The Acoustic Guitar Forum  

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:45 AM
freedomfarm freedomfarm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: North East Ohio
Posts: 328
Default 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.
__________________

SteveH

Martin 00-15M
Seagull S6+CW Folk GT 05 Limited Edition Burgundy
Seagull S6+CW Folk GT 05 Limited Edition Blue
Seagull Performer CW MJ Flame Maple 2011
Stella tenor guitar
Oscar Schmidt Sovereign Mahogany Model #5077
Campbell American Transitone (electric)
Peavey T-40 Bass (1979)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:19 AM
brad4d8 brad4d8 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: CT
Posts: 1,027
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomfarm View Post
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.
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
__________________
Guild F212: 1964 (Hoboken), Guild Mark V: 1975 (Westerly), Guild Artist Award: 1975 (Westerly), Guild F50: 1976 (Westerly), Guild X170: 1988 (Westerly), Guild D-50: 1991 (Westerly), Guild F-40: 2007 (Tacoma) Guild F512: 2010 (New Hartford), Pawless Mesquite Special: 2012, Epiphone Masterbilt: AJ500RCNS: 2006, Epiphone Howard Roberts: Korea (Samick), 1996,Gibson Chet Atkins CE: 2001.

Last edited by brad4d8; 01-22-2012 at 11:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:52 AM
Opa John Opa John is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: My Home Town
Posts: 2,302
Default

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.
__________________
Three Dreads - 2 Martins and 1 Yamaha
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-22-2012, 12:00 PM
Judson's Avatar
Judson Judson is offline
Late bloomer ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Apex, NC (outside of Raleigh)
Posts: 3,451
Default

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.
__________________
"Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them!" --- Oliver Wendell Holmes

My music at: https://www.youtube.com/user/judsonh1949 --- or--- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Judso...5118232?ref=hl
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-22-2012, 12:46 PM
theaxeman theaxeman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Just West of St. Louis
Posts: 423
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomfarm View Post
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.
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.
__________________
Vantage VS-25SCE 1992 Model
Luna Americana Classic AMP-100 "Parlor" 2012 Model
Cort Luce L900P 2011 Model
Goya GG-161 1971 Model
“Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ― Aristophanes
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-22-2012, 01:15 PM
freedomfarm freedomfarm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: North East Ohio
Posts: 328
Default 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 . . .



__________________

SteveH

Martin 00-15M
Seagull S6+CW Folk GT 05 Limited Edition Burgundy
Seagull S6+CW Folk GT 05 Limited Edition Blue
Seagull Performer CW MJ Flame Maple 2011
Stella tenor guitar
Oscar Schmidt Sovereign Mahogany Model #5077
Campbell American Transitone (electric)
Peavey T-40 Bass (1979)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-22-2012, 03:58 PM
devellis's Avatar
devellis devellis is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,255
Default

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.
__________________
Bob DeVellis
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-22-2012, 04:00 PM
Dulope Dulope is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 466
Default

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
__________________
Collings 01sb ~ '60 Martin 00-18e ~ Cargo RT
---------------------------------------------------
"Buy used and buy often"

Last edited by Dulope; 01-22-2012 at 04:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-22-2012, 04:22 PM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,329
Default

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
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-13-2014, 07:40 AM
lolzy lolzy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1
Default

Hi I found this on craigslist.
Wonder what you guys think
http://detroit.craigslist.org/wyn/msg/4555318555.html
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-13-2014, 11:22 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,329
Default

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...


Last edited by J Patrick; 07-13-2014 at 11:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-13-2014, 03:14 PM
sweiss's Avatar
sweiss sweiss is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: NE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,286
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-13-2014, 05:33 PM
vintageparlors's Avatar
vintageparlors vintageparlors is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chester, Vermont
Posts: 1,386
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweiss View Post
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.
__________________
Steve C at www.vintageparlorguitars.com
Specializing in the repair, restoration and sale of vintage parlor and 12-fret acoustics guitars..CHECK OUT NEW INVENTORY UPDATE
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Loading

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=