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  #1  
Old 01-13-2019, 10:48 PM
PapaBearJr PapaBearJr is offline
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Default First Post......Harptone E6NC

Hello all, this is my first post on the forum. I've been lurking and learning for awhile. Thanks to everyone for all the great info. I am not a guitar player myself but my now 13 year old son absolutely fell in love with all things music and especially the guitar about a year ago. He has been playing non-stop for about 8 months, practicing 2-4 hours a day and taking lessons on the weekends. He also plays Oboe in the school band and loves that as well. As a proud papa and somebody who appreciates quality craftmanship, as well as an avid listener to many kinds of music, I have also takin an interest in guitars. Especially handmade and/or older ones. Enough about me...


Anyhow, while at a local pawn shop today, we found a Harptone E6NC, serial number 2108-7 in seemingly very good condition. The only noticeable flaws are a tiny crack on the edge of the soundhole and the pick guard is starting to pull off. Very, very minimal surface scratching. To my novice eyes, there are no signs of any other damage or any previous repairs. The strings are old and in poor condition, so it was hard to judge the sound.


I honestly never heard of them before today. I did minimal google research while in the shop and seeing it was handcrafted in the usa, around 50 years old, in very good condition for its age, produced in limited quantity, had a unique headstock and was seemingly reasonably priced, we bought it.


It has the curved back. It also has what seems to be the earlier style bridge/saddle. I read it has laminate maple b/s with no bracing and a solid sitka top. Does anybody know if this info is correct? Or have any other knowledge about these guitars?

I've read the minimal amount of posts on this forum and looked at the facebook forum but there hasn't been a post on there in awhile. All the listings I've seen on reverb, ebay, etc all are old and the guitars are in fairly poor condition. I'm going to take it this week to our local luthier for a general inspection, setup, etc.


Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:31 AM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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I found some info, and here's some cliffs: Harptone was actually a company called Standel (one of the first solid state amplifier manufacturers), who ordered custom guitars from Sam Koontz. Sam was a guitar designer for Framus and also Martin guitars, and he also built guitars himself. It's not clear if any of the guitars he buiit were sold as Harptones. He was apparently a rather prolific designer who also designed some of the machinery involved in making the guitars for Standel.
Around the mid 60's, Harptone worked with Standel to build guitars. Supposedly there were only around 200 total built.

Oh, and as a side note, George Harrison played both a 6 and 12 string version of Harptone acoustics, and I think he used those on All Things Must Pass. Here he is playing My Sweet Lord with a Harptone.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm2H0n78BUE
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:37 AM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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I'm finding a decent amount of info on them.
This web page fills in a few more blanks from what I said in my first post.

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/in...stics.1067142/
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:41 AM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Heh, here ya go. Anyone want to build an acoustic with an original Harptone neck?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Har...FnMh:rk:9:pf:0
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:28 PM
PapaBearJr PapaBearJr is offline
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Monsoon1, thanks for the reply. I did come across that website in my research. Does anybody know between what years and approximate how many guitars were made with the Harptone name on the headstock?
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:12 PM
Osage Osage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsoon1 View Post
I found some info, and here's some cliffs: Harptone was actually a company called Standel (one of the first solid state amplifier manufacturers), who ordered custom guitars from Sam Koontz. Sam was a guitar designer for Framus and also Martin guitars, and he also built guitars himself. It's not clear if any of the guitars he buiit were sold as Harptones. He was apparently a rather prolific designer who also designed some of the machinery involved in making the guitars for Standel.
Around the mid 60's, Harptone worked with Standel to build guitars. Supposedly there were only around 200 total built.
Close but not quite right.

Standel was an amplifier company started by Bob Crooks in the 1950's. A literal who's who of famous players played them in the day. In the early 60's Crooks decided to incorporate a line of guitars in with his amps and hired Semie Moseley, later of Mosrtie fame to make them. Maybe a half dozen or so of these got produced before the venture fell through. in the late 60's, Crooks again decided to market a line of guitars and hired Sam Koontz to make them. Bob was already producing guitars at his factory in New Jersey when he started making the Standels. They came out with a line of both electric and acoustic guitars branded Standel. I've also read the 200 produced number but i don't believe it. I've seen far too many of them personally for their only to have been 200 made. The Standel branded ones were short lived and Koontz continued making them into the 70's only instead of Standel, they said Harptone on the headstock. I don't know the production totals on these ones but it's way more than 200.

They're cool guitars but have a few design flaws and are often in very poor condition these days. If you found one in good shape, that's a score. They aren't super valuable for a number of reasons, including that they're laminate but they can be good pretty good sounding guitars. I've owned a few over the years and have never loved the necks but have always had a bit of a soft spot for them.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:30 PM
PapaBearJr PapaBearJr is offline
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Osage, thanks for the reply. The one I found is in almost unbelievable condition to me for a budget guitar of almost 50 years of age. My thinking is that it probably was stored somewhere for many years and barely played. It’s at my local Luthier now but I’ll take pics and try to upload them when I get it back Saturday.

Last edited by PapaBearJr; 01-15-2019 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:50 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I remember those Harptones coming onto the market - it would have been in the early '70s.

I think both David Bowie and Cat Stevens (and George of course) had them.

They faded out pretty quickly. Found some info on "jedistar" by someone called "Wade Hampton Miller" ...never heard of him!

Someone is making cases with the Harptone brand now: http://www.harptone.com
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:01 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Papa, itís very cool that you managed to luck upon a Harptone guitar in reasonably good condition. Those are rare birds.


whm
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:34 PM
PapaBearJr PapaBearJr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Papa, itís very cool that you managed to luck upon a Harptone guitar in reasonably good condition. Those are rare birds.


whm


Thanks Wade! Very cool, indeed.
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2019, 05:44 PM
PapaBearJr PapaBearJr is offline
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just got back from the luthier....some crappy iphone pics

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  #12  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:25 PM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I remember those Harptones coming onto the market - it would have been in the early '70s.

I think both David Bowie and Cat Stevens (and George of course) had them.

They faded out pretty quickly. Found some info on "jedistar" by someone called "Wade Hampton Miller" ...never heard of him!

Someone is making cases with the Harptone brand now: http://www.harptone.com
Yes, I played one in the old Guitar Village shop on Shaftesbury Avenue, probably around 1969/70. I think the model E6C was the Eagle. I liked it a lot, and was struck by the arched back which I had never seen on a flat-top. It had a headstock reminiscent of D'Angelico.
https://guitar-auctions.co.uk/portfo...-a-circa-1972/
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:29 PM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBearJr View Post
just got back from the luthier....some crappy iphone pics

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[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

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Lovely guitar, and that looks in great condition
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:33 PM
PapaBearJr PapaBearJr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
Lovely guitar, and that looks in great condition
Thanks, my local luthier really liked it as well.
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