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Thread: the Harmony Batwing

  1. #1
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default the Harmony Batwing

    Looked at a Batwing in a music store and thought it would be good if someone built a replica that was a good mandolin.

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    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    Looked at a Batwing in a music store and thought it would be good if someone built a replica that was a good mandolin.
    Agreed but one that has a brake angle at bridge.

  3. #3
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    I've given this some thought too and here are a few of my ideas.

    1) Build a decent replica shape but with nice carved top and back. and without that crazy neck block that takes up about a third of the body in the original. Build it slightly larger in size similar to what Northfield has done with the Big Mon. Offer it as a purely acoustic machine without pickup.

    2) Same as option 1) but with a slightly longer scale neck so that it can be tuned down a step and a half so that G chord becomes an E in the same way that Pete Seeger played a slightly longer scaled banjo tuned down in the same way. After all, Yank Rachell tuned his Batwing down a step and a half to make it easier to play in the key of E. This model could be even bigger in size for added bass.

    3) Offer a solid body with DeArmond pick-up for full on electrical blues mando madness!

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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Just out of curiosity, what did the music store want for the Batwing?
    Jeffrey S Wagner

  5. #5
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Quote Originally Posted by jswag View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what did the music store want for the Batwing?
    It was $400 and a little beat up.No sale.

  6. #6
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again:
    “Just because you can, does not mean, you should.”

    Saying that there is something inherently “cool” about them. Maybe it’s the inner Yank Rachell in some of us?
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    There was a small shop maker who built pretty much that body shape. IIRC it was Roland White who played one of these, thinking it was in the 1980's or '90's. The points were a little smaller, but an attractive mandolin and it sounded good in his hands.

  8. #8
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Bill Bussmann has his two point Old Wave C# model that is somewhat similar. The points aren't quite as drastically different as on the batwing. Andrew Mowry has made them as well

    And there's the Nugget asymmetric 2-point model
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  9. #9

    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflester View Post
    .....And there's the Nugget asymmetric 2-point model
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    Which is a very long way from a $400 Batwing
    Play it like you mean it.

  10. #10
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Girouard "Talon" mandolin......


    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  11. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    I think we should have an original Harmony Batwing photo posted here for comparison. Frankly, I don't think any old (or new) asymmetrical two-point is legitimately a batwing without the oddball headstock. It looks like a giant bat took a bite out of the end of the headstock. Plus it should also have those oddball soundholes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jim

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  13. #12
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Um, a nugget and a girouard..., that is a different league of thing. Might as well mention Ellis 2 point and the Sorenson Sprite... Levels of refinement far past that of the batwing.


    Is the harmony flat topped? Or pressed? It can't be carved, right...?
    Last edited by Donal H; Apr-23-2019 at 6:41am. Reason: phone-induced typos

  14. #13
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    I’ve said it before and I will say it again:
    “Just because you can, does not mean, you should.”

    Saying that there is something inherently “cool” about them. Maybe it’s the inner Yank Rachell in some of us?
    I forgot to mention another idea:

    4) Solid body electric 10 string tuned CGDAE. This would be the perfect axe for a proper blues power trio.

  15. #14
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    I love the Girouard Talon and a search on Google revealed a black one that sold on Reverb featuring an owl on the headstock with mice as fret markers. Very cool!

    With that in mind, I'd love to see a Harmony replica with a similar theme on the headstock and fretboard, maybe an ugly looking bat's head on the headstock with bats in flight for fret markers similar to a PRS guitar.

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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Here are some photos of the Batwing in my collection. Although these instruments do not seem to be held in high regard at the MC I like mine for the unique design. Plays in tune, good intonation, beautiful warm finish and MOP block inlays. It has a sweet, smooth sound and is nice on some solo type tunes. Only one year where they wrote Harmony on the headstock and the pick guard. The neck screws on so yes there is certainly room for improvement with the design.
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  17. #16

    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Whether it's a player or not that is one cool instrument.
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    Plus a few lower end I have had for years

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  19. #17
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    I have a John Sebastian cd that Yank played on and there is a photo of him with a new Flatiron

  20. #18
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    Hud,
    I think they are pretty cool, they are not earth shattering by any stretch of the imagination but, the cool factor is massive!

    Yours is “Factory fresh” too! Very cool indeed.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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  22. #19
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: the Harmony Batwing

    I'd love to see Jamie Curtis take this on. Early in his career he built several KayKraft-shaped instruments (mandolin, mandocello, probably some others) that were fully carved and sounded quite nice.
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