Acoustic flatop - Natural
Production year(s) : 1940-1971 (other years possible, not verified)
Spruce or Cedar top (on some late models) - Stenciled rosette from 1971 - Mahogany version is H165 - older models (before ca. 57') had a different, more rounded "figure eight" body, and a "pinless" bridge. Very early models (before 1942) were sold among the "Master" line, as evidenced by the headstock logo - A very popular model, with at least 30 years of production time !
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Related to this model
54 comments | Add your comment !
- wes - 2006-09-27
My harmony has a model #2649H1 62 .
at least this is what it looks like. I think it means model H162 but does the 2649 mean anything? Just inside the body there appears to be a # s-65-IN and made in USA it is very faint and so I am not to sure.
- Harry - 2006-10-02
Bought model H162 at a local flea market recently for $25. Has many features showed in photgraphs.
Bridge has no mounting studs, clean rosewood. White celluloid around edge of soundhole, truss rod cover plate missing is only part. (Should it be black or white?) Has the shell celluloid pickguard and binding. All natural finish.
Been getting it back into shape. Neck needs to be bowed. Just deep cleaning, no hard refinishing. No cracks or serious surface damage, just expected wear, and aging.
Already have a Sears classic model bought in '65. In great shape for first guitar. Still plays nice, sounds good. Never sell it, maybe put it in my will. Along with the H162.
- BluesmanDave - 2007-03-08
My brother and I found one of these in a trash can a few years back. The older ones with the red pickguard are VERY good slide guitars. Surprisingly, it also intonates perfectly, even though the action is very high. What a great tone, too - husky, bluesy, and LOUD! I personally like high action, but you would have to have biceps on your fingers to play high up the neck for too long. It's doable, but it takes effort.
- Matt - 2007-08-28
Bought this model in 1961 in Canada for $45. Had three top frets replaced this year and am still playing it. A good 3 chord guitar due to high action which is probably higher now than when new.
- trkrodeo 41 - 2007-09-17
found one sitting in a construction site job trailer dirty, bridge falling off, nut out of alignment, and missing three strings ,iasked who it belonged to and the superintendent said it was in his garage and he just wanted to get rid of it. so i asked if i could have it and thankfully he said yes. re-attatched bridge, re-set nut, cleaned it up and strung it up. plays nice ,but action is high at bottom of neck . very nice for a freebie.
- Banjo-Tam - 2008-01-21
Got my 1970 H162 at an antique shop in North Carolina. Fantastic Bluesy Sound. Action wasn't too bad either.
- clark,&charlie marshall - 2008-01-21
I have my grandfathers h162. had problems with the bridge had to have it redone the bridge ripped off the face almost. but I had redone so that I could give to my oldest son.when it was finished it has to be the best guitar we have. and we have a few nice ones we have a taylor,my oldest has finder.my 8yr.can play it just fine every loves its sound and action.will try to send photo.
- René van den Belt - 2008-02-19
Bought an H162 ('63) and an H165 ('69) on ebay for playing slide. The H162 has the brighter sound with lots of overtones. The action on this one is good enough to play both slide and chords. I tuned it in open C (C-G-C-G-C-E) and it sounds incredible.
- Adrian - 2008-02-21
Got one of these a week ago at a used music shop that was going out of business. Neck was off, Tuners didnt turn, but it sounded great.
Got the neck set and strings added, screws removed and bridge reguled/holes plugged with bone inserts, and some of the bridge shaved off to lower action, as well as the tuners oiled and fixed up.
Plays like a beauty and sounds spectacular. My new favorite guitar, all for $150 after repairs
- T.V. - 2008-05-08
this was my first guitar, given to me by my grandmother. i love it. i'm not that good at guitar yet but this guitar has gotten me very far.
- Jeff - 2008-05-26
Mine was acquired at a yard sale for $10 around '96.
Sounds great- bluesy, warm and true. Frets well, too. Has some damage to side and top but, hey, folks are paying big money to the Fender Custom Shop for this kind of patina. Love it! And BTW, great website!
- Burn'n Vern'n - 2008-06-16
Great website! I just came upon an H162 in a junk pile waiting to go to the dump from my daughters new apartment (I guess the last tenant didn't want it anymore). The date stamp was faded and barely legible but reads either S or F-66-H so that helps. Thanks for the data. It needs strings and pins and might have a slight neck separation (I need to look closer to see how serious it is). I can't wait to try it after reading the comments on the sound. Get this...the little book that came with it was still inside the body - LOL!!!
- Johnny smash guitar - 2008-07-04
My X wife gave me one many years ago out of pity I guess. I had been a pro musician for years,and was really down on my luck; broke,and no guitar. I was amazed how good the old cheepie H162 sounded,and it looked cool too! I learned to play in open G tuing on the old beauty. Mine had the reddish pickguard,steel reinforced neck. It was great till I smashed it to pieces in moment of passion over a girlfriend. My X wasn't pleased. What a shock. I am getting another on ebay soon. Perhaps I should get several, just in case? Buy um,smash um,play um,love those old H162s!
- Jim - 2008-08-25
My first guitar, I bought it new in 1970 for $50 I think. We've been through a lot together. I don't play it much anymore, I have other guitars that keep me busy, but I have a lot of fond memories wrapped up in this one.
- wantabepicker - 2008-11-07
Found a real nice 162 ,year 1967 , on ebay . Found this website to do some research and was amazed at the nice info . Played around with an old Harmony in the mid 50's . Its just a trip looking at them . I will be biding shortly . Wish me luck .
- sterling - 2008-11-07
Just picked one of these up at a junky antique shop for $30. Date stamp is illegible but it appears to be an older model? Has a large, screw on pickguard and no truss rod, bone nut and saddle and top load bridge. Similar to photos 20 - 24 above. Super thick neck, action is ridiculously high even though the saddle has been shaved down even with the bridge. I think I'll be doing some extensive work including adding a solid truss rod, neck reset and converting the bridge to a pin bridge just for the heck of it.
- Dayinthelife77 - 2009-02-25
I bought a 1958 H162 on Ebay and had the same issue with the high action and lack of adjustability due to not having a truss-rod...
My simple solution was to remove the bridge (which is super easy, as it's attached with phillips-head screws and nuts) and to shave an 1/8" off with a hand-plane. When I put new strings on, I went with an extra-light 10-48, and now am thrilled to have a very bright, loud acoustic with the action and playability of my Gretsch Sparkle-Jet!
- John - 2009-04-04
I just brought it home a few hours ago and am happy to say that I love this guitar. I paid $40 from Guitar Center. It's a little rough around the edges and not without faults, but what 40+ year old unrestored guitar isn't? The action is super high, but the sound is worth the effort. I'll be adding this site to my favorites list.
- Donnie goodwill - 2009-05-22
i found a H162 at the local goodwill for 9 bucks,it was all scratched up,but i took it home and put some old english polish on it(probably also vintage since i've had it forever)and now it looks great AND sounds great! Best 9 bucks i ever spent,the headstock reads HARMONY MASTER in gold and there are numbers inside..S43,i don't know if that means manufactured spring 1943 or what,but i love it!
- Reg Hayes - 2009-07-09
My father bought me my H162 new in 1964 (I believe that was the year, close to if not). It was my first guitar and I played it for years and still do. I have had other guitars since but never could part with the H162. In the 1980s, I had the neck replaced with a mahogany Martin style one. The original was of poor quality wood and only had a steel rod for reinforcing the neck, no relief adjustment. I refer to the H162 as my Mar/mony now - half Martin, half Harmony. It is ladder braced and sounds particularly fine for finger picked blues. I've added a Fishman piezo pickup and have used this guitar for recordings and gigs. At some point, I want to have the back refinished, over 40 years of dings and belt buckels. I'd also like to get the excess glue out of the interior and have the rough braces hidden from view in the interior, shaped and sanded. I'm still looking for a repair person I trust for that job. So, I have a fine, all solid wood, American Made, 45 year old guitar and a reminder of my deceased Dad and his support and love for me.
- Ronald - 2009-08-22
I had just purchased my 1969 H162 along with a 1972 Stella, both in pristine condition for $75. The deal was so good I couldn't pass it up, it was like Christmas in August two guitars for the price of one lol. Anyhow I threw a new set of strings on both guitars, and I must say they both sound amazing. I ended up giving the Stella to my friend as a gift for always helping me out with things. His face lit up like a light bulb it was so awesome, he was like a little kid in a candy store when he started to play it. If you guys find any of these H162's laying around, I would grab one.
- gil - 2009-08-24
the trussrod can become broken, which is why so many of these seem to have high action, a friend asked me to see if i could lower the action on his which was extremely high, finally i took off the fingerboard, and sure enough, the 2 rods welded together had become separated at the weld. in the end i put a true truss rod into the neck, good as new. but as a word of caution, if the action seems kinda high, you may not be able to adjust it or lower if it is broken. and it seems that after so many years, many do break.
after the fix it was simply the best sounding guitar i've ever played. i didn't want to give it back. totally worth the hassle, but not for the meek.
- longhaired763 - 2009-09-16
I've had an old H162 since the mid-70's, it was my first guitar and had ben waiting patiently for more than 2 decades to have it's neck reset (it's seperating). Thanks to your site, I've finally verified it's age (after 35 years) by locating the faint date stamp; it's an early '67, date code F 67. I always loved the mellow tone of this guitar, and I will be resetting the neck within the next year. The neck feels pretty "mighty" next to my D10S, but I've never found another guitar with that mellow but punchy tone.
- Dan - 2009-09-26
I have a H162 which I bought in Midland, Texas around 1968. We lived in Big Spring, Texas and I remember my brother driving me over to the music store in Midland. I wasn't old enough to drive. We looked at the guitars hanging up high on the wall and asked the sales lady to look at one. They had both the spruce top and mahagony top. I chose a spruce top. My first guitar. String action is a bit high but at the time I didn't notice this. Binding has started to crack but still pretty much is in original shape. Can't remember the exact sales price but probably between $40 - $60. I mowed quite a few lawns to get that.
- Dave Nelson - 2010-01-04
I've had my H162 40 yrs this April. Still sounds great and looks good,too.
- Jazzdrummer - 2010-02-03
My high school girlfriend gave me an H162 back in 1968. I lost the girl (twice) but I could never part with this guitar. It's now missing a few bits an pieces, but still plays great for a $50 box. So many nice H162 stories out there.
- Codey guerra - 2010-02-09
I have this model except, that it says supro on the headstock. This guitar is all natural even the headstock. It also has tortoise shell binding,even inside the soundhole.
- Six Strings - 2010-02-13
I was out with my wife going to garage sales about 15 years ago, and walk into a garage and seen a guitar sitting in a open case. As I walked towards it, a lady cut me off and walked over to the guitar and strumed it, and all the stings were loose and she walked away. So I just walked over, closed the case, and asked how much for the guitar? And the lady said will you give me a dollar for it? I could not get my money out fast enough to pay her. I brought it home re-strung it, and it sounds and plays great, also I can not beleive how long this guitar stays in tune. I beleve the case is the original (card board style case)as well. Out of all the guitars I own, I enjoy playing this one the most. So I recomend if you have an opertunity to buy one in good shape,do it.
- 4reedom - 2010-03-04
Just picked up a 67 H162 from a guy for $25. new set of string and this thing kicks. I had a 47 stella that i used for slide style acoustic blues, this sounds blows that one out of the water. I love it!
- Dave - 2010-03-06
I picked up up one as a teenager for about $50 in or around 1970 also. My first real and learning guitar. Put nylon strings on it years later to make it easier to play and it has been my favorite guitar for years (I also own an expensive Martin!). Unbelieveable mellow tone with nylon strings and I still play it a lot.
- guillermo fuentes - 2010-04-23
I found a 1971 H162 at an antique store today.Guy had $86 on it. After a 30 second inspection he says " gimme $60 for it". It is in near new condition, plays great(minor nut work),sounds great (new D'Aquisto strings) and looks great. This is the last, great, solid wood, cheap American guitar!
- jimmie - 2010-04-26
my h162 has red pickguard and red binding around
body 41 inches long the number inside is 937h162
- Mr. Doowop - 2010-08-27
I got my H162 in 1971. It still plays guite well and is in pretty good condition. Yes the action is a bit high, but thats part of the character. I love this guitar and will keep it forever! I also have a 1967 H-77 thats in mint condition.Love those Harmony's
- RandyK - 2010-09-02
Just picked up an H162 off of Craigslist for $35. When I went to pick it up, it was unplayable and beat up but for $35, I took it anyway. I knew it needed a neck reset cause the action was crazy high and the saddle was sanded down to nothing. When I got home I noticed the neck was loose so I just glued it and clamped it for a day and was near perfect. Not the best guitar I own but it's a lot of fun and nice to have.
- Brandon - 2010-10-26
I found an H162 in good playing condition in a Newport News-area shop. Someone had routed out the bridge an installed an Ovation passive pickup. That person also installed Grover Nickel Rotomatics on it. I saw the guitar as I was leaving the store and it had a price tag of $125. I left with it and it sounds wonderful!
- Mike - journeyman engineer and Christian - 2010-12-08
I bought the spruce top version in 1967 and it cost pretty close to $47.50 in Portland, Oregon. No sales tax there. I was 12-13 and in 7th grade. I restrung it to left handed config. I was in a band playing the bass from 1967 to 1972 and played "Bad Moon Rising" among other songs. I remember getting older and strumming the hell out of it playing the "I Know You Riders" chords from the 1972 Europe in 72 Dead Album. I later cut the neck down to Fender or Gibson playability in 1973 then, after it sat for several years, I met a luthier and we added an adjustable truss rod to it, and cut a new bridge and intoned it for true left handed playing. How about that.. a straight and thinned out neck, intonation true, playable Harmony H162 with a Bear Claw spruce top. That's right after 25 years of sitting, the once straight spruce grain went to a beautiful bear claw pattern. It sits in the corner now becasue it was retired to my 1980 Custom Balladeer in factory built, left handed construction.
- LoudJeff - 2011-01-07
I own many great guitars. This is the best sounding guitar ever to my ear. Mine is a "64". My father gave it to me. He bought it in 1970 used for about $100 as he remembers. Stout neck profile. If you can play this, an electric becomes sooo easy. My sons all play, and this is thier favorite too. I just wish I could find a perfect one for less than $500 .
- Chuck Foreman - 2011-02-09
I think or at least pretty sure his was my first Guitar. I bought 2nd hand in 1974 or 1975. I learned how to play. I remember the action was atrocious. My younger brother also learned on this but soon bought a really nice Yamaha. I couldn't remember it'S demise so I asked my brother. Then I remembered. It was left in the car on a very hot day and the action that was notoriously bad, was not atrocious and in a drunken camping trip it was
ceremoniously burned! Fond memories Thanks for the photos the one or the other are very convincing.
- guitar_mike_69 - 2011-02-10
I bought my first H162 over 25 years ago. I'm a lover and collector of Harmony guitars and the Grand Concert models are some of my favorites. I've purchased a whole bunch of 162s and 165s since then, but the first one that I've beat up over the years is one of the best sounding guitars on the planet. People comment on the sound everywhere I take it and it has been chosen for recordings when I could have used any guitar I wanted, including Martins and Taylors. For the last 10 or more years, I've kept it strung with 5 strings and tuned to G (ala Keith) and I've written some pretty cool dittys on it. Strangely enough, my original is the only GC Harmony I've ever owned that didn't need a neck reset. Now I'm after the whole lot of them with a steam needle and a sharp chisel in hand!
- simongus - 2011-03-31
My first brand new guitar in 1970 from a Sydney shop. When the action deteriorated I attempted to dismantle it and gave up, so it sat in my Dads barn for 30 years. Mel from Weta Guitars in Wellington did a fantastic renovation and reset the neck perfectly despite the pig iron "reinforcing" having no adjustment. My boys now play it like Andy McKee and love it.
- Stratomaster - 2011-04-18
I bought this guitar about 2 months ago on eBay for $175 plus shipping. The date stamp reads S-65-GC, dating it to 1965. When I got it, I taped the warped, cracked pickguard back on to the top, threw on a set of .12's, and I was floored by the tone of this thing. The only issue is that the action at the 12th fret is 1/4 inch, but I'm a guy that doesn't mind high action, so that doesn't matter to me. It has an awesome tone, it really rings out with just the right amount of brightness and great sustain, and due to the high action, all notes and chords played everywhere on the (Brazilian rosewood) fretboard ring loud, clear, and true. Sings the blues like no other guitar I have played, whether I am finger picking some Robert Johnson style delta blues in standard tuning or with a slide in open G or playing aggressively with a flatpick ala Stevie Ray Vaughan, this guitar delivers. I am 14 years old at this time, and I can say that I will play the blues on this incredible guitar for as long as I live.
- enzo928 - 2011-07-10
my grandmother past away a couple of years ago and i found a 1951 h162 its a really bluesy guitar it was never taken car of and the neck and body are still in one piece... suprised the hell outta me
- Foreverafterever - 2011-09-15
just received mine today. I am still processing my experience. Beautiful guitar. Restrung her with some new pb 12 gauge strings and tuned her up. Deep airy bass and chimy highs That first chord lasted for hours still rinnging out in my mind as i write this. I'm in love.
The action is fine up to 5th position and then becomes high but playable. i know this will need to be addressed soon bit there is no pulling of the heel from the body so unsure if that means a neck reset still must be done to correct the action. there is not much left on the height of the saddle and i was going to start working on a new bone saddle. I've only seen neck resets in context of loose necks...
- Bwillard - 2011-09-29
I learned to play on a H162 back in 69. I lost or sold it sometime in the early 70s and moved on to other guitars, although I always liked Harmonys and hung onto a Broadway archtop that I converted into an electric slide guitar. On vacation in New Hampshire, I saw a spotless H162 in a music store I blundered in, I started to pick some blues on it, and the owner offered it to me for $200. I told him I would buy it except that I was traveling with my family. He told me he would ship it for $20 and there was no sales tax in NH. I just had to buy it. However, during shipping, the neck heel joint started to come loose, so it now needed a neck reset. My repairman offered to to it at a bargain price, but as he was pulling the neck, the bridge came loose as well. The old hide glue lasted only so long I guess. All in all, my investment doubled, but I am still happy with it. It is a 1969 modelwith the adjustable neck, and it plays well now, although the neck profile is still a bit chunkier than most modern guitars. I own several very nice guitars that cost exponentially more, but there is something about an old Harmony flatop for a country blues sound. I am impressed by the tone, which works better than anything else for certain purposes. It is the brightest, brassiest guitar I own. The bass is thumpy when thumbpicked with the fingers, but it tightens up with a pick. Both sound good.
I knew the blues great Mance Lipscomb back when I was starting to play. When he was first discovered late in his life, the producers took him to a music store and offered to buy him any guitar in the store to record with. He chose a Harmony Sovereign, because it felt right to him. It matched his sound. Mine sounds particularly good tuned down to open G or D, so I will probably keep it that way and use it for country blues and slide. It is a fun guitar.
- Rick Taub - 2011-10-04
My first guitar. Bought by my father after a few weeks of pleading in 1965. Cheapest in the store, $45 plus $5 for the cardboard case. High action, difficult to play, but my fingers got strong. Now, after all these years, I still have it. I still play it, I've still got strong fingers, and all my paychecks come from my abilities as a guitar player. Well spent 50 bucks. Thanks Harmony, and thanks Dad.
- Rowell Guitars - 2012-04-07
I restore the 162/165 series Harmomy guitars, removing the ladder braces and install X bracing, also reshape the neck, fingerboard and install a new bridge to correct intonation. They sound Amazing. I've done 32 of them and they are the only guitars I own now. firstname.lastname@example.org. We can chat sometime about Harmony.
- Jared - 2012-04-17
I have a very nice quality Harmony guitar that I think is a H162, My great grandfather bought it in either the late 40's or early 50's, and played for years before it was given to my grandfather, and then my father, and eventually me. I think i might get it refurbished soon, and I plan on passing it on to my son too.
- T. Gordon Anderson - 2012-07-25
I am looking up an old Harmony here that I got in Superior Wisconsin, for 250 USD! I have been a pro guitar player and tech for a long time - see www. chantstrancedance.com for my custom Sitar work. This small guitar is the best I have ever heard, and "ladder braced" and I have restored and beefed up a lot of stunning old "Adirondak Spruce" beauties. Serial number is 5000N162 but the small numbers under hole are illegible. I just got an LP from 1957 with a similar Harmony on the front, the great Carlos Montoya on the flip side! I thought this was a 1969 - but now I'm sure it is about 1957, which is the year I was born, can't afford a '57 Gibson, but this sounds better! Some clown wants to get it from me cheap - but he can have it when... Ooops, I see no questions here so I have to go to the other board.
- T. Gordon Anderson - 2012-07-25
Oh, the LP from 1957 is "Havana - 2AM" I can't wait to hear this pre-revolution Gypsy Jazz! I was told by the shop and restorer, who did a great job and it plays perfect all the way up, that there was no way to date these but this site just showed me how, if I can magnify the small code enough to read it - FUN, yeah. No way to beat Adirondack spruce, Brazilian Rosewood, and flamed mahogany - one piece back. I used to add braces under the ladders, like on a 12 string I play a lot, makes people angry it sounds so good, but this one is alright, even adding heavier bone bridge pins lessened it super light goodness, and they came right off and back to plastic.
- Matt - 2012-07-25
My grandmother got me this when I was four years old. It was given to her by a neighbor before we moved and it was given to me for that birthday. Unfortunately the action was super high and I didn't play it at all from 4 years old to 14. For ten years this poor guitar sat in a closet.
This was the guitar I learned to play on, despite its incredibly high action. I've purchased several guitars since but after maturing as a person and a guitarist I've loved this guitar more and more.It's one of the earliest models with the red pickguard. It's got tons of wear and tear from the previous owner. And even a year after the purchase of my first martin dreadnought I still play this one and love its unique, rich, loud, punchy sound and tone.
I hope to have this guitar to the day I die. I'd love to pass it on to my children even.
- RC Barrett - 2012-10-15
I bought my Harmony from a friend in 1994 for 10-20 dollars. His girlfriend did a psychedelic paintjob on it which is still holding up. Its number 2285H162. I'm not sure of the year mid-60's? Anyways, I just installed a Martin Thinline Gold Plus Pickup in it. The action is even higher becausde the pick up is under the saddle but it's for slide. Should be a nasty slide monster.
- Cool Hand Luke - 2013-03-01
I recently acquired my 1960's H162 froma a local antique store with the original case for $35.00. The guitar is actually in great condition with a few dings and scratches. The spruce top is a fine example of spruce and the mahogany sides and back are beautiful. I love the tortoise shell binding on the top and bottom. The action is a little high, but somewhere down the road I can have a luthier reset the neck. The sound is absolutely rich, no doubt from the woods used to build the guitar. I wish I would have bought one in the 60's, but I would have had to pay more. I love these well built Harmony guitars.
- sixstrings - 2013-03-16
Over 46 years ago... (man, that's hard to type)... my dad surprised me with this guitar for my birthday. At the time, I was actually playing drums in a band but I made it known that I would also like to learn to play guitar. My dad who was by then divorced from my mother, took my "hints", went to the local music store... Kincaid's in Springfield, OH.,... and bought this guitar on a payment plan. At $47.50 it would seem like a bargain until you look at it in today's dollars... $320. He always came through with some awesome birthday and Christmas gifts as many divorced dads probably did. At one point, I played in a trio with another guitar player and a stand-up bass player. The other guitar player played a Martin and now, as I'm older, I have to wonder how/why he let me play with them due to the relatively poor sound quality of my guitar. Nonetheless, he did. Anyway, I still proudly own this guitar but only recently found out how to decipher the ink stamps inside the body and tell what the model and serial number are... 3311H162... F66(GM?) Made in USA (don't see that much anymore)in large part due to this website. Several years ago the celluloid pick guard became brittle and cracked so I had that removed and replaced. As many of the other H162 owners have testified, the action is poor but I believe like some others that learning to play on that guitar improved my finger strength and made it easier to play the better guitars I have purchased since. I have to keep extra light strings on it and have given some thought to learning how to play slide guitar now. Either way I go, it's still a lot of fun to play and it's provided some wonderful memories!
- Paul LaBelle - 2013-06-01
One of the few things I inherited from my mother was her Harmony H162 slide guitar. The serial number is 3245H162. I love the tone from this beautiful piece of history. This guitar is original and in very good condition with the slide bar and picks. Not sure when this H162 was built, but it helps to keep the memory of my mother alive. I am a serious guitar collector and this one is one of my favourites.