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Harmony Sovereign Delux Jumbo - broken truss rod

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  • Harmony Sovereign Delux Jumbo - broken truss rod

    My Harmony H1265 (1967) has a broken "Torque-lok reinforcement bar". I note from http://www.vintageguitars.org.uk/adDetails/122 that this is a dual bar truss rod.

    Does anyone have a photograph of this rod either on its own, or seen with the fingerboard removed?

    I'm hoping that I can get it welded but perhaps I will need to make one.

    regards,

    Ian

  • #2
    Wow, that's awful. Not an easy repair.
    Sorry, can't be of more help but that's a splendid looking guitar. Best of luck.

    EG
    We're not in Kansas anymore.

    Comment


    • #3
      EG,

      Thanks for you reply. I have added a photo of the one-piece solid mahogany back as are the sides.

      As I am in the UK perhaps someone could point me in the direction of where I might be able to buy a Torque-Lok rod for a Harmony H1260 which is more common than my H1265. I guess that they will have the same rod type and length.

      regards,

      Ian

      Comment


      • #4
        1/4" Hex Nut Hot Rod
        Hot Rod
        "It's all about the Journey"

        SteveO

        " Ain't Go'n Down That Road Feel'n Bad No Mo"

        Comment


        • #5
          http://www.frets.com/FRETSPAGES/Luthier/Technique/TrussRods/BrokenRods/HarmonyRod/harmonyrod.html

          "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

          Comment


          • #6
            Steve0,

            Looks good! However I'm wondering if the Harmany Torque-Lok is just a twin bar single action rod? How is the Hot Rod fixed at the neck end?

            regards,

            Ian

            Comment


            • #7
              Guitar Capo,

              I was shocked when I saw your reply and photos. I have been Googling for that informaion without any success. I'm off to study it!

              thanks,

              Ian

              Comment


              • #8
                One thing about that Stewmac truss rod:

                It has a reputation among luthiers as being a bit delicate in the threads and easily strips under stress.

                Personally if it was a good fit/replacement and you could slide out the old one easily to replace it, I would use it...but maybe be careful how hard you turn it and be sure to put some lubricant like automotive lube on the treads prior to inserting it.


                BTW I love jumbo Harmony Sovereign guitars. I own 6 of them
                "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

                Comment


                • #9
                  While Harmony trus rods are single action, they look lke they function pretty much like that Stew-Mac rod. A long flat bottomed "U" shape. One end lodges against the inside of the channel, the other is longer and threaded for the nut. You tighten the nut, the other bar bends outward to warp the neck.

                  It's a unique system but because of the double rod, not very robust compared to a single rod system. I've broken one myself (Aaarrrgh!!!).

                  I'm a big 1260 fan myself, and have two. Hope you get yours fixed. The Stew-Mac might be the ticket, or you could opt for a more traditional design.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dang! I love those 1260's, had one in the late 1960's and learned to fingerpick on it...always wanted another one. I would commit a crime for the op's deluxe Sovereign, there's one on ebay right now with a BIN price of around $1200.

                    Can a guy find a decent one with a reasonably low string height anymore?

                    Unfortunately, I'm not into neck re-sets.

                    I'm soon going shopping for a Taylor, but I could almost be temporarilly swayed away by a very good vintage Sovereign Jumbo.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      boxorox,

                      I have managed to get the collar underneath he truss rod nut extracted. I expected it to be welded to the rod. Presumably I need to remove the nut to get the outer section removed?

                      Looking at the end of the outer section it looks a mess! It does not look like a tube end more like the end of a cycle brake cable "outer" if you know what I mean.

                      Obviously I am hoping that I do not have to steam off the fingerboard. In your opinion should I be able to extract the assembly after taking off the nut?

                      When I examined the broken part it is about 1" long and covered in rust despite the guitar never being stored in high humidity.

                      I take this opportunity of asking you to confirm a Sovereign spec dimension. I understand that the string height at the seventeen fret should be 1/4". This seems excesssive but I would like your opinion so that I can consider whether to tackle a neck reset?

                      regards,

                      Ian

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I do all my own neck resets. I buy Harmony Sovereign jumbos on Ebay and I love it when the action is unplayable. I get to buy them cheap and then I fix them at my shop.
                        If your Harmony needs a neck reset, don't pull off the fretboard. You might want to steam the neck off and then you'll have access to the truss rod from the other end so you might be able to remove it easier.



                        Personally I'm more of a fan of the more common 1260 Harmony jumbos over the "top-of-the-line" moustache bridge version. While the pin bridge is probably a bit easier to adjust when the action gets low, it has a larger footprint and tends to sound brighter. I'm also not a fan of adjustable saddles because they sometimes act as a shock absorber. Only one of my 6 Harmony
                        jumbos is that type and I replaced the adjustable saddle with a bone saddle and it helped the sound a lot. Another problem I notice with those models is that they use spruce as a bridge plate...which is fine with a pinless bridge...but can easily get chewed up from string ball ends because it's a softwood. I added a rosewood plate on mine to help this situation with no ill effects.
                        "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Don't think I have ever heard of or seen a one piece back. Must have been one helluva tree!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Don't think I have ever heard of or seen a one piece back. Must have been one helluva tree!




                            It's a huge irony. I think Harmony used them to save on costs.

                            Back in the 1950's and 60's, huge quartersawn slabs of Honduran mahogany were plentiful, and I think Harmony decided it would be more cost efficient to just use these 16" wide single pieces instead of dealing with the extra work involved bookmatching two piece backs: joining them seamlessly, keeping track of matched sets, spending money on center strip marquetry and the spruce reinforcement, cutting around the spruce reinforcement to accomodate the back braces....

                            The result is the use of materials impossible to obtain today: not only is everything HONDURAN mahogany(not some substitute species used these days like Asian or African, Sapele whatever) ...but these "discount" guitars used a single slab 16" across. (Btw the neck is also one-piece Honduran mahogany...not Asian or African, no headstock "ears" or neck heel built up from pieces, no scarf joint)

                            You can't find that on guitars costing less than a grand today.

                            The spruce is also "red spruce" that's extremely rare these days in guitar building other than custom shops and private luthiers. Acid rain has devastated the red spruce industry in the eastern USA. It's all Sitka and Engleman these days. All of the prized pre-war Martins used red spruce.
                            (They're made from sitka today)

                            And the Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge? Forget about finding that anywhere except custom shops and private luthiers.


                            It's so ridiculous that these days I buy up trashed Harmony Sovereigns for the materials alone. I can't imagine what a single 16" wide quartersawn slab of Honduran mahogany would cost me from a lumber supplier if I could actualy find one. $150? $200? How about a one piece mahogany neck? Stew mac sells them for over $100. Toss in a 50 year old aged red spruce top...I dunno...$100? And a Brazilian fretboard and bridge maybe another $40-$50.

                            All of these parts are AAA quality too. No pin knots, worm holes, color defects. Usually if you find stuff today and it's the right size and wood species...it's the dregs in terms of quality. Slab cut instead of quartersawn,
                            warped, pin knots etc....

                            So do I think buying one where the neck is about to fall off for $150-$200 is a good idea?

                            Like I said, I own 6 of them.
                            "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Guitar Capo,

                              Thanks for the tip about rod removal after the neck is off. This is what I do. Can you tell me if the Sovereign has a dovetail or tenon type joint?

                              regards,

                              Ian

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