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Thread: Shutt mandolins

  1. #26

    Default Re: Shutt mandolins

    At the time Harmony made this Viol- the most expensive Supertone mandolin from Sears,Roebuck, they also made a really nice rosewood mandolin- the next most expensive mandolin in the range- there is a Supertone advertisement you can find that shows all the mandolins. This mandolin was almost an exact copy of a Larson mandolin. Now, that Larson mandolin may have been sold by Supertone in the past. In 1916 or 1917, Sears, Roebuck bought Harmony, so Harmony made the bulk if not all of their guitars for over two decades. You can see top-of-the-range Supertone guitars from the late 20s being sold as "made by Oscar Schmidt- not Harmony". The problem with this naive deception, is that the guitars have the Harmony patented "aero" bridge so they had to be Harmony made! Not all Harmony made instruments were cheap junk by any standard but as guitars were made to a price, many were a little basic to say the least- but not all.

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  3. #27
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Shutt mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by slimt View Post
    it amazes me how many different Companies can take other builders made instruments and turn those into there own styles and names.. So I guess what I have bought is a Harmony .. have to admit.. I didnt think Harmony instruments were well built.. I think they did well on this one..

    Thanks for all the input.
    Almost everybody built instruments for the trade, that is to be sold with another firm's label on them or no labels at all. The Chicago builders were very intermixed as we've see obvious Kay built instruments with other Chicago builder's labels on them. They all bought from the same jobbers and I'm assuming the employees moved between the companies as well as these were factory built instruments. Some can be quite nice. Some are not so nice. In the later years Harmony appeared to be looking for quantity with little regard to quality. Kay had some huge missteps and Regal seems to have built anything anyone wanted no matter how silly they appeared to be.

    Keep in mind that when Harmony started building they still had crafts people doing the job. Corner cutting didn't enter the picture until a little later.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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