1958 Harmony H-1203

The vintage gear forum, named in honour of the hundreds of people left vintage samick guitars in an estate....

Moderators: Slowy, Capt. Black

User avatar
kdawg2a
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 2757
meble-kuchenne.warszawa.pl
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Location: Christchurch
Has liked: 209 times
Been liked: 662 times

1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by kdawg2a »

Just picked up this little, well worn jem.....
phpMk71quPM.jpg
phpMk71quPM.jpg (11.51 KiB) Viewed 1327 times
php30qikMPM.jpg
php30qikMPM.jpg (13.83 KiB) Viewed 1327 times
phpEVwHUQPM.jpg
phpEVwHUQPM.jpg (10.65 KiB) Viewed 1327 times
1958 Harmony H-1203 'western' acoustic. OO sized body, fat neck, Sitka spruce top, Brazilian rosewood board, Honduran mahogany back (1 piece), sides and neck (1 piece).
This thing is well played but really sings. Great action and projection .
The quality of the wood is unreal, if it was a Martin or Gibson it would be priced beyond the realms of us mere mortals!
It kind of matches my Martin D-35 in the looks department so I'm a happy man.
Right, off to walk the railway tracks while I lay down some blues picking.....
:wave:

User avatar
robthemac
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 1398
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:47 pm
Has liked: 512 times
Been liked: 300 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by robthemac »

Dibs.

User avatar
Bg
Site Admin
Posts: 35770
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:13 am
Location: Auckland
Has liked: 1868 times
Been liked: 2820 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by Bg »

You've been ripped, the jem should have a monkey grip!

Unless you mean 'gem' :P
"What constitutes a porn addiction"
"I'd say when you keep watching after you've finished"

User avatar
kdawg2a
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Location: Christchurch
Has liked: 209 times
Been liked: 662 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by kdawg2a »

Bg wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:30 am
You've been ripped, the jem should have a monkey grip!

Unless you mean 'gem' :P
I meant like 'jem and the holograms '.

Top show.
:wave:

User avatar
Bg
Site Admin
Posts: 35770
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:13 am
Location: Auckland
Has liked: 1868 times
Been liked: 2820 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by Bg »

kdawg2a wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:58 am
Bg wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:30 am
You've been ripped, the jem should have a monkey grip!

Unless you mean 'gem' :P
I meant like 'jem and the holograms '.

Top show.
nice try ;)
"What constitutes a porn addiction"
"I'd say when you keep watching after you've finished"

User avatar
k1w1
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 1136
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Hutt
Has liked: 93 times
Been liked: 306 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by k1w1 »

Nice score. They are great pickers. I have the Fender branded version and the 12 string version as well. Yeah the woods are top notch, one piece mahogany backs on all this line. My Fender has the most amazing bear claw spruce top.

User avatar
kdawg2a
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Location: Christchurch
Has liked: 209 times
Been liked: 662 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by kdawg2a »

[quote=k1w1 post_id=880847 time=1604980817 user_id=1027]
Nice score. They are great pickers. I have the Fender branded version and the 12 string version as well. Yeah the woods are top notch, one piece mahogany backs on all this line. My Fender has the most amazing bear claw spruce top.
[/quote]

K1W1, ma man! I knew this thread would interest you!
As the very well respected NZ expert of these cool and underrated American guitars, I have a question.
Here's the action at the nut end....[attachment=2]phpdG1WtmAM.jpg[/attachment]
Nice and playable. Here's the action at the heel end...[attachment=1]phpOiwgxIAM.jpg[/attachment]
Still playable but could be lowered.
Here's the bridge/ saddle....[attachment=0]phpHaCL5XAM.jpg[/attachment]
As you can see, the saddle has a bit of height to it and could be gently filed to lower the action. There's pretty minimal bellying (especially considering it's a 60+ year old guitar) so would that be the action you would take? Lowering the saddle will also reduce the break angle over the saddle, would that effect the tone?
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!
Attachments
phpHaCL5XAM.jpg
phpHaCL5XAM.jpg (8.73 KiB) Viewed 1181 times
phpOiwgxIAM.jpg
phpOiwgxIAM.jpg (9.35 KiB) Viewed 1181 times
phpdG1WtmAM.jpg
phpdG1WtmAM.jpg (8.64 KiB) Viewed 1181 times
:wave:

User avatar
Miza
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 1655
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: Hamilton
Has liked: 213 times
Been liked: 61 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by Miza »

kdawg2a wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:58 am
Bg wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:30 am
You've been ripped, the jem should have a monkey grip!

Unless you mean 'gem' :P
I meant like 'jem and the holograms '.

Top show.
"We are the Misfits; our songs are better!" :lol:
Nothing to see here.

User avatar
k1w1
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 1136
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Hutt
Has liked: 93 times
Been liked: 306 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by k1w1 »

Can you take a measurement of the fret top to under the string at the 12th fret and a photo of the neck heel side on and one with a ruler beside the side of the saddle to get a height.

Most of these old girls of any brand need a reset but it looks like you could shave 1mm off the saddle and still have a reasonable height and break angle. I have reset all mine, the 12 string is still waiting for me to pull the neck.

User avatar
Mini Forklift
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 5697
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:15 pm
Location: South Island
Has liked: 1496 times
Been liked: 1183 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by Mini Forklift »

That looks awesome, nice score
Our heroes who art in heaven, Hendrix, Bloomfield, King et al be thy names. Thy inspiration come. Thy will be played loudly, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our guitars & amps and forgive us our purchases, as we forgive those who have gone digital.

User avatar
kdawg2a
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Location: Christchurch
Has liked: 209 times
Been liked: 662 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by kdawg2a »

k1w1 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:01 pm
Can you take a measurement of the fret top to under the string at the 12th fret and a photo of the neck heel side on and one with a ruler beside the side of the saddle to get a height.

Most of these old girls of any brand need a reset but it looks like you could shave 1mm off the saddle and still have a reasonable height and break angle. I have reset all mine, the 12 string is still waiting for me to pull the neck.
phpFlqOhyAM.jpg
phpFlqOhyAM.jpg (11.67 KiB) Viewed 897 times
phpCezBDsAM.jpg
phpCezBDsAM.jpg (11.62 KiB) Viewed 897 times
php8jvmnzAM.jpg
php8jvmnzAM.jpg (12.54 KiB) Viewed 897 times
Sorry, I had to use a ruler with inches. Damned Imperial heathens!
12th fret is 4mm, bridge is 11mm. The heel looks worse in the photo than it does in person.
My plan is to lower the saddle by 1-1.5mm. The guitar is actually pretty playable up high (nut end is lovely, very low action) but taking it down a touch can only help. I'll remove the Waverly tuners too, give them a clean up and re-grease. They function ok but could definitely use some maintenance.
:wave:

User avatar
kdawg2a
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Location: Christchurch
Has liked: 209 times
Been liked: 662 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by kdawg2a »

K1W1, would this semi compensated saddle be original?
phpjicryJPM.jpg
phpjicryJPM.jpg (13.44 KiB) Viewed 846 times
Check out the checking!
phpn7z58RPM.jpg
phpn7z58RPM.jpg (10.11 KiB) Viewed 846 times
:wave:

User avatar
k1w1
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 1136
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Hutt
Has liked: 93 times
Been liked: 306 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by k1w1 »

I reckon you could drop the saddle height by that much. The neck is still tight to the body which is good, these usually have a gap at the bottom as they pull up over time.

No that is a replacement saddle. I was going to say consider making a new one, that doesn't fit the slot tight and has been shimmed at the front and is tilting forward. It would pay to square up the saddle slot sides and make a tighter fit, you can get those compensated saddles at most guitar shops and sand to fit.

These tuning pegs work great with cleaning up, I usually wipe the gears and base plate with naptha then soak overnight in 3 in 1 oil, wipe down and reassemble. Take care to keep the buttons out of the oil.

vinylguy
Greg Bennet
Greg Bennet
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:24 pm
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 4 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by vinylguy »

That looks like my old one, did you buy it off a guy in Chch who bought it from a guy in Nelson ?

User avatar
kdawg2a
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Location: Christchurch
Has liked: 209 times
Been liked: 662 times

Re: 1958 Harmony H-1203

Post by kdawg2a »

vinylguy wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 6:42 pm
That looks like my old one, did you buy it off a guy in Chch who bought it from a guy in Nelson ?
Nope. Got it in the U.S.
:wave:

Post Reply