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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Harmony 5 string Headstocks


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/374659

Oneyeopn - Posted - 04/28/2021:  08:51:34


I apologize if this is a topic that is well worn. But what is the deal with Harmony headstock. The only one I have found that is thin like mine was marked differently. I am attaching a photo. Thank you.




RioStat - Posted - 04/28/2021:  09:04:36


?

OldFrets - Posted - 04/28/2021:  09:05:02


That headstock was first catalogued in 1972 and gone with the demise of Harmony in 1974, so there aren't a ton of them out there.

revellfa - Posted - 04/28/2021:  11:58:08


I'm glad you're still enjoying your Resotone. I'll take a Resotone over a bottle cap any day. I've owned several Harmony banjos and recently had a later one like yours. I actually think the later ones with the smooth plastic heads have a much better "bluegrass" tone and the earlier ones with the hide heads sound better for clawhammer and OT.

As to the OP, the headstock and logo changed a bit over the years....

mikehalloran - Posted - 04/28/2021:  15:15:05


quote:

Originally posted by OldFrets

That headstock was first catalogued in 1972 and gone with the demise of Harmony in 1974, so there aren't a ton of them out there.






 



This particular headstock is found on Harmonys dating back to the 1950s.



Harmony was long out of business by 1972. There were, however, thousands of uncompleted instruments and parts etc. The bankruptcy liquidators would periodically assemble more and dump them onto the market. The last big one I remember was 1976.



Being a stencil instrument supplier like Kay and a few others, they would silkscreen whatever brand you wanted on whichever of many shapes they offered. If this hadn't appeared in a Harmony catalog, there's over a hundred others it could have been in. Old Kraftsman was Spiegel, Silvertone and others were Sears, Airline was Wards, Holiday & Futuramic were Alden and so on.



All '60s and '70s Regal instruments were Harmony sold by Fender—Regal was their 'non-Fender' distribution arm. Some Harmony instruments were sold under the Fender name.





 



A 1976 Regal Bicentenniel banjo. All of these have Waverly 2 on a strip tuners. This was the original Waverly comnpany before Stew-Mac bought them.





This Ridgeland is supposed to be from the '60s but it has Made in Japan tuners and a Remo head. Little chance that someone replaced all thodse after the sale — this is a post bankruptcy Harmony where asll those parts were common.




Edited by - mikehalloran on 04/28/2021 15:16:25

OldFrets - Posted - 04/28/2021:  15:24:25


quote:

Originally posted by mikehalloran

quote:

Originally posted by OldFrets

That headstock was first catalogued in 1972 and gone with the demise of Harmony in 1974, so there aren't a ton of them out there.






 



This particular headstock is found on Harmonys dating back to the 1950s.



Harmony was long out of business by 1972. There were, however, thousands of uncompleted instruments and parts etc. The bankruptcy liquidators would periodically assemble more and dump them onto the market. The last big one I remember was 1976.






Not with that logo. That headstock with that logo, devoid of any other decoration, did not appear in catalogs until 1972, at which point Harmony was faltering but still in business. The original Harmony company stopped production in 1974 or 1975, depending on the source. You may be thinking of Kay, which went under in 1968.


Edited by - OldFrets on 04/28/2021 15:35:07

Oneyeopn - Posted - 04/28/2021:  16:15:23


The logo is what had me. It was the same as the "modernized" logo that came around in the 60's. But the headstock was smaller, and although I have a steel reinforced neck. They saved costs by not silk screening that on. I previously used my Grandfather's Fender banjo which plays very nicely with a great sound. This harmony plays just as easily and tunes as completely as the Fender. Its a wonderful warm sound which I think will improve when I put 10's on it instead of 9's.

mikehalloran - Posted - 04/28/2021:  17:08:25


quote:

Originally posted by OldFrets

quote:

Originally posted by mikehalloran

quote:

Originally posted by OldFrets

That headstock was first catalogued in 1972 and gone with the demise of Harmony in 1974, so there aren't a ton of them out there.






 



This particular headstock is found on Harmonys dating back to the 1950s.



Harmony was long out of business by 1972. There were, however, thousands of uncompleted instruments and parts etc. The bankruptcy liquidators would periodically assemble more and dump them onto the market. The last big one I remember was 1976.






Not with that logo. That headstock with that logo, devoid of any other decoration, did not appear in catalogs until 1972, at which point Harmony was faltering but still in business. The original Harmony company stopped production in 1974 or 1975, depending on the source. You may be thinking of Kay, which went under in 1968.






I know the 1975 date gets kicked around a lot but I was working for music stores part time 1971–74 and know what I remenber — but that was nearly 50 years ago. 



While I'm not convinced about the 'devoid of any other decoration'. I hadn't caught the lettering with that stylized H which does match my 1974 catalog. 



 

TriMD180 - Posted - 04/29/2021:  11:04:13


This is a 1956 Harmony made Sears and Roebuck 5 string that had a rosewood fretboard and the atomic S&R on the peg head. I used the neck to convert a 1930 Harmony Vagabond Tenor into my only steel string resonator banjo!



 

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