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Thread: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

  1. #1
    Fix-R-Up-R Jake Wildwood's Avatar
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    Default c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    Earlier today I finished up work on this nice old spruce/birch Harmony 1940 mando. It's similar to one of the "Vogue" mandos from the same time but a little plainer. Tone is similar to a Kalamazoo or Oriole A-style from the 30s. I like it quite a bit! It has surprisingly good volume and a nice dark choppy tone. It's not creamy or refined like a Gib but it does have a good amount of sting.

    I'll get to try it out in a jam tomorrow morning to see what it can really do but so far, my front porch picking seems to be doing it some good.

    Please check out the blog post (click here) for more photos & information!








  2. #2

    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    Well done Jake. I love these stories of fine old instruments renovated.

    ron

  3. #3
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    Nice find Jake - nicely done too!

  4. #4
    Fix-R-Up-R Jake Wildwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    Nice find Jake - nicely done too!
    Danke! I'm happy with finding one of these. They don't come up very often -- mostly it's the birch-y cheap-os that turn up.

  5. #5
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    You're a wizard, Jake.
    Bill

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    Nice, Jake. Do you think these led into the later production of the Harmony Monterey mandolins? Any idea when those began?

    Mick
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  7. #7
    Fix-R-Up-R Jake Wildwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    Mick: It's certainly very similar but most of the Monts (50s-70s) that I've seen have been much heavier and all birch. I've seen a few 40s Monts that have the spruce/birch but it seems like these earlier ones, like most Harmony products from the 20s-early 40s, are lighter weight and a bit more responsive.

    FYI, this one kicked butt in the jam this morning. My other mando compatriot, Mr. Tom, was pretty tickled by it and I got to hear it across the room while I was fiddling which always makes me

  8. #8
    Fix-R-Up-R Jake Wildwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin



    Here's a quick vid I did of it for showing off purposes. :D

  9. #9
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    Nice sounding, Jake.
    Bill

  10. #10
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    I'm envious - I want it!
    I recently sold a 1968 Harmony archtop spruce/birch A-style I'd kept for several years. Although it was pretty well made and in good shape, it did NOT sound like yours.

    I'm curious if you did any work on the frets/fingerboard - did you refret it? I recall almost always seeing brass frets on Harmonies from the '40s-'60s.
    Jeff Rohrbough
    "Listen louder, play softer"

  11. #11
    Fix-R-Up-R Jake Wildwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: c.1940 Harmony 373 Arched A-5ish Mandolin

    I leveled/dressed the frets. The brass frets came into being with the wartime years. This one being 1940 exactly means that it predates the need to divert metal. To be honest, I'm envious of this mando and very happy I have it. I'm a big fan of the mid-to-late 1930s Chicago stuff so this one fits right in with the rest of the collection.

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