These Chicago made, formerly cheap guitars have been really hot on the vintage market lately. Players are finding out that solid American made electronics and kitschy visual appeal can do a lot for tonal experimentation. Finding the right one might be easier than you think.

1965 Harmony H-82 Rebel-002

Most of these Harmony guitars can be had for under $1k so there’s room for more than just one. Make sure to look for an adjustable truss rod and the right pickup arrangement for your desired tone. A single pickup in the neck position is common but I recommend springing for the two or even three pickup versions. My favorite pickups are the DeArmond Golden Tone usually just called gold foils. There are two different versions of this pickup, one with adjustable poles and one without. Being able to to adjust the height of the poles is nice but not always that necessary.

Dan Auerbach, St. Vincent and Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) are just a few of the many professional artists playing these Chicago made electrics. Some of the popular models are the Silvertone 1454, Harmony Bobkat, Harmony Rocket and the Harmony Rebel. The Harmony Rebel pictured now tours the world with the guitarist for a popular country/rock band. If you haven’t tried one of these guitars then you’re missing out!

This article has 2 comments

  1. bruce Reply

    I have a 1960 Harmony Meteor with 2 DeArmond gold foil pickups. This guitar has tons of mojo! Set up perfectly and plays great! Everyone should try these truly unique American made guitars.

Selling a guitar? Have something to say? Comment below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *