Newest Gas: Harmony Reissues (made In The Same Factory As Heritage In Kalamazoo, Mi).

Discussion in 'Gear Chat' started by golem, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    Heritage was the original Gibson Custom Shop (NOT the Gibson factory!)
    They were Gibson's finest craftsmen who refused to move to Nashville at Henry's behest.
    That was back in the mid 1980's. I remember it well because my best friend at the time
    was a manager at the Gibson Nashville plant. (N4KKT for those who are into such things. :) )
     
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  2. jwguitar

    jwguitar Active Member

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    The Supro guitars now are really high quality. They are made in Indonesia and their prices aren't all that bad considering the guitar you get. I saw these new harmony guitars reacently. Something about them doesn't excite me as much as the supros do. It seems they are almost too striped down and they are selling for far too much.
     
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  3. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    I've played the Supros in stores. Nice guitars and I like the aesthetic, but the quality and features didn't seem to match the regular prices I've seen.

    I'll admit that part of the reason I think the price for the Harmony is reasonable is the specs (nitro paint, locking tuners, nice hardware) and part of it is that it's being built by the same people who make Heritage guitars (excellent reputation).
     

  4. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    There's this guy named Cesar Rojas that plays one. It sounds killer too. ;) Bet his was cheaper than $1300.
     
  5. mighty_duck

    mighty_duck Well-Known Member

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    Also from that article:
    The Harmony Guitar Company ceased in 1975,[3] and sold the Harmony name.

    There seems to be very little (manufacturing) relation between the pre-1975 guitars (made in Chicago), the cheap imports in the 80's, and the current batch of Kalamazoo made instruments. Take the "Est 1892" with a grain of salt.
    https://chasingguitars.com/harmony-history/

    Dan Aurbach of the Black Keys uses a vintage H78
    4a8338a20e9af4f0bf90f9e1854dcee7.jpg

    dd19e852bb1131c81379d8d3ce0bfae0.jpg
     
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  6. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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  7. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  8. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    My H-575 wasn't flawless but otherwise a great sounding guitar. Heritage fans have mixed feelings about the buyout. No one has said the quality has suffered.
     
  9. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    That has no meaning without the number of guitars made...is that 1%, 10%, 25%, who knows. If they are shooting for 6 sigma quality levels (99.99997% good product), you need to remove the human element from the manufacturing process completely, at which point you would be better off going over to Asia and setting up a factory like what makes the Classic Vibe line.

    The problem with a process with many steps (building a guitar) is that there is a scrap rate associated with each step, if you have a step with a high scrap rate towards the end of the process that results in a throwaway guitar, you fix that step first by putting your more skilled folks there and put the lesser folks in a spot where they can't ruin the guitar. Maybe the "craftsmen" associated with that step were replaced with a machine (ideal fix from a manufacturing standpoint), maybe they weren't trained long enough, maybe they can't hire the same quality worker that Gibson could back in the day, who knows.

    However making a line of historically "cheap" guitars likely using the same process as any factory in Asia really doesn't impress me. A Heritage is/was desireable because it was built the way they did it when Gibson was still in Kalamazoo. If I just wanted a Les Paul style guitar made by a machine, I could get an Edwards or some other Japanese brand that would cost a fraction and offer everything I want including the body shape and headstock of the real deal.
     
  10. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    I know the older builders who were fired or quit complained about moving the use of CNC and Plek as part of the changes. Pin routing is dangerous and not particularly highly skilled (per Dennis Fano) so CNC is an obvious improvement. I'd say Plek is an improvement too.
     
  11. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure she's to blame for vintage Bobkats being popular again.

     

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