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-   -   Stella/Harmony Guitar construction? (http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=239681)

freedomfarm 01-22-2012 11:45 AM

Stella/Harmony Guitar construction?
 
I've been keeping an eye out for an inexpensive tenor guitar and have been checking the usual channels. This is a quote from stellaguitars.com:

"Until the 1970s, the Harmony Company used only solid woods for just about every acoustic flat top instrument they made. Their Stella instruments were made from solid slab-sawn birch, which to the untrained eye often has a grain pattern that looks rather like "plywood". Harmony Stella guitars usually have a poplar neck with a dyed maple or birch fingerboard. High-end Harmony flat tops feature solid mahogany and solid spruce components."

The one I'm looking at is being touted as a sixties vintage, but the close up pic through the sound hole looks like it's made from fiber board (the back anyway). This particular one says Stella & Harmony on the head. :confused:

brad4d8 01-22-2012 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freedomfarm (Post 2908146)
The one I'm looking at is being touted as a sixties vintage, but the close up pic through the sound hole looks like it's made from fiber board (the back anyway). This particular one says Stella & Harmony on the head. :confused:

Do you have a link to a picture? Might make it easier to address your concern. Maybe this one?
http://harmony.demont.net/guitars/H929TG/240.htm#
Brad

Opa John 01-22-2012 12:52 PM

Stella....I cut my teeth on one of those back in the late 50s. As for whether it was all solid wood or not....I can't help ya. It wasn't something I was paying any attention to back then. Even today, I try to be open minded about it. I own and have played a whole bunch of great sounding guitars that are NOT all soiid wood.

Judson 01-22-2012 01:00 PM

I have the Silvertone version of the Harmony Sovereign from when I was in high school in the late 60s. It is a big guitar with all solid wood construction and has a terrific voice. Unfortunately, as a calllow youth, I let it get in a bad state of repair over the ensuing years. Right now it's undergoing a full restoration. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out in the hands of someone who knows how to bering old guitars back to life.

theaxeman 01-22-2012 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freedomfarm (Post 2908146)
I've been keeping an eye out for an inexpensive tenor guitar and have been checking the usual channels. This is a quote from stellaguitars.com:

"Until the 1970s, the Harmony Company used only solid woods for just about every acoustic flat top instrument they made. Their Stella instruments were made from solid slab-sawn birch, which to the untrained eye often has a grain pattern that looks rather like "plywood". Harmony Stella guitars usually have a poplar neck with a dyed maple or birch fingerboard. High-end Harmony flat tops feature solid mahogany and solid spruce components."

The one I'm looking at is being touted as a sixties vintage, but the close up pic through the sound hole looks like it's made from fiber board (the back anyway). This particular one says Stella & Harmony on the head. :confused:

As long as it doesn't say "Harmony Stella, Est. 1892" on the headstock it should be a real Harmony Stella.

Along with the above on the headstock, it should have a paper label, look in the lower right corner for "Made In Taiwan".

If it has these markings, it was made after 1975, and they were laminates, or as some refer to them, "plywood".

Most Harmony guitars have a blue stamped Made in USA, along with a model number, and a mfg. date inside the sound hole and most were solid wood construction.

freedomfarm 01-22-2012 02:15 PM

Here's some pic's of it
 
Thanks for the input. Brad4d8, yes almost identical to that one. I can't tell if it's a fiberboard or pressboard in there or not, or is that the fine grain birch which the website (Stella) spoke of? Probably doesn't matter, but I'd like to know, it'd be a bit nicer knowing it was solid birch . . .

http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/...aTenor1965.jpg
http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/...Tenor1965d.jpg
http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/...Tenor1965c.jpg

devellis 01-22-2012 04:58 PM

I had a Stella back in the mid sixties. It had no redeeming qualities. It may be that a great set-up could have transformed it from a guitar-shaped object into an actual guitar, but I'm skeptical. Of course, there were lots of different models. Harmony Sovereigns always had a good reputation. I'm pretty sure the model I had was the bottom of the barrel. But truly, it was not a good guitar in terms of playability, tone, or any other criterion I can think of. Others may have had better experiences.

Dulope 01-22-2012 05:00 PM

On these guitars take a mirror and always look inside ...... these were ladder braced guitars and sometimes that build style coupled with birch wood can seperate

J Patrick 01-22-2012 05:22 PM

ive had more than 30 stellas thats a solid birch stella tenor cool vibe and tone but not everyones cuppa tea very easy to repair loose braces and joints excellent travel and camping guitars

lolzy 07-13-2014 08:40 AM

Hi I found this on craigslist.
Wonder what you guys think
http://detroit.craigslist.org/wyn/msg/4555318555.html

J Patrick 07-13-2014 12:22 PM

Oh yeah...that's the faux tiger stipe maple model....all birch...usually from the fifties....although that has the unusual deco tailpiece that is from the forties.....not a steel reinforced neck....they are generally a bit more skranky sounding to my ears than their natural topped cousins....they almost always need a neck reset...I do a poor mans reset on them if the neck is not bowed...if it is I set em up for lap slide....I played one set up for slide with a vintage dearmond pickup in it and it was killer...for a good campfire guitar I would recommend a later built natural topped model....the necks are usually in better shape and they have a warmer tone...but 65 bucks is a good price even if it needs some work...

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0...D550/ry%3D400/

sweiss 07-13-2014 04:14 PM

I have several old Harmony acoustics, and they are all made of solid wood. All but one, though, are solid birch. The exception is spruce topped with birch b&s. Every pre-seventies Harmony I've ever seen was indeed made of solid woods of one sort or another...most often birch.

vintageparlors 07-13-2014 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sweiss (Post 4038419)
I have several old Harmony acoustics, and they are all made of solid wood. All but one, though, are solid birch. The exception is spruce topped with birch b&s. Every pre-seventies Harmony I've ever seen was indeed made of solid woods of one sort or another...most often birch.

Yup, true dat.


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