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Thread: Harmony Ukulele from Chicago Any Good?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    San Jose
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    Default Harmony Ukulele from Chicago Any Good?

    My grandfather passed away and I really wanted his ukulele to start playing so I inherited it. It's a Harmony from Chicago nice condition and he probably bought it in the 40's or 50's I'm guessing. Seems like a nice ukulele but not sure, either way seems like a good one to start on and it has emotional value to me even if it's not that great. Anyone know about these?

  2. #2
    RyanMFT Guest

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    Hello and welcome to UU.

    Harmony made a ton of them but they are usually very playable ukuleles! Some are higher end than others. Harmony uke's overall were an economy uke but again, that doesn't mean you can't play and enjoy it a great deal! Post a picture as I always like seeing vintage ukuleles!

    Since it was from your family, it will always be valuable. New strings and and adjustment to the tuners if need be (adjust by turning the screw on the tuner) and it should be up and playing just fine. If you haven't played ukulele before, get a clip on tuner, and you are good to go! Here is a page with good info. about Harmony ukuleles. http://www.catfish1952.com/harmony.html

    You may want to try Aquilla strings to bring out some volume. Enjoy!
    Last edited by RyanMFT; 11-16-2011 at 07:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    San Jose
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    Ya thanks, good to know about the Aguilla strings also. I'm looking forward to getting into playing it.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2009
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    Florida Space Coast
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    I have heard several Harmonys and they all sounded pretty decent. If I had one, I wouldn't be getting rid of it any time soon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Gainesville,Ga
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    I have one from the 50's that is very playable. I put Aquilla's on and it sounds pretty loud. I hope that in the past it was played better than it is now, but we have fun.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Salt Lake City, Utah
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    I've also got a 50's Harmony with Aquilas and it's a good little player. I've found it sounds a bit better when tuned to D (ADF#B), that was the prefered tuning when those were built.
    Bettah dan poi, Bettah dan pig, Wendel's laulaus frikin big!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Capital District, New York
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    My first Uke was a 1950s Harmony my father-in-law gave me last Thanksgiving. Birch, plastic fretboard, "ADF#B" and the notes on a treble clef painted between the sound hole and the bridge (in red), and red painted "binding". The plastic tuner buttons are starting to crack, and I don't dare tighten the screws any more.


    But I put washers betweent he buttons and the wood, and changed out the strings to Kala Reds (to match the red paint) and it has a nice little sound, and looks the nuts! Won't stay in tune longer than one song, but that's why you take a break between songs, right? (g)

    All that being said, I now have two ukes I will never part with - The Harmony, and my Sceptre. In the event you decide not to keep the harmony, talk to me. I'll tell you why you should keep it.

    -Kurt
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #460 &#412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default Vintage Tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by kenikas View Post
    I've also got a 50's Harmony with Aquilas and it's a good little player. I've found it sounds a bit better when tuned to D (ADF#B), that was the prefered tuning when those were built.
    Hello, I have a vintage Harmony that is missing one of the black tuners with silver color screw. My uke has the red scrolled label so I think it's from the 30"s. Any idea where I can get a replacement vintage tuner?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Capital District, New York
    Posts
    3,832

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    Quote Originally Posted by harmony1 View Post
    Hello, I have a vintage Harmony that is missing one of the black tuners with silver color screw. My uke has the red scrolled label so I think it's from the 30"s. Any idea where I can get a replacement vintage tuner?
    I found them on eBay.
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #460 &#412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,092

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    I've had a couple of Harmony ukes.

    harmony uke.jpg
    I got this one, with a plastic fret board, at a flea market and it was quite playable. I've since given it to a kid who showed some interest.

    Roy Smeck ukulele.jpg
    This one, a Roy Smeck model, also has a plastic fret board. I keep it around for my grandson to play. Not the greatest tone, but it's also quite playable.
    Last edited by Jim Yates; 12-12-2020 at 06:13 AM.

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