10/21/2016

1960s Harmony H8010 Archtop Mandolin



This H8010 (late 60s/early 70s -- no date stamp) appears to be a continuation of the all-solid birch, pressed-top, A-style mandolins Harmony had been making with "faux sunburst" finishes since the late 1930s. As such, it's not a bad instrument at all but it's quite vanilla. Compared to an old Gibson A-50 it'll get eaten for breakfast but compared to anything similar in the same price bracket (cheap, laminate import mandolins) it'll eat those for breakfast if the setup-side work is done correctly.

I did the necessary work to get this playing again which included a fret level/dress, a new rosewood bridge foot, and general setup. It's now got about 30-40% more power and punch as a result and plays spot-on with a set of 34w-10 light strings. Interestingly, these tend to have 14" scale lengths.


Aside from the bridge foot, this is all-original and even has its Waverly "cloud" tail cover.



Brass frets in a stained-maple board... but the neck is straight! We also added side-dots.





The tuners on these later Harmony mandos are nice, high-ratio (feels like 20:1 or greater) units which are incredibly-superior to anything on the earlier ones. They are a bit stiff, however.



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