrow plate Harmony EST 1892 neckplate

BODY: Plywood 3/4" thick body routed with two huge routes for the pickups

PICKUPS: 2 Goldfoil design derived "Anti-foil" pickups ranging around 5.45K Ohms each

CONTROLS: 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 2 individual pickup on/off switches

BRIDGE: Non-Intonatable height adjustable bridge with variable string spacing, Clamshell "Fingers" tailpiece

FINISH: in your case, 3-Tone Sunburst which was the most popular on this model, also available in White, Red, and Black apparently

These usually sold in the J.C. Penney Wishbooks for around $69.99-$75 new in the eighties with a little C cell powered portable amplifier, strap, picks, and cable as a starter package. There were some earlier variants with different body shapes (one more like a Fender Mustang with the middle pickup as a bridge instead, and a Teisco "Tulip" derived body that looks similar to this one but is not offset and has a Tulip treble side horn).

These guitars are basically derivatives of the Japanese Teisco ET-110 Tulip guitars depending on your point of view.
https://sites.google.com/site/deanmachine2016/home - Hondo/Odyssey Paul Dean Guitars
https://sites.google.com/site/h804h802/ - Harmony H-801/802/803/804/218x Series Guitar Site
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by VintAxe » Fri May 05, 2017 3:54 pm

Thanks Mike, your expertise is much appreciated. :D
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