Harmony Reso-Tone 5-String H 8145 Banjo Reviews

Harmony Reso-Tone 5-String H 8145
submitted 12/20/2004

Submitter

Dude Stewart (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased

eBay

Year Purchased

Price Paid

86 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound


A very sweet-sounding instrument. I like to play old-fashioned folk, sometimes even minstrel-style, with bare fingers. Most modern instruments (beautiful and nice as they are!) are too loud and clangy for my purposes. I couldn't afford to speculate on one of the wonderful gourd banjos that I see in the catalogs, so I had the idea of buying an inexpensive open-back banjo and putting some La Bella nylon strings on it. I bought this 5-string Harmony Reso-Tone on eBay, and loved the tone so much I never got around to trying the nylon strings on it. Very mellow - possibly too much so for some people's taste - but if you're into old-fashioned banjo, this thing is the cat's meow!

Sound Rating

10

Setup


This banjo had been knocking around for two generations in somebody's summer cabin. Kids had played with it, taken it on picnics, you name it. All I had to do was tune it when I took it out of the box. The neck is steel-reinforced, but not adjustable. It's very simple and rugged.

Setup Rating

10

Appearance


I like its simplicity. It has a dark brown Bakelite "Reso-Tone" body, and a brown-painted neck. I own the optional Reso-Tone resonator (R 8005), but prefer the open back sound so I keep it off.

Appearance Rating

10

Reliability


It's already lasted forty-plus years, so I'm guessing it's good for at least another forty.

Reliability Rating

10

Customer Service


Harmony is still in business, under different owners. I'm sure they're great to deal with, but I'm giving them a good rating for making something so good that it never needed repair.

Customer Service

10

Components


The body is dark-brown Bakelite. Harmony called it "Reso-Tone". The neck is wood, though I don't know what kind. It's straight and true, whatever it is. The hardware is simple and basic - 16 brackets and a tailpiece.

Components Rating

10

Overall Comments


I love this banjo! I knew nothing about Reso-Tone banjos when I bought it. I was just looking for an inexpensive open-back to put some nylon strings on for an old-time banjo sound. It would be a prefectly good banjo for someone who wanted something to take camping as well, but if you're into old-time banjo, this one sounds wonderful for that stuff! Light as a feather, too! (I loved it so much I went back on eBay and bought a tenor, as well!) These old Harmony Reso-Tones are the '55 Chevy of banjos - cool old classics!

Overall Rating

10


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