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Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar

05 Jan 05 - 04:24 PM (#1372337)
Subject: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

I've had this baby for a couple of years now, and it vexes me that I know nothing about her except how sweet she sounds, in the dark late at night...

Take a look and share any 411 ya might have would ya?

Ta

:-)


05 Jan 05 - 04:46 PM (#1372360)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: DonMeixner

Jeepers Clinton,

Whats to tell. Its a Harmony Tenor guitar. Looks to be about mid 60's to late 70's. They were sold in the US through catalogs like Montgomery Wards, Blue Book, and I think even Green Stamps. Generally speaking Harmony made student type intro instruments that sold widely in the US.

Harmony made sometimes good sometimes bad sometimes spectacular instruments that are as often loved as they are reviled. Tom Rush and the Harmony Sovereign JUmbo he played for years is good example.

Geopge Gruhn has a guitar blue book that may help you with value and age. I've seen them on EBay go for as little $150.00 and as much as $350.00.

I am looking for a good tenor my self.

Don


05 Jan 05 - 05:02 PM (#1372380)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

"I've seen them on EBay go for as little $150.00 and as much as $350.00"
The 'blue' book or tenor guitars? And what's a 'George Gruhn'?

" Whats to tell."
Considering that I still know not much about this specific modle, anything else anyone can tell me is appreciated as well... like why the 'date' stamp appears to show 1902???? Was that an attempt by Harmony to make newer insts. SEEM older?


05 Jan 05 - 09:47 PM (#1372665)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Songster Bob

Well, the label shows that it's late enough to have a ZIP code on the label. The "1902" is one of those mystery numbers Harmony used to confuse people (like their serial numbering "system," which may have been consistent, but reveals little about the age of the instrument in question).

I'm surprised Harmony was still making tenor guitars that late. Tenor guitars were invented to get extra work for tenor banjo players, when the music changed so that banjos were out-of-place.

I have a Harmony archtop tenor guitar (I figure it's older by 20-30 years than your flat-top one) that I sloppily configured as an octave mandolin (mandolin tuners, loop-end guitar strings, double the bridge and nut slots). It's fun, but no great shakes. It'd be an interesting addition to some acoustic mixes, sort of like a bouzouki in Irish music (not all that traditional, that).

Bob


05 Jan 05 - 11:50 PM (#1372729)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Cluin

All I can say is it's almost exactly like mine, except mine has no sunburst finish, the pickguard is more rounded, the headstock is black with a different "Harmony" logo on it (more swashy). Binding looks slightly different, especially round the soundhole. There's no label in mine and the serial number is all but unreadable. It looks like 418681200 maybe. It has a natural finish, loks to be mahogany back sides and neck. The tuners aren't original; they were replaced at some point with Grover "step-sided" machines off an archtop. Two screws through the bridge, which uses what looks to be a piece of heavy fret wire for a saddle. It was dropped at some point for there's a split along the top lower bout and the binding is cracked. And the top finish shows a lot of tiny cracks all over from temperature change, but that looks really cool on it against the natural honey-like finish. You can't see the cracks until you tilt it at an angle to the light.

So it needs a bit of work but I picked it up pretty cheap at a flea market. I'll get it into real service one day.


06 Jan 05 - 01:04 AM (#1372779)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: DonMeixner

http://www.broadwaymusicco.com/Harmony26.htm

Clinton,

Go there and look around.

Don


06 Jan 05 - 02:52 PM (#1373035)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

I have Don... that site is of no help at all...


08 Jan 05 - 02:00 PM (#1374567)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

Refresh...

Losing gigs at the rate I am, (damn recession) this thing is likely to be up for sale very soon...

So opinions on a fair price are appreciated

:-)


08 Jan 05 - 02:03 PM (#1374569)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Cluin

Make a trip to Ottawa Folklore Centre (or an e-mail enquiry). The guy behind the desk offered to buy mine from me a few years ago, though I didn't think he was willing to pay much more than I did.


08 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM (#1374572)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

Good idea dude! (d'uh... I shoulda thought of that myself!)

See... this is why I keep such chums around... they have good ideas when I'm addle-pated!


08 Jan 05 - 02:37 PM (#1374599)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: GUEST,Terry Allan Hall

Sweet! Nice little Harmony "Stella" tenor guitar...they run around $150 to $200 at the guitar shows around here.

If you ever do decide to part w/ it, contact me at tahall@flash.net, OK?


08 Jan 05 - 02:45 PM (#1374610)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: mooman

Very hard to date this from the numbers Clinton. Harmony generally (but not always)usually used a letter then two numbers then another letter, the first letter denoting the season (e.g. F for fall) the numbers the year and then a further letter as identifier (perhaps line in the factory, shift. etc.). Yours has a four figure number where the date would be under the above system (4703) as the latter part of the long number is the model number (beginning with H). If they carried the ealier logic through into numerals only, perhaps that would make your winter 1970? This is only a guess based on probably flawed logic though. Harmony stopped making acoustics in the ealy 1970s.

Regarding price...harder still!

This Harmony tenor guitar was being sold in the UK for 285 (that should be about CDN 650). There are still people actively looking for tenors here in Europe, so I would think something between about CDN 500 and 700 might be possible in Canada but of course I don't know the local market there.

This may be no use at all to you but it's all I can offer!

Peace

moo


08 Jan 05 - 02:48 PM (#1374612)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: mooman

P.S. The Harmony "Stella" usually had a Stella rather than Harmony label. There were certainly also several models of Stella tenors.

moo


08 Jan 05 - 03:21 PM (#1374635)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

Ya... it's not actually a "Stella"... it's a Harmony...

" This may be no use at all to you but it's all I can offer!"
All input is helpful at this point MM!

Ta!

:-)


08 Jan 05 - 05:10 PM (#1374730)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Mooh

Fwiw, the model HTG1201 (spruce and mahogany) retailed for $82.50US in 1972ish. 34" long and 13 1/8" wide, but with a natural finish.

Model HTG950 Monterey Tenor, HTG1215, and TG950 were archtops, unlike Clinton's.

Most seem to have been discontinued "circa 1972".

I've got an old Harmony archtop guitar which isn't readily identifiable since it was so abused before I got it. Might make a decent tenor...maybe.

Interesting search.

Peace, Mooh.


08 Jan 05 - 05:43 PM (#1374755)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Once Famous

Either way, these guitars are real low end student models with necks that could also double as baseball bats.

Plywood construction.

The only decent acoustic guitar Harmony made was it's Sovereign series.

Now, if you want a decent tenor guitar, first on the list should be a Martin 0-18T as played and made famous by Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio.


08 Jan 05 - 07:42 PM (#1374868)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

Nobody asked you for your opinion on Tenor Guitars, thanks...


08 Jan 05 - 07:49 PM (#1374876)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Cluin

The neck on mine is pretty slender. Not much larger than a mandolin really. And the sound is pretty sweet. I used it in the recording studio to do some back-up and lead work on a friend's song. Those smaller bodied guitars sound beautiful through Neumann.


08 Jan 05 - 09:53 PM (#1374933)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

The neck on mine is also very slender...   It throws me off going back to guitar after playing it for a bit...


08 Jan 05 - 11:20 PM (#1374936)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Once Famous

Well, Clinton, open your big fat mouth wide because here comes my opinion right down your bad breath throat.

It throws you off going back to guitar after playing with yourself a bit.


08 Jan 05 - 11:24 PM (#1374938)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

yawn...

So.. 1960-1974 eh... well, that's a pretty good ballpark to start in... As per Cluins good suggestion, I've emailled TOFLC... be curious to see what, if anything they have to offer...


08 Jan 05 - 11:30 PM (#1374943)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Once Famous

Thanks for reading my post, Clinton.


28 Feb 05 - 06:15 PM (#1423334)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: GUEST,pat

have an old 4 string resonator-short scale, with a Kay shaped headstock and friction tuning pegs. Do you have any idea what it may be?

Thanks!   Pat


01 Mar 05 - 11:39 AM (#1423904)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

Pat...

I suggest you visit the Yahoo Tenor Guitar Group... A specialized group of very helpful, knowledgeable people...


01 Mar 05 - 11:40 AM (#1423906)
Subject: RE: Tech: IDing a Tenor Guitar
From: Clinton Hammond

URL to same...

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/tenorguitarregistry/

:-)