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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Harmony banjo

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harmonybanjokid - Posted - 11/25/2009:  18:53:22


I have a harmony banjo that i bought at a flea market for $125. I would like to know how old it is. I am looking to sell it or upgrade to a new one. So if anyone knows how old it could be i would appreciate it.

Thanx, Tim T

Ronnie - Posted - 11/25/2009:  19:02:48

A photo or 2 would certainly help. I have no idea, but the reso-tones with the bakelite pots were very popular during the 1960's and '70's. A good look at the headstock would be a help to date it. Need more information. If it is what I think it is, you paid pretty well the going price for these.
BTW welcome aboard!

harmonybanjokid - Posted - 11/25/2009:  19:13:29

I will try to post some pictures tonight. All i know about it is that it has the plastic back and the cheap head on it. That is all i can infer about it.

Thanx, Tim T

FiveStringPop - Posted - 11/26/2009:  09:07:16

Hi Tim!

I always look for Harmony posts on the BHO. I started taking lessons on a Harmony skin head, open back, bake-lite rim in 1972, at the age of 14. If the action is decent and the thing playable, it's a great place to start without getting a loan or acquiring credit card debt. In the summer of 1977, I finally rotted through the head where my wrist sweated without the benefit of an arm rest.

Below is a picture taken probably in 1973.

I figure mine is from the 60's since it was used when I got it in 1972 for $35.

I too, would appreciate additional information on these.

Funny, I always get a chuckle out of seeing Harmony banjo posts in the "Collector's Corner"!!!

Mike Johnson - Posted - 11/26/2009:  09:51:26

My first banjo was a bakelite Harmony.To my regret,I no longer have it.It was traded up in the climb to the first Mastertone long before the notion that one could own more than one banjo became possible and acceptable in my milieu.It is among four gone banjos I would like to reacquire,but that is another thread we explored a while ago.........m

harmonybanjokid - Posted - 11/26/2009:  19:08:42

Thank you everyone who has replied i am having trouble loading the pictures of it. But i will have them on before the night is over.

Hotrodtruck - Posted - 11/26/2009:  19:10:40

I don't have a way to date them, but the older ones are made of black ''bakelite'', while the newer ones are of a reddish color ''bakelite''. I have one of each. If a Harmony has a good mylar head, a good bridge, and is set up properly they are decent sounding banjos and will surprise a lot of people. I like them better than many of the entrance level banjos and they can be bought for very reasonable prices.

harmonybanjokid - Posted - 11/26/2009:  20:39:07

I believe mine is the reddish bakelie material. i have one photo of it in my photos. i will have more on it tomorrow.

beegee - Posted - 11/26/2009:  22:13:39

There's no real way to date these specifically. There wer some subtle changes in the peghead labeling and shape, but they are consistent otherwise. These banjos were sold under some other names as well. Look to the early-to mid 60's up through 1975 when they folded. AT $125 you kinda at the top of the money on the Reso-Tone. Some of the "deluxe" models had hooks in all the holes around the rim. These little banjos sound pretty good, but the necks are narrow and thick and have a long scale making them a little unwieldy to play.

5stringpicker2 - Posted - 11/27/2009:  08:48:45

I also have one of each and when set up decent sound really good.

(I )===='---<::)

harmonybanjokid - Posted - 11/27/2009:  16:21:48

Finally the pictures are uploaded. They are in my photo album. Hopefully it will help everyone in identifying my instrument.


Ronnie - Posted - 11/27/2009:  17:27:58

Early 1960s, maybe a little earlier, not sure of date.

Edited by - Ronnie on 11/27/2009 17:29:29

rexhunt - Posted - 11/28/2009:  04:51:01

I bought mine from a music store going out of business in the early 70's for $25. Lost the resonator along the way. It had the plastic head. I replaced the tailpiece with the adjustable "Nashville" talpiece that came on my Vega Pro II and put a stock Grover bridge on it and it sounds quite good with the head good and tight. That darn neck is a bit thin though. It sounds way better than my neighbor's plastic body Rover. The Rover neck is way better though.


Blackpowder - Posted - 12/06/2009:  09:33:44

Hey all, I have one just like this one on the bench right now. I have another that is branded Regal as well. If I can just figure out which head replacement to use I will be doing fine! I just hate buying heads then finding out they wont fit! grrrrr. But oh well, I just cant stay away from Harmonys, Kays, and Stellas and Airlines.
You know, beauty is in the eye........


Ks_5-picker - Posted - 12/06/2009:  11:23:56

I bought a head recently for my Sears Harmony. It was 10 7/8" and fit perfectly. I got the top frosted,they'll sound pretty good if you can find them.

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