1985 Silverburst Harmony Les Paul Copy

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by LPGeoff, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. LPGeoff

    LPGeoff Senior Member

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    Harmony Est. 1892 Model H90D (Deluxe)
    Japanese built? circa 1985
    Rare Silverburst color
    22 Frets
    Rosewood fretboard
    4 Bolt neck
    Chrome Hardware
    Plastic Trapezoid Inlays
    Bone nut

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    This isn't an American made Harmony but an Asian built Harmony (Est. 1892) LP copy. When Harmony went out of business, an Asian company bought the Harmony Est. 1892 name and started making guitars with this name. It's pretty cheaply built compared to real Harmony guitars from the 60's.

    Although the construction is nearly the same as the Fujigen built Ibanez PF100 & PF200 with the bolt on neck, Alder body and cheap veneer top wrapped over blocks of wood. It's not a carved top. It sounds hollow if you knock on it between the pickups. :laugh2::laugh2:

    It doesn't sound very good mostly b/c the stock pickups sound like an AM radio set next to a microphone. We keep it around for sentimental reasons since he bought it from an old friend of ours who's in his 80's now.

    The boy was rummaging through his collection of 30+ guitars (mostly vintage Peaveys) and came across this. He was looking for his first LP and he loved the Silverburst so he eventually talked him out of it. We've seen this same model before online but only in the Vintage Sunburst color, never in the Silverburst. We've talked about upgrading pickups and getting it playing again but for now it sits in it's OHSC.
     
  2. Rock

    Rock Senior Member

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    I just found this website a few days ago and joined. This is my first post and I'll start right here because it's not technical and I see someone with a Harmony Silverburst copy like I have. First, like I said, I have that guitar! As well as two of the sunburst versions. As well as a real 1991 Gibson Les Paul Standard if that is a prerequisite to get in here.

    My first Harmony fell and the neck broke. I sanded the neck down to look like a Gibson. Bad move. It is high in the heal block for a reason. After I found out that gluing the neck worked I had to put tons, and tons of paper to get the heel back to were it was. The action is way high still so I use it for slide.

    Harmony Sunburst 2 is not bad. Super, super heavy and the neck feels like a baseball bat. On this one the back pickup died and I put in a Fender single coil. I get single coil sound with the weight and wood of a LP copy. I wired it out of phase and added an epiphone b-bender for country stuff. I think I have some mp3s of it some where done in the 90's (without the b-bender.)

    The one you have is my favorite of the three. I love the Silverburst look. I can't find anything about it on line. It is the lightest of my three copies. It squeals at high volumes so I took out the bridge pickup and put in a Carvin high output pickup (M22SD.) It still squeals. I think I'll try shielding some time. The action is way high and very hard to play in standard tuning so I keep this one you have tuned down to D. It's awesome at D tuning. It becomes super easy to play and bend strings at this tuning. It sounds mean and warm in D tuning and because the action was so high it can handle the drop tuning with no problem. I think I might have some mp3 clip from the 90s of that one too somewhere.

    I stopped playing for years after I hurt my hand and I'm just getting back into it (jonesing for a Les Paul Traditional bad.) So, if I have any recordings at all of any of these Harmony Les Paul copies it's all from the 80's and 90's.
     
  3. lpplayer

    lpplayer Senior Member

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    you know...I just posted on another thread about the Harmony LP I used to have....

    Mine was just like this, only in Sunburst. Got it for Christmas from the JC Penney Christmas Catalog. Came in a package deal with a Harmony 10 watt amp. The guitar is gone, but I still have the amp, and it still works. Has volume, tone, and tremolo controls...actually sounds halfway decent!

    That hollow sound you hear between the pickups is a bubble. Mine had one. Strange yours has actual humbuckers. Mine were single coils inside the covers.
     
  4. Rock

    Rock Senior Member

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    Yeah, I got all my Harmony LP Copies from the JCPenny Christmas Catalog at the time. I couldn't afford the real thing. I never got the amp though. I didn't know anything about that. I used a Stratolin 530 with built in tremolo with those at the time.

    I know what you mean about the pickups. The Sunburst LPs came out before the Silverburst H90D. When my Harmony LP 2 lost it's pickup I took it apart to see if I could fix it and noticed that it was actually a single coil housed in a humbucking pickup cover. Yet, by the time the H90D Silverburst came out (the one pictured above) they moved to true humbuckers for that. If you look at the picture it is open covered. I don't think you can hide a single coil with an open cover like you see above. When then had the chrome pickup cover that's when they hid the single coil and made you think it was 'buggers.

    I don't know if you remember but I think it was JCPenny that offered unknown guitars with real Dimarzio pickups in them. They never told you the name of the guitar but they made sure they told you that the guitar came with Dimarzio pickups.
     
  5. lpplayer

    lpplayer Senior Member

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    Oh sure I remember! I think it was a natural finished double cutaway, with stripes in the middle of the body of the guitar, kind of a neck-thru body thing. Black open coil DiMarzios. The most expensive guitar on the page!

    I also had a JC Penney Harmony copy of a Gibson "The Paul". Two (real) open coil humbuckers, dark brown finish, toggle switch down by the volume and tone knobs.
     
  6. Rock

    Rock Senior Member

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    Yes, I think remember one of them at least. I wish I still had the catalog to reference back. I remember (I think) a dark guitar with a couple of light maple looking stripes down the middle of the guitar. That one was the most expensive and it had open DiMarzio pickups in it which was why it was most likely the most expensive. I wanted that one because of the pickups but I think that one was too much money at the time. I think the Harmony Les Paul copy was only $99 back in 85.
     
  7. lpplayer

    lpplayer Senior Member

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    Yep- you are correct! The LP and 10 watt amp package was $110.00.
     
  8. Rock

    Rock Senior Member

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    Maybe I did get the Les Paul package back then? I don't really remember that far back. I do remember having the LP copy and a Stradolin amp. I know I didn't get the amp at any music store so I must have gotten the Les Paul package deal of guitar and amp. I just forgot. I still have both. The amp was total bad with the Boss Heavy Metal pedal I was using at the time but years later I tried the amp on it's own and it's not bad at all. It needed a Tube Screamer back then (if anything) not a Boss Heavy Metal pedal.
     
  9. lpplayer

    lpplayer Senior Member

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    The amp with the package was a Harmony amp.
     
  10. Rock

    Rock Senior Member

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    Well I give then. Maybe it was a separate purchase on the same page as the Les Paul copies. I think I had a new amp with the first Les Paul copy. It must have been on the same page but not the one offered as a Harmony Les Paul package deal.

    I found some old Christmas catalogs on line but they only have up to 1976 JCPenney. They do have up to the 90s in Sears though. I found my bass guitar pictured in the 1991 Sears catalog. They had a different name pictured on the head stock. The one I got looked exactly the same (P/J Bass combo) but the one they sent was a CMI bass. Again, I can't find anything on CMI basses. There was an old company called CMI out of Chicago but that's not the bass I got. It can't be the same company. This one has to be out of Asia somewhere I would think. It too isn't bad. The action is higher but it sounds like a bass. I tried a few Fender P basses at a music store once and it sounded like mine except the Fender was easier to play and had more of slap sound because the action was so low that the strings slapped against the frets. My bass is higher so you can do that whole slap bass thing and you just hear the note not the hitting of string against board.
     
  11. mikeyamusic

    mikeyamusic Junior Member

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    This is great! I have one of these I got as a gift for my bday back in like '85. Was my 2nd or 3rd guitar I think. I played the crap out of it over the years, changed the pickups and used it as a backup for awhile, yet it still looks only slightly used. Have been lookin for info on it but yeah, the silverburst is really rare! Thanks for posting this, the seach is over for me.
     
  12. Angelloveguitars

    Angelloveguitars Senior Member

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    I have had a late 70s early 80s Harmony in original blue finish, mine has a a carved top. The fat neck was hard rock Maple, i don't know what the body wood was. But it sounds good !! mine is heavy as a real Gibson Les Paul...
    She was my player, after guitar was played in many gigs, shows, and studios, i up graded it to Grover tuners and Gotoh Bridge and lightweight tailpiece, all of these nickel hardware, 70s 80s Gibson Pat# at the bridge position and a SD 59B at the neck... i had my luthier glued on set neck then bolt on without the neck plate, the 4 screw holes were hide deeper under the refinish. I refinish my Harmony to Jet black beauty... it's just my old beautiful guitar with a lot of sweet memories, also i upgraded the pots to Gibson CTS 500K and Gibson tone caps. The headstock was customized to a Gibson MOP w/ a Les Paul decal, Gibson Truss rod and MOP inlays on the rosewood fretboard. Now, it sounds greater and feels very nice w/ low action set up... it's 8/10 to a real Gibson Les Paul.



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  13. Angelloveguitars

    Angelloveguitars Senior Member

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    :laugh2:... here was the outdoor pic of my Harmony Les Paul :thumb:

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  14. captain von rat

    captain von rat Senior Member

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    that shape looks a bit off?
     
  15. steadyriot

    steadyriot Senior Member

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    Off from what?
     
  16. BGD

    BGD Senior Member

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    Off from a Les Paul. The cutaway is different.
     
  17. steadyriot

    steadyriot Senior Member

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    Well it's not a real one is it? =D :thumb:
     
  18. Angelloveguitars

    Angelloveguitars Senior Member

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    Yeap, it is a little different at the horn shape, because it is a vintage Harmony les paul. I upgraded her to Gibson Parts and high quality hardware, also see the truss rod and open book headstock? those were customized by my luthier. It's a nice Les Paul copy, better than some of the new Gibson les Paul standard for me. :laugh2:
     
  19. BobOH

    BobOH Junior Member

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    Hi all,First post here.Bumping this old post about the silver burst harmony because I just bought one for 20 bucks.It looked like it had been in a fire but only took smoke damage,Well can not call it damage because it cleaned off pretty easy and this thing looks like it has never been played.I can`t find any wear on any of the frets or fretboard at all not a single mark,the only damage is a tunning key is broke and a couple minor dings.I was just wondering if anyone still had there`s and are they worth anything in like new condition?
     
  20. Stevej

    Stevej Junior Member

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    I'm staring at the JCP Les right in front of me... Just unboxed it from my gf parents house. Prob not worth much, can't find a serial number anywhere...
     

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