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Sing softly, and wear a loud shirt - Jed Pauker, overheard providing performance advice to Slackjaw Johnny

Author Topic: Harmony Sovereign for blues?  (Read 2412 times)

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Offline frailer24

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Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« on: February 18, 2013, 12:46:18 AM »
I have a 1968 Silvertone badged Sovereign that I am working on. My question is, I know Mance Lipscomb used one, but, would it be good for anything besides dead thumb stuff?   Larry
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline frankie

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 04:50:44 AM »
about every musician captured on the george mitchell collection would probably agree that you have a pretty fine guitar there.

Offline Westside

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 03:49:11 PM »
Here are some players that at one time or another supposedly played a Harmony Sovereign (although there are a couple different models.  I think that the H1260 was the most popular):

Sam Chatmon
Howling Wolf
Mississippi John Hurt
Melvin ?Lil? Son? Jackson
Robert Curtis Smith
Robert Pete Williams

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 03:58:06 PM »
It ain't called "Sovereign" for nuttin' bro! ;)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline banjochris

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 05:44:55 PM »
I used to play one all the time until the top bellied up too much -- the intonation is really off. One of these days I'll see about getting the thing re-braced but it'd probably cost more than it's worth. A great all around blues guitar, IMO. I had one pretty much just like Mance's, forget the model number. I think it's a 1203, late '50s.

Offline frankie

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 07:00:54 PM »
I used to play one all the time until the top bellied up too much -- the intonation is really off. One of these days I'll see about getting the thing re-braced but it'd probably cost more than it's worth.

or.....

possibly a perfect specimen for sam collins songs with a slide?

Offline frailer24

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 07:26:50 PM »
Thanks a million, just reset the neck, waiting for the glue to dry. Can't wait!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline banjochris

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 07:49:45 PM »
I used to play one all the time until the top bellied up too much -- the intonation is really off. One of these days I'll see about getting the thing re-braced but it'd probably cost more than it's worth.

or.....

possibly a perfect specimen for sam collins songs with a slide?

Good idea! I had a nut extender on it for a while and played it lap style but that sounds more fun.

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 07:39:56 AM »
Here are some players that at one time or another supposedly played a Harmony Sovereign (although there are a couple different models.  I think that the H1260 was the most popular):

Sam Chatmon
Howling Wolf
Mississippi John Hurt
Melvin ?Lil? Son? Jackson
Robert Curtis Smith
Robert Pete Williams


And Big Joe Williams. Of course, his was tricked out with a pick-up and (frequently) duct tape. Most photos of Big Joe from the 60's show him with his Sovereign.
Jeff

Offline frailer24

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 02:51:36 PM »



And Big Joe Williams. Of course, his was tricked out with a pick-up and (frequently) duct tape. Most photos of Big Joe from the 60's show him with his Sovereign.

You forgot the extra 3 strings. :-P
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline RobBob

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2013, 07:37:37 AM »
I had one in the 1060's bought it new.  I have a recording somewhere where I am playing blues on it form about 1969.  Great blues axe.

Offline frailer24

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 03:32:04 PM »
It is done! Strung up, in tune, and playing "Silver City." Best $20 I ever spent!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline kindlemonj

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 09:06:46 AM »
Biggest mistake of my life was swapping an early model Harmony Sovereign for something more "modern" although I can't remember what ! I now play a thirty-something year old Japanese made F95 Fender acoustic-a fine guitar.

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 11:46:03 AM »
It is done! Strung up, in tune, and playing "Silver City." Best $20 I ever spent!

We need a video of that!!! come on!

I'm in the midst of resetting the neck on a 1203 myself....so far so good!



Cheers,

Blue
Blue in VT

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2013, 03:52:50 AM »
Nice to see a post from Blue in VT after all these years! You've been conspicuous by your absence here and on the Larriv?e Guitar Forum. Welcome back.

Let us know how the work on your guitar goes.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2013, 07:44:47 AM »
 :D Howdy Parlor....great to see you are still hanging around here...

I had a serious lull in my guitar playing after the birth of our second child...but two years later I'm getting back into it and playing out a little.  Also the work on this guitar has gotten my juices flowing as well.

Anyway...great to see WeenieCampbell still perking along.

Cheers,

Blue
Blue in VT

Offline frailer24

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2013, 02:02:46 PM »
Blue, I apologize, but I have no way of filming or even taking a photograph now. Your 1203 looks as if it won't be nearly as troubling as mine. A word of advice: In regards to the dovetail, yes it is up much higher than your run-of-the-mill guitar, and a bit narrower in my case. Hopefully I can get some film up when I see an old friend next month.

-Larry
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline mutantmoose

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2013, 10:00:43 AM »
When I reset my 1203 last year, that dovetail space was right under the 15th fret, no hassle at all. The one thing I didn't expect was for steam to come blasting out of the truss rod cover at the other end of the neck - have a cloth ready for that greasy mess!!! Or better yet, plug the hole...

Offline frailer24

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2013, 09:36:59 PM »
Well, I used a heat gun on the dovetail (after removing binding and wrapping with wet cloths), have been using it for everything from Son House to Hobart Smith. Simply put, this box rocks!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Gingergeezer

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2013, 12:45:14 PM »
My Sovereign needs a neck reset. How tricky is it to do? Any tips and hints would be great. I'll be attempting the job with a friend who has a fair bit of experience in guitar repair.

Offline Pan

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2013, 12:48:06 PM »
My Sovereign needs a neck reset. How tricky is it to do? Any tips and hints would be great. I'll be attempting the job with a friend who has a fair bit of experience in guitar repair.

You might want to check this link:

http://harmony.demont.net/kamikazie.php

Cheers

Pan

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2013, 01:11:55 PM »
Or you could ask Mr Murray, Lee!

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Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2013, 02:25:19 AM »
Or get on the bus to deepest Sussex and hand it over to Rick Sellens who will do a fine job. In fact, curiously when he has had his hands on any acoustic guitar, it always seems to come back sounding better. Just ask Blueshome...
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Gingergeezer

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2013, 08:58:36 AM »
Thanks for the info and tips folks!
Mr. Murray and I are going to do this together - I figured it was about time I started to understand how to do my own repairs. I've a done a few small things but this would be a great introduction and  I'd get my Harmony Sovereign back into gigging condition

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2013, 06:42:44 AM »
Good luck, Lee - I'm confident Jim will see you right.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2013, 07:22:22 AM »
Often thought about repairing my guitars together with Mr Murray. He would do the work and I would watch.

Offline mutantmoose

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2013, 08:35:47 PM »
One thing you really want to make sure of - there are several - have some good denatured alcohol ready to wipe on any areas that get blushed - you don't have lots of time to to this, and it removes the blush and restores the clarity to the finish.

Offline frailer24

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Re: Harmony Sovereign for blues?
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2017, 09:55:19 PM »
Well, it has been a while since I spoke of my old Sov, but here goes. I found it's a '66 jumbo model, my first neck set was not that great. I later had a luthier friend re-do that. Currently strung with Martin 80/20 extra lights, and looking to upgrade the thru-saddle and  (ugh!) pinless bridge. Still my favorite all-around box!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

 


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