H165 - Mahogany|
Acoustic flatop - Natural
Production year(s) : 1944-1971 (other years possible, not verified)
All mahogany - (H162 has spruce top) - One of the most popular Harmony acoustic - Older models had a more rounded "figure eight" body (new body in 1958). Trussrod (and no more golden clef logo) from 1968. Late models have a stenciled rosette around soundhole and are stamped H165-1
47 images in database
mouse over image for file name - click to enlarge
|All solid woods|
58 comments | Add your comment !
- Robert Armendariz - 2005-10-10
I have a h165. I love it. For a smallerguitarit is very bright and loud. A little hintfor those who don't know the date is on the inside stamped. Sometimes it is very faint. Its two numbers with a letter and has made in usa under it. Stamp is 1 in by 1/2 in
- John - 2005-12-28
I bought one at a garage sale and really like it. The action is high, but it's fine for strumming open chords and has a really nice sound. I'm glad I got it!
- honda - 2005-12-30
I just bought it on ebay because I saw Lightnin' Hopkins playing this guitar on his DVD. It must be a good guitar!
- honda - 2006-01-13
I finally got the guitar. $99 plus shipping on ebay. Wow! This guitar sounds incredible! Clear, articulate and loud! I'm selling my Martin D-15! I thought the D-15 was a great guitar, and perhaps it is. However, after this Harmony H 165, I just don't need it!
- felixedo - 2006-07-22
I have had my H165 for more than fifteen years. It has gone through travels, moves from west of the Continental Divide to the Great Lakes. It has been a great companion in all moods, great sound, faithful tunning, stumming or picking, an awsome sound. Don't know the year it was made. A "wednesday" guitar for sure.
- DOCINFINITI - 2006-10-01
MY GUITAR, PURCHASED NEW THE YEAR SHE WAS MADE, YES 47.50, MY COMPANION FOR ALL THESE YEARS. TRAVELED WITH ME TO 3 CONTINENTS, THROUGH THICK AND THIN.
- Riffe - 2007-01-16
Serial number 9319H165 since 1966. Given to me by my father for Christmas about a week before I was seven. Today, it is getting restrung for my seven year old. The condition is very good for a forty year old piece of history.
- Amy Treuvey - 2007-02-26
I got my Harmony in 1969 as a birthday present from my father. It is right here next to me in the kitchen and though the action is high from having too heavy strings on it for too many years, it still has that clear, bright tone. My younger brother took his first lessons on it and so did our friend Jesse. Everyone who played it, loves it, but not as much as I do.
I have read that holding the mahogany next to the skin, with the combo of the finish can be toxic, however, and so anyone getting one of these old beauties may want to always wear long sleeves when playing for more than a few and not let it rest on the legs while wearing shorts. This guitar has been a joy and remains so. The model is H165.
- TIOK - 2007-05-14
I never knew the model number or anything else about this guitar until I found this site. I've had this one well over 30 years, cost $15 at a garage sale. The tone always has been awesome in a very unique way. Love it, could never part with it. Use light, bright strings for a clear yet twangy tone. Actually have two: found another at a garage sale a few years later and got it for $10. It never sounded as good or played as well.
- rileykill - 2007-09-13
Just received a '62 H165 through a trade. What an awesome instrument - I can't believe these great solid mahogany guitars are so inexpensive! The action is good but will be even better with a little tweaking. Plays great even with mediums (which will be coming off very soon). If I can find another vintage, solid wood Harmony for such a low price I will definitely be picking it up.
- handsoffmyharmony! - 2007-12-02
This guitar used to be my father's. He bought it brand new in the early '70's at the guitar shop where he used to work. He played it occasionally though the 70's and then stopped playing soon afterwards. I learned to play on this guitar, and have since bought much more expensive guitars, but I keep coming back to this thing for more. This is now my dedicated slide guitar. It has that woody and boxy delta blues sound that is so coveted, and so hard to reproduce. If you've ever heard John Lee Hokker's Hobo Blues, that is the sound that comes out of this thing, and this guitar absolutely nails that tone! It plays old blues like Bukka White, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Furry Lewis and Robert Johnson real well too. And holy crap is this thing loud! My decible meter reads a 96db rating at 6" from the sound hole! This is also the lightest guitar mankind will ever see. On my digital hand scale it weighs 2Lbs. 11 Oz.!!! It's as if it were made of balsa wood! It's not of course, it's all mahogany. This guitar for me is the Pearly Gates of the delta blues. Lord have mercy!
- pixtaker - 2007-12-13
I have two of these; one is in excellent condition save for a long-ago repaired side crack that runs from mid-upper to mid-lower bout. The repair is solid as a rock, though could be a bit better done cosmetically. My daughter, who uses this as her everyday acoustic, says it is like a scar on the face of a good-looking person - character! We have lots of guitars in the house and this one get the most use asisde from her archtop.
My second one I picked up on eBay because she wanted to give one to a friend. It has many ills - needs a neck set, dips and buldges in the top, needs a new nut and saddle, a few really ugly cosmetic repairs to the edge, etc. Amazingly, the neck is still very good, the frets are not bad and the top and back are crack free. Some day I will probably take this thing apart and rebuild it with the help of a luthier friend as I've heard a couple of these rebuilt with lighter bracing in X-style rather than ladder-style that were even better than my good condition stock one! These are so light and so resonant when in good shape and set up right that it makes many other and more expensive guitars seem like heavy cardboard boxes by comparison.
- kelly Smith - 2008-02-08
i have a H165 with black pick guard, mahogany body with rounded edge where top and back meets sides.
my dilemma: is it a 1965, 66' or 67'?
from the pics, the 67' looks like it has a harder edge (where top meets sides) than the 65' (65' looks rounder at joint). but the 65' shown has tortoise like pick guard -not black...
- René van den Belt - 2008-02-19
Bought an H162 ('63) and an H165 ('69) on ebay for playing slide. The H165 came with two cracks in the thin mahogany top. Luckily a fine guitar builder in Holland did a good repairjob. The action is high, bur for slide that's just fine. Very thin, breakable guitars, these H62-H165's. But that's also the secret of these magical small Harmony's: the thinner the woods, the better the sound! The H165 is the darker, woody sounding one with lots of bluesy warmth and sustain. I tuned it in open D (D-A-D-F#-A-D) and it sounds unbelievable.
- muzak - 2008-02-26
Just bought a h165 today from a shop in Copenhagen. This one has an adjustable truss rod, so I guess this is from '70 or '71. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've read somewhere that they started to install adjustable truss rods in 71, but I really have no idea. It has no stambs. I just love the sound of this baby. She may not look like the prom queen, but don't get fooled...
- François (webmaster) - 2008-02-27
Musak, H162 and H165 got the trussrod (and loose the golden clef logo) in about 1968
- muzak - 2008-02-27
Thank you, François. I thought it was only a reinforce truss rod until '70.
I now believe mine is a '70 model, since I think I can just dimly see "70" inside the case. I think the number says 8767H165.
- Hose A - 2008-12-17
I bought my H165 brand new in 1972. It has never lived in a case and it shows its battle scars. I now have a pretty big collection of guitars, some of which I may soon part with. But my H165 is with me till death do us part.
- Jeff - 2009-01-26
One of my only guitars that is older than me, made in 1949, classic "figure eight" round. Another ebay "gotta have". I thought I'd do my usual neck reset on it, but this guitar is so fine for slide that it has changed me as a player and will expand my horizons, rather than me changing it. Light as a feather, deep, throaty, rasty good and vibrant beyond what I believed before. Warm mahogany sound, one piece top, still crazy after all these(60)years. Love it, in case you couldn't tell...
- lee - 2009-02-03
l have owned as a dealer 100s of acoustics and always played them before they were sold. all the big names ,this one on a sunday at a flea market l found it for sale . l got it for 40 dollars. took it home and discovered it had never been set up but was dropped at one time and repaired . original strings saddle didnt have a mark in it . plays better than any gibson or martin lve played. great guitar
- MikeC - 2009-03-05
I bought mine in 1967 and played it for the next 10 years or so. As so often happens, family and professional obligations got in the way, the guitar wound up in the case in the basement, and was forgotten about for decades. I just got it back out a few days ago. Beyond needing new strings and the little scratches and dings it got during my playing years, it's in perfect condition. I'm off to a music store this morning to get some new strings. Arthritis and no calluses will slow me down once I try to start playing again, but I'm going to give it a try. I still love the rich mahogany look (and the gold/black clef) as well as the sound that comes from this guitar.
- MikC - 2009-03-05
Just as a followup... I got a new set of strings today ('concert' nylons) and had almost forgotten about new strings needing to stretch. So I'm still 'tuning', but I had forgotten what a great sound the H165 had for a relatively inexpensive guitar back when I bought it. I think I'm hooked again.
- Frank - 2009-04-14
just bought mine for $40. wonderful guitar.
- Rick in Indy - 2009-04-14
I got my first H-165 forty years ago this month, April 1969. It was my main 6 string until 1972 when the neck started to bow. Now, in 2009, I won an H-165 on ebay. Inside it reads F-66. Currently, it's at my guitar tech having her neck reset. Beautiful guitar, wonderful memories!
- Rick Tindall - 2009-04-14
Got my original H-165 in 1969. The neck started to bow in 1972. Now, in 2009, I won a really nice one on ebay and the day I got it a little tear ran down my face. It was like an old friend came by to visit.
This one was made in F-66. Currently, she's having her neck reset. Great guitar, wonderful memories.
Now! If I could just remember what brand of strings I used back in '69 I'd be a happier man!
- Mag - 2009-05-03
Got my h165 in 1971 still got it, Its an old friend
- Lonnie Knight - 2009-05-22
My 165 dates from around 1962, first new guitar I ever owned. Thought it was gone forever, but I found it in 2004, unstrung, in a box in my parents' garage. I had the neck reset, braces reglued, etc. It's an amazing instrument, and a childhood friend brought back to life. I currently have it Nashville strung (E-A-D up one octave), it glistens.
- Billy D - 2009-05-30
My Dad bought this H165 in the early '70s. After he died in '73, my brother and I started playing it. It sounds great and has been a part of our family for about 40 years.
- MaineBlues - 2009-09-11
Just picked up this H-165 all mahogany (solid)at a local shop. Had one as a kid in the "60s" Will need a neck reset but slide sounds as bluesy as it gets and body is tight and has no cracks...amazing! A sleeper for sure...pick one up before word gets out...Shhhh!
- six string singer - 2009-12-17
I picked up my 59' h165 off ebay for $60.00 a while back. I gave to a guy for a neck reset and he never got to fixing it. It's the best thing to ever happen as this baby sings as a slide guitar. My hog has cracks, scratches, and a hole right by the neck on the bass side, but the neck is solid, fat, and punchy. I also have a 61' 1260 and a 65'Stella. Also in stable I have 71' Silvertone 319 and Silvertone N-4 arch top which I swear has a Gibson J45 neck and plays fantastic. I am currently getting rid of all my high profile guitars as these are proving that you don't have to spend thousands for a good sound. All the guitars mentioned cost me less than $650.00.
- Tim - 2009-12-21
I have had this for about a year now. My Grandma gave it to me since I am the only guitar player in the family still alive. This was my granpas when he was younger. He even took this guitar into WWII When he was deployed in late '44. It is quite beat up. A bunch of nicks. The bridge saddle was ripped off at some point and not properly put back on causing the action to be even higher......the tuners arereally tight.I still have the stings on it that my granpa put on at least 30 years ago due to im scared something will break when restringin it.....
- middas - 2010-02-08
My H165 was made in 1947. I believe the fretboard is 25" scale. Maybe they changed to 25.25" later. Does anyone have any more information about this?
- ian13 - 2010-05-10
my aunt found this one in her attic and i got it from her, its from 1970 according to the stamp. solid mahogonay??? hell yes. a great bluesy guitar, havent even changed the strings and its one of my best friends, search it on youtube for my videos of this beauty.
- Hose A - 2010-06-12
I just made an amazing discovery. After owning my H165 for roughly 38 years, I just put classical (nylon) strings on. It sounds, well, amazing and is much easier to play.
- jason - 2010-07-14
Just picked up a 1969-70 H165. Holy crap. This is an amazing little acoustic. I have had many guitars. Many. And I am a huge fan of sold mahogany acoustics. This little guy excels in every way. Bright and loud. Great slide player. Seriously, pick one of these up before the word gets out and the prices go up!!
- Geoff - 2010-07-29
I have heard that most of these guitars and many others of the same age have really high actions. Is it tough to find one with a low action and is it hard to adjust it lower?
- olvolks - 2010-10-13
Purchased one from on ebay for 70 bucks. Needed some attention. Cracked on the back, bridge lifting up and action too high. Completed repairs, put on a set of light strings and now sounds really nice for a 64 model
- Bogwon o' de Blues - 2010-10-22
Just picked up this H165 which appears to be a 70 model. I can't believe all of the great things I'm hearing about this guitar. Mine does have a side crack on the top of it that needs fixing. No problem. My first cousin is a great luthier here in New York by the name of Henry Verri. Looks like it's time to pay him a visit. Check out his guitars if ya get a chance. I remember a friend in Washington state having one of these old Harmonys and it had that great blues sound that I've never been able to replicate with any other of my many guitars. Even my Verri !!
- Doug Bellanti - 2010-12-20
I have recently acquired the Harmony H165 that my Father played back in the early 1970's. He moved out of state 18 years ago and left it behind only to have his grandchildren enjoy it as a toy.
My sister had no use for it now that her children have grown; it just sat in her basement with a cracked body and missing 4 strings. It was in very ruff shape. I had it restored and professionally set up with silk wound strings and boy does it play nice. A little TLC was all it needed to bring it back to life. My parents (Now in their 80's) moved back to the area this year and I am proudly giving it back to my Father as a Christmas gift! Jada on Dad!
- Ol' Fat Wayne - 2011-03-11
I just nabbed a 1962 Harmony Hog for $75 off Craigslist and it is, by far, the best $75 I have ever spent. Wow!
- Dempsey - 2011-06-01
Just replaced the strings and cleaned it up. I was able to read the date its a 1957. Will add some pictures of my baby soon.
- Little Danny - 2011-06-26
Hey hey all you in Harmony Heaven! I just came across an H165 in a pawnshop out in Pendleton Oregon. When I saw the all mahogany body I remembered it from the website, picked it up and strummed a little, put it back and secretly contained my excitement for finding such a fine sounding guitar that was in tune off the hang hook.
Needs the typical neck reset. good for cowboy songs and slide for now. On close inspection the heel looks like it was shimmed,heavily glued (no surprise), and roughly cut. It has a minor belly bulge, side wood with unmatched grain, and it's share of nicks. By the way it's a 1968 one of the last with the gold scroll on the headstock. Paid 75$ LOVE THE TONE , even with a partial electric set it sounds super blues from way down low!!!
- Donny In Alabama - 2011-08-14
I have an OLD H165, I am 50 years old and it's been in my family ever since I can remember.. It was OLD when my dad bought it in 1965. How it with stood 3 boys beating and strumming on it I will never know. I can't play it but friends who can are amazed at how sweet the ole guitar sounds.I have a friend who works on guitars wants to fine tune and fix the little nicks in it.It really is in great shape after all these years other than very minor nicks. I think when he does get it fixed I'm going to set out to learn to play it...
- Tom M. - 2011-10-14
Just found a really nice H165 at auction tonite with a "F-43" date code. I'll be cleaning this one up for my friends to play!
- Highway Key Guitars - 2011-10-16
figuring I just picked up a 1968-19070 model....from serial # and headstock by comparing it to photos on this great site Ya have here. neck was cracked and repaired ugly....but what a tone...plays great with a slide in open tuning....which is just what I wanted out of it. Mahogany is the awesome.... mine has all the battle scars etc....$15. a guy called Me knowing i liked old gits...asked Me what I would pay...I said $10 or $15 if Ya deliver it.....I gladly paid the $15. and it came with new strings to boot!!!
- captguitarman - 2012-04-07
My Dad bought me a Harmony H165 in 1964 for about fifty dollars when I was 14, mad about the Beatles, and determined to learn to play. I have several "high-end" guitars now, electric and acoustic - and I play them all, but that John Denver song about "this old guitar" still rings true for me. I put nylon strings on it about 12 years ago, and now after 48 years it still looks and sounds fantastic with a very clear, warm, and mellow sound. And I find that I still play it as much, if not more, than my other guitars. It remains one of my most prized possessions.
- bobo - 2012-05-21
I rescued a 1944 H165, had it for about 6 months now (ebay). Only one small crack on the lower top (repaired). It has been poorly painted with black acrylic over what was left of the original finish. Miraculously, the refinisher left the headstock alone, so the original screened Harmony logo is still there. I had the neck reset, some loose braces and aras between the top and sides top re glued (hide glue) and some minor fretwork to the original brass frets. Unfortunately, the luthier scraped most of the faintly stamped serial number off the inside of the back when he set the neck, so...C'est la vie! He did a great job with what he did and was very reasonable $$$. A new compensated saddle, and a 60's Harmony nut. A Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and featherweight mahogany everywhere else. The neck is a "V" shape, reminds me a lot of the neck shape on my "30's American Standard upright bass. It is a lovely sounding instrument! I'll do some more work (refin carefully, pull frets, level board reinstall frets) in the future. As it is it plays with medium action with D'ADarrio lights, with near perfect intonation. It's such a very sweet guitar, a real treasure.
- bobo - 2012-06-05
I just found the serial number written in my shop notes. It's 44030165.
- firstname.lastname@example.org - 2012-08-29
I have harmony made in usa 4972H165-1 can you tell me the age please its in very good sharp. I was thinking about selling it my buddy siad he would give me to 200.00 dollars no man its worth more then that.elvin
- Taylor - 2012-09-11
This acoustic is beautiful. I found one at a flea market in Bonham couple weeks ago. The date is stamped right under the sound hole. Only problem is the month. I can't tell if it is a 5 or 6, but the year is definitely 1969. for a 43 year old guitar, it can't have a better sound. Beats out all the other acoustics I've been playing at Guitar Center.
- - 2012-12-10
I have the same model as the first picture in the database (top left). No stenciled cleft...no truss rods. Pick guard looks to be a transparent black or very dark brown. Serial numbers are really unreadable. I have no idea what year this is? Seems earlier then later. Figure eight shape for sure with rounded edges. Original..very sloppy glue job inside..lots of drips. My luthier..Chris DiPinto..lowered the bridge...fixed a crack on the side. Put some nice D'Arrario "Silk and Steel" strings on it. Has this great hybrid blues..almost classical sound to it. Hit that bass E...nice twangy..thud..and I can hear John Lee Hooker...singing.."Behind the Plow". Never letting go of this!!! Probably my slide guitar!!!
- Luv n Harmony - 2013-01-08
I just found this website. NICE! I love reading the history of each guitar. Here's mine. My mom bought this guitar somewhere around 1967 and planned to learn how to play. She never did. After growing up in the 60's in California I took up the guitar a little, not this one, and the H165 (just learned what it was today, 45 years later) went into a closet. Can't say I ever heard it play. It has survived many a move, one divorce, and two weddings, college and the passing of my mom, its original owner. I pulled it out before Christmas to reminisce and the bridge was broken in half. I just got it back from the luthier and I'm amazed at the sound. A great strummer. It will stay in the family hopefully forever and go to my nieces. I wish I could remember my mom having played it but it survives along with her loving memories.
- Jerry Glazener - 2013-01-12
My dad bought my H165 when we were visiting my sister near Manteca,CA. in the summer of '63 before I left for college at North Texas State University in Denton,TX. (the stamp inside is 3-63). He paid $49 for it in a cheap cardboard case, pick, and a 5-cent chord book! When I got to school, I was on the 6th floor of West Dorm and down the hall was a guy who was our Freshman class president...and had a Martin D28 that his grandpa had given him...and he could play like no one else I knew! His name was Michael Martin Murphy (yes...of "Wildfire" fame!) Mike gave me my first lessons in that dorm and we ran around together when we could to play. My Harmony sounded a little "tinny" compared to his D28. He told me that I should try some Goya nylon ball end strings (for the folk music that we played). The sound was totally mellow and much easier to play. I've never had anything else on it since. The guitar has been all over the world with me. Still looks brand new (almost)and I'll be 69 in Sept.
The only negative...I left it with a friend when I went to Vietnam in 1968-69 as a young Marine Infantry Officer...and as a surprise for me he had sanded the Harmony logo, gold treble clef, and the Steel Reinforced neck writing off and sprayed that area a flat black and placed a small gold plate with my initials (JLG) on it right between the string pegs there.
Mike sent me to a friend in Austin in '74 and I finally bought a Martin D35. I have others, but these 2 are my favorites....especially my first: the H165. God bless all you pickers!....jerry
- john nall - 2013-01-19
I'm 66 now. My dad bought my H-165 in "62 when I was 15. It plays and sounds great. It was used (about 7 years old), at the time and Pop paid 15 bucks for it. It has been worth every penny and very much more.
- LueyLuey - 2013-01-24
Starting In 1972 Harmony made this same model for Fender. It has the Fender logo printed on the head, however it has the Fender and the Harmony numbers on the inside. It is a wonderful little guitar, with a clear, loud sound, that has a sweet "tinnyness" to it. I got mine at a flea market for around $80 it came with a case. It has a butterfly pick guard, which is why I bought it. I play both right and left handed. Finding a left handed guitar can prove to be difficult at times. Usually it's strung lefty, however if a friend wants to try it we restring it righty. Also it has an amazing sound for open tuning. Love it!
- ethan cuglyetta - 2013-02-24
i love this guitar! i am the bass player and singer for a poppunk band and i use this guitar to write most our songs. it was given too me by my grandmother a few years ago. she used in in collage and just barly had me take it and repair it. i also play it in my acoustic side prodject band and i love the way in sounnds all micd up! if u own on e, throw some ernie ball steels on it. thats how the sound the best.
- Bryan McCarthy - 2013-05-05
Mine is a late 40's model that was restored after an accident at a party...before I bought it. The luthier that did the job also put a truss rod in the neck.
The tuners are black and when its polished and sitting in good light that Brazilian fretboard and bridge really shine and the dark flecks stand out nicely. It really plays well with light strings for fingerstyle blues.
- jeff - 2013-05-12
I used to laugh at these, back in 1968-70 compared to my 1265
Jumbo Sovereign with new Black Diamond strings. They just didn't cut it.
In my now present older years, out of curiosity I bid on and won a Fender 1030, same body and neck as an H-165, but with a pin bridge. A real project, neck reset with many complications, I installed a bridge doctor which helped flatten the top, but an ugly bulge on the bass side of the soundhole remains. The only problem is that this is the best sounding acoustic guitar I have, in a stable of four Sovereigns and a Taylor 810. To a cellist's ear, what mojo! And why do I play this Fender more than all those other truly great guitars I have at the ready? Like many Harmonys I have resurrected, this one sounds way better than it should! Not every sows ear turns into a silk purse, but it happens more than enough do to keep me going!