1970s Harmony H-802 (Import) Electric Guitar

A local consignor dropped this off. It's cute, it's lightweight, it sounds raucous, it has a quick neck... and there were about a bazillion of these made. For those not in the know, this "Harmony" was in-name-only and sold after the original, Chicago factory was shuttered.

I'm pretty sure this one was made in Japan but the model stuck-around for a long time in various versions so it's hard to place it directly. All of the parts and hardware on it appear to be the same stuff used on late-'60s Teisco/Kawai products, though. I've become very familiar with that stuff over the years.

To get it up to snuff, I did all the usual stuff I do on these old student-style import electrics -- replaced the jack with a Switchcraft one, sprayed-out all the electronics, gave it a fret level/dress, added side dots, compensated the bridge for modern (3-wound, 3-plain) stringing, relocated the strap button to the "horn" and off the neck, and set it up. Now it's playing bang-on and slick.

Pickup placement is odd -- it's only really "neck and middle" positions, but there's enough variation there to get some good sounds going. In addition, when both are "on" the pickups are wired together in series which means output is doubled and so it can push an amp like a somewhat-hotter vintage humbucker. It's like an instant "lead" switch when you engage the two at the same time. The pickups themselves have an interesting tone, too -- somewhere between a P90 and a '60s Harmony-style DeArmond goldfoil is how it'd describe it. It's got a sleazy "wash" to the sound but yet when cleaned-up it's a bit more metallic and crisp.

Repairs included: fret level/dress, side dots, bridge compensation, new Switchcraft jack, setup, etc.


Body wood: solid basswood (I think)

Bridge: archtop-style height-adjustable (3 plain, 3 wound comp'd)

Fretboard: rosewood-like

Neck wood: maple

Pickups: 2x adjustable-pole single coils


Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast)
String gauges: 46w-10 lights

Neck shape: slim C

Board radius: ~12"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-low


Scale length: 24 3/4"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

Body width: 12"

Body depth: 1 1/8"

Weight: 4 lbs 12 oz


Condition notes: it's entirely original except for a new Switchcraft output jack and added side dots. It's in good shape overall but does have scratches and nicks here and there. The pickguard is a little cracked around the jack but I added a big washer behind it and it's stabilized and good to go and it's hard to see the damage now, too. I had to modify the bridge a bit -- adding compensation by grinding its "saddle" area.


It comes with: a period but not-quite-right chip case.














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