6/07/2014

c.1940 Harmony-made PMICo Vogue-style Flatback Mandolin




This mandolin is essentially the same as Harmony's style number 343 "Vogue" model from their 1940 catalog. The only difference is the "PMICo" (Progressive Musical Instrument Company) retailer badge from the back of the headstock. It's a flatback design, solid spruce over solid birch, with a 13" scale and the same sunburst/Gibsonesque styling seen on the rest of Harmony's "Vogue" line (see: 00 14-fret guitar).

Work was simple on this guy: seam repairs, fret level/dress, setup, tuner lube, and replacement parts-bin ebony bridge. It plays beautifully and the fret level/dress removed a minor amount of relief in the neck. It has a great, loud, old-time sort of sound that would work well for that as well as blues. I've got it strung really light with 32w-9 GHS "extra light" strings as these old Harmony products tend to be under-built and besides... who needs heavier stuff? This is such a responsive instrument it doesn't need it.




I love the look of the firestripe-y pickguard on the sunburst. It's classy.


Original bone nut...


...and pearl dot markers in a dyed-maple board.


The Martin-y looking rosette is a nice touch and the lightly sanded-down edge of the soundhole gives this a sort of upscale look compared to the usually flat-cut soundholes Harmony typically employs.


I compensated this pretty shallow old ebony bowlback bridge to work for this mando. It's not very tall because the top itself has a decent "dome" to its shape.


Amazingly, all the original hardware save the original bridge is in good shape and all there.



Did I mention, also, no cracks? That's remarkable!


These tuners work and hold pitch quite well.






It also comes with its original chip case which is in good shape and ready to go.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

sounds sweet. somebody is going to get an nice instrument.

Benjie Weaver said...

I just picked one up. Just wondering how much they are worth?

Thanks