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View Full Version : What do you think about this deal??



mthurman52
10-24-2011, 09:14 AM
So my sister's 15th birthday is coming up in November. I got her into ukes around 6 months ago. I gave her my old Makala for her to play and now I want to buy her a new uke for her b day. I found these vintage Harmony ukes for $50 for both! Would this be an downgrade from what she has? are they worth the money?29264

dhoenisch
10-24-2011, 09:42 AM
Being a Harmony lover, I'd jump on this like white on rice. The only thing that would stop me (other than the lack of funds) is the plastic fretboards. There's nothing wrong with them, and in fact, my sister has a uke with a plastic fretboard, but I just don't like them. Still though, those are in pretty nice condition.

Dan

ukuhippo
10-24-2011, 10:09 AM
The Lanikai, the Guild and those two for 50 dollar.
Life isn't fair.

Hippie Dribble
10-24-2011, 02:24 PM
for $50 I'd grab them both! But my experience with these (I have one exactly the same) is that the fretboards aren't very smooth players and a little harsh on the fingertips, also the sound is quite thin. That said, they're good collector ukes.

zac987
10-24-2011, 02:31 PM
I've owned a plastic fretboard Harmony, and my experience with it wasn't too great. Like Jon said, the fretboard is difficult to maneuver and the sound is very thin. It's also laminate, so I don't believe there would be any advantage over the Makala honestly.

hmgberg
10-24-2011, 02:51 PM
I saw this "deal" myself. It is tempting, but as has been said, these are not such great players. I have a Harmony Roy Smeck (solid mahogany, wood fretboard) and that's a good uke - I paid $26.50 for it. I also have a laminated one with the plastic fretboard and it is dull sounding, not fun to play. My first uke was a Kala laminate mahogany. I think it cost about $45.00. It is much better than the laminate harmony.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
10-24-2011, 03:47 PM
My plastic-fretboard laminate Harmony sounds great. But I've played a few that sounded meh. But, an old Harmony is cooler than a Makala, and at $50 for the pair, the price is better, too. I'd go for it if I were you.

Little Plink
10-24-2011, 04:26 PM
I've never come into an actual encounter with Harmony ukes, but their semi-hollowbody guitars are fantastic. As I understand it, Harmony was a bit of a budget line, like Silvertone and Airline. That's not to say that they didn't make good instruments, but a $25 ukulele seems a bit cheap to buy as an upgrade.

hmgberg
10-24-2011, 04:36 PM
Harmony made a ton of ukuleles. The Silvertones and Airlines were actually made by Harmony, Silvertone for Sears, and Airline for Montgomery Ward. Harmony ukuleles range wildly in quality. Most of what you see with the plastic fretboards aren't great, in my opinion, except for the Roy Smecks, but even these are better with the frets-in-neck style boards (again, my opinion). On the other end of the spectrum are the Roy Smeck Vita Uke and the Johnny Marvin Professional Tenor, both made by Harmony and both really fine instruments.

dhoenisch
10-24-2011, 05:06 PM
It's also laminate, so I don't believe there would be any advantage over the Makala honestly.

Actually, to the best of my knowledge, those ukes are from the 50's/60's era, and should in fact be solid birch top back and sides. Harmony USA didn't start using laminates until the 70's.

Dan

hmgberg
10-25-2011, 02:09 AM
Actually, to the best of my knowledge, those ukes are from the 50's/60's era, and should in fact be solid birch top back and sides. Harmony USA didn't start using laminates until the 70's.

Dan

That's what I thought, too. But then I started to see things like this:

http://elderly.com/vintage/names/harmony-soprano-ukulele-%281950%27s%29--180U-1433.htm

Note: "laminated birch body"

I haven't checked mine, but there is a big difference between the way the definitely solid mahogany Roy Smeck and the birch one sound. The Smeck is lounder, a fuller sound, etc., by miles. If you check out some Youtube videos, you can clearly hear this. I'd rather have 1 Smeck than 4 of the others.

dhoenisch
10-25-2011, 05:03 PM
Huh... learned me something new.

Dan