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Thread: Harmony 1965 tenor

  1. #1

    Default Harmony 1965 tenor

    Hi fellow tenor enthusiasts.
    I just got a 1965 Harmony archtop tenor- very good shape. Has a musty smell that suggests it spent a lot of years in a case.
    Swapped the bridge and put on heavy strings - 46 34 22 12.
    Tuned GDAE
    Next set I will go 48 36 24 14
    It sounds good, but is quiet.
    Trying to figure out the best, most cost-effective pickup.
    Cheers!
    Al

  2. #2
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony 1965 tenor

    Crikey that would be 115lb of total tentsion .24 for the A would be 34lb alone!
    I would choose strings for playability and of an equal tension and use the guitar with a pickup rather than trying to overpower the thing.
    I guess it has a flat sawn or a pressed ply top neither of which will ever sound great, so I think it would be better to use it like an electric guitar.
    I fitted a pretty cheap Chinese pickup on mine must be about 5 years ago and it works really well.
    You can hear it at 2.22 on this vid ( strings are 12 18p 30 45)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JhCMMNnNOrk
    Last edited by fox; Nov-02-2018 at 5:51am.

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  4. #3
    plectrist
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Harmony 1965 tenor

    I really like the Acoustic Archtop Pickups at Archtop.com. I have three guitars with them now ... the last was just fitted yesterday on a Grimshaw 4-string plectrum.

    Ryk
    mandolin ~ guitar ~ banjo

    "I'm convinced that playing well is not so much a technique as it is a decision. It's a commitment to do the work, strive for concentration, get strategic about advancing by steps, and push patiently forward toward the goal." Dan Crary

  5. #4

    Default Re: Harmony 1965 tenor

    That will be all solid birch. The top and bottom are pressed into an arch.

    Generally speaking you're not going to get the volume out of a tenor you will from a normal 6-string guitar. There just isn't enough going on to vibrate the body to make as much noise.

    But they can sound very good, especially if you put a bit of time into the setup. Pay particular attention to fitting the bridge snugly to the body. It's easy enough to do with a sheet of sandpaper and google is your friend.

    If you are going to go electric put on a floating humbucker and a K&K piezo. Kent Armstrong has some nice ones that will attach to the heel of the neck or a floating pickguard. That way you won't be putting holes in the top, which will erode the sound further.

    Mine is a '60's Harmony Monterey like this. Sounds and plays very well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #5
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony 1965 tenor

    I'd install a floating neck pickup like this
    https://www.amazon.com/Gretsch-Singl.../dp/B003AYO5FY

    You could do a Slimbucker, which might give you a better sound
    https://reverb.com/item/6399269-kent...-pickup-chrome

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