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  1. #1

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    Here's the story:

    I've always wanted a Harmony H62, love the look of it, love that it's a solid top, the scale (25"), also that it has a "working man/regular dude" vibe to it since it's relatively affordable. Finally was able to get one last month, here it is (along with my Univox U45B):
    In love with my Harmony H62, except when plugged in, need advice-20210122_104921-jpg
    (Sorry the pic is sideways, couldn't figure out how to fix that)

    Love playing this thing, can't put it down, great action, no fret buzz etc. I'm working on jazz chord solos, and it's working out great for that...but as noted in the subject heading, the problem is I'm not digging the sound plugged in.

    Lots to unpack here (amp types, speakers, tubes, etc., etc.), but the upshot here is I've played it through a few amps - my old Univox, Fender Princeton, a Valco-type thing - and I'm just not blown away. Putting aside amp types, the main culprit are the P13 pickups. They've got a jump blues/40's type sound which is great, but just not working for me, since I'm wanting to play jazz chord solos, more traditional jazz, etc.

    (Before you ask - and you're right to ask: I probably didn't do enough research before purchasing the guitar, I could have read about P13's, maybe wishful thinking since I wanted this guitar so badly. So, yes, mistake on my part.)

    My options:

    1. Get new pickups for this thing. Looked into getting P90's for this, but decided against it. Just don't want to go down that road, modding the thing, paying for the pickups and someone to put them in, etc.
    2. Sell the guitar and get something that fits what you want to do with guitar. Probably what I should do, but every time I pick it up and play it, it pains me to think of selling it. I absolutely love playing this guitar.
    3. Find an amp that can get me closer to the sound I want .This thing is never going to be a great guitar for chord solos, not with those pickups. But, maybe, I can get an amp that will help it out a bit. This is the option I'm leaning towards.

    So, was wondering if any of you had any thoughts on an amp that would work with P13's to give me more of a clean sound for chord solos. Looking for a one-speaker amp, preferably 12" (10" is possible), preferably tube (might use the amp for clean rock stuff).

    This is a very specific thing I'm asking about, I guess I'm really hoping someone with a guitar with P13's and plays jazz (beyond jump blues type stuff) can chime in with what they have.

    And finally, looking to commiserate...anyone have a guitar that they love but it's just not quite all there?

    Thanks if you've made it this far!

    Tom in Los Angeles

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I'm not familiar with P13s, but, when a particular amp/guitar combo isn't blowing air up my skirt, I reach for a mild OD pedal, like my Mojomojo or Bad Monkey, combined with an equalizer (I use a Danelectro Fish&Chips or my trusty TC Spark). Works every time.

  4. #3

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    I love that era of Harmony guitars. Their higher-end guitars are not quite the equivalent of Guild and Gibson, but they have their own vibe and are good guitars in their own way.

    Here are a couple of thoughts, and maybe others can chime in.

    Try an acoustic amp. My Fishman Artist has a switch for high-output and lower output pickups, and also has an adjustable tweeter control. It may be that playing this through a flatter response amp will help with the clarity of the notes.

    You might try Monel (nickel/copper) strings, which would have been appropriate for vintage pickups. (I have no experience with such.)

    You could also consider ADDING a pickup--a floating bridge pickup like the Fishman ProArc. You could blend the tone into your amp--again an acoustic amp with 2 inputs would be ideal for this.

    I was thinking you might be able to add a floater, but not sure there's enough clearance above the neck pickup. You could put a floater even the RC1000 between the pickups, though that's not the typical location of course.

  5. #4

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    BTW re' photos it's been my observation that if you edit the raw photo from your Apple device in iPhoto and save that, when you insert it it will be right-side up. If you insert the "raw" JPG it will often be sideways.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by TPMCD
    Here's the story:

    I've always wanted a Harmony H62, love the look of it, love that it's a solid top, the scale (25"), also that it has a "working man/regular dude" vibe to it since it's relatively affordable. Finally was able to get one last month, here it is (along with my Univox U45B):
    In love with my Harmony H62, except when plugged in, need advice-20210122_104921-jpg
    (Sorry the pic is sideways, couldn't figure out how to fix that)

    Love playing this thing, can't put it down, great action, no fret buzz etc. I'm working on jazz chord solos, and it's working out great for that...but as noted in the subject heading, the problem is I'm not digging the sound plugged in.

    Lots to unpack here (amp types, speakers, tubes, etc., etc.), but the upshot here is I've played it through a few amps - my old Univox, Fender Princeton, a Valco-type thing - and I'm just not blown away. Putting aside amp types, the main culprit are the P13 pickups. They've got a jump blues/40's type sound which is great, but just not working for me, since I'm wanting to play jazz chord solos, more traditional jazz, etc.

    (Before you ask - and you're right to ask: I probably didn't do enough research before purchasing the guitar, I could have read about P13's, maybe wishful thinking since I wanted this guitar so badly. So, yes, mistake on my part.)

    My options:

    1. Get new pickups for this thing. Looked into getting P90's for this, but decided against it. Just don't want to go down that road, modding the thing, paying for the pickups and someone to put them in, etc.
    2. Sell the guitar and get something that fits what you want to do with guitar. Probably what I should do, but every time I pick it up and play it, it pains me to think of selling it. I absolutely love playing this guitar.
    3. Find an amp that can get me closer to the sound I want .This thing is never going to be a great guitar for chord solos, not with those pickups. But, maybe, I can get an amp that will help it out a bit. This is the option I'm leaning towards.

    So, was wondering if any of you had any thoughts on an amp that would work with P13's to give me more of a clean sound for chord solos. Looking for a one-speaker amp, preferably 12" (10" is possible), preferably tube (might use the amp for clean rock stuff).

    This is a very specific thing I'm asking about, I guess I'm really hoping someone with a guitar with P13's and plays jazz (beyond jump blues type stuff) can chime in with what they have.

    And finally, looking to commiserate...anyone have a guitar that they love but it's just not quite all there?

    Thanks if you've made it this far!

    Tom in Los Angeles


    Try a JHS Haunting Mids pedal. It's a sweepable mid-range kind of thing that can make most any guitar/amp combination sound good, assuming you have the patience to do the experimenting. That's a really sweet axe you've got there (Congratulations, and play it in good health! ) and it would be a shame to have to modify it and put a dent in its inherent virtue.
    Anyway, love my JHS Haunting Mids! Disclaimer: I'm not really a pedal guy; swore them off for years, but have gotten a couple in my dotage. They have their uses, and an EQ tweak is one of them.

  7. #6

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    please don't make changes to that guitar!!...it's perfect the way it is...just not for you!


    you could try sinking the pickups into the body and using pure nickel strings...will definitely mellow the tone


    also try playing it into an amp that has some clean headroom...a 12" speaker that handles more power than the amp puts out is also helpful, as long as its fairly efficient


    if none of that works out...sell it to somebody that will appreciate it and get yourself what you prefer

    luck

    cheers

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74


    Try a JHS Haunting Mids pedal. It's a sweepable mid-range kind of thing that can make most any guitar/amp combination sound good, assuming you have the patience to do the experimenting. That's a really sweet axe you've got there (Congratulations, and play it in good health! ) and it would be a shame to have to modify it and put a dent in its inherent virtue.
    Anyway, love my JHS Haunting Mids! Disclaimer: I'm not really a pedal guy; swore them off for years, but have gotten a couple in my dotage. They have their uses, and an EQ tweak is one of them.
    Thanks for this suggestion! Yeah, I try to stay away from pedals simply because I can't stand the added noise (I know they don't all do that, but I'm not very patient!), but this sounds good - what we're talking about is an EQ thing, so maybe this might be an easy, wallet-friendly (if not perfect) fix. Thanks!

  9. #8

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    If it's an EQ thing, then get an EQ that can do anything. I'd recommend Empress ParaEQ or something similar. Put it in the effects loop if you don't like a floor pedal. I had a Quilter Aviator 8 that didn't 'blow air up my skirt' until I did that. No noise. Just plenty of problem solving power. It's like the tone-stack is now yours to re-design with no need for a soldering iron.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    please don't make changes to that guitar!!...it's perfect the way it is...just not for you!


    you could try sinking the pickups into the body and using pure nickel strings...will definitely mellow the tone


    also try playing it into an amp that has some clean headroom...a 12" speaker that handles more power than the amp puts out is also helpful, as long as its fairly efficient


    if none of that works out...sell it to somebody that will appreciate it and get yourself what you prefer

    luck

    cheers
    Thanks for the comment; yep, I agree, I'm not going to mod this thing. Interesting you mentioned lowering the pickups - the only thin wrong with this guitar is that the top has sagged a bit, so the pickups were actually too low. I cut out some rubber rings and put them under the existing rings to raise the pickups up a bit (I've read raising the pole pieces doesn't do much with these pickups). But, you might have something there, maybe I'll play with the pickup height more.

    Regarding the amp, I agree. I think something with a bit more power than my 12-watt funky little Univox might help. The guitar did sound better through a Princeton reissue with the 12" speaker, maybe I'll look into a Deluxe Reverb reissue. Thanks again.

  11. #10

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    I really like P13s.
    They seem to vary as much as early P90s but they are VERY particular about which amp you plug them into. An amp input impedance thing as much as EQ voicing.
    in my experience they sound great through 50s Valcos, tweed Fenders, pre-60s Gibson amps, Danelectro, etc. They’re at their dullest and least impressive through something like a blackface Fender or a solid-state amp, much like Valco pickups.
    Through the right amp they sound every bit as articulate as P90s, only the characteristic midrange “hump” of the P90 is shifted lower and extends into the bass.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TPMCD
    I guess I'm really hoping someone with a guitar with P13's and plays jazz (beyond jump blues type stuff) can chime in with what they have.
    These guitars excel at jump blues, but there’s a reason you rarely see them used in other genres.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by monochord71
    I really like P13s.
    They seem to vary as much as early P90s but they are VERY particular about which amp you plug them into. An amp input impedance thing as much as EQ voicing.
    in my experience they sound great through 50s Valcos, tweed Fenders, pre-60s Gibson amps, Danelectro, etc. They’re at their dullest and least impressive through something like a blackface Fender or a solid-state amp, much like Valco pickups.
    Through the right amp they sound every bit as articulate as P90s, only the characteristic midrange “hump” of the P90 is shifted lower and extends into the bass.