H-802 Review

manufacturer: Harmony date: 07/06/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Harmony: H-802
For punk, this is a great choice. Metal, not so much, and for lead playing not the best. I feel that this guitar gives me a unique tone and feeling.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.5
 Features: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.2
H-802 Reviewed by: MalcolmFreely29, on march 23, 2010
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: I found this guitar in my dad's garage a while back. I thought it looked a lot like Johnny Ramone's Mosrite, and that was the reason I wanted it. It was made in Japan, but if you are going to buy this guitar, don't let that stop you. It has 22 jumbo(i believe)frets, but if you like to play the high frets, I wouldn't recommend this one since it has a pretty high action. It is a solid top guitar, with a beautiful transparent sunburst finish. The shape reminds me of a Mosrite Ventures II like the one Johnny Ramone played. The bridge is a cheap spin-off of a tune-o-matic, and I suggest you replace it if you like to play lead, and for a better and longer lasting tuning. I had limited resources when researching this guitar, so I don't know if the electronics are passive or active. The guitar is good for punk, as it has only 1 tone knob and one volume knob, but for genres that require a specific tone setup this isn't your best choice. The pickups are the H-802 Standard pickups, and they most closely resemble the sound of P-90s. The tuners also aren't the best, as they are really hard to turn and they don't stay in place for very long, so I also suggest you replace these. So in overall quality of the guitar's look, hardware, and feel, I give this guitar a 7. // 7

Sound: This is a very good Ramones and Sex Pistols sounding guitar due to the really good humbucking pickups. I either play it through a Fender Champion 300, Crate 30, or a Raven RG60. I like its sound best through the later primarily because the amps mid-range sounding distortion sounds nicely with the bass range pickups on the guitar. I get a subtle hum when I don't touch the strings, but other than that its dead silent. The guitar really sounds great clean on the neck pickup because of its warm tone, and sounds almost like an Acoustic when played like that. But it is a really good classic punk guitar because of its wild bridge pickup. You get a tone that is almost a duplicate of Steve Jones when played through a Fender amp, and a great Ramones tone when played through a Marshall or Raven. But overall, this is a pretty warm sounding guitar, and it earns a 10 for versatility and sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar really sucks action wise. After I found it, I had about 3 hours of tweaking to do before I could even play past the 7th fret! On the lowest action it can get, you still can't play past the 17th fret. For my style of music, this is ok because punk solos usually don't go past the 12th, and I have a rhythm-style of solos. The pickups were pretty high also, but it only took a minute to adjust that. The only hardware flaw would be the input jack. It is extremely loose, and to tighten it you must remove the entire pick guard, which take 2 hours at least. For action, fit and finish, I give this guitar a 3. // 3

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will(and has)withstand live playing, but I suggest that you bring 2 so that when it goes out of tune, you can get it retuned by a roadie and still be playing. With the exception of the bridge and tuners, the hardware on this guitar will last a very long time. Even though you could play live without a backup, its always common sense to bring two just incase you break a string. The finish is quite good, and it will probably also last a while. For reliability and durability, I give this guitar an 8. // 8

Overall Impression: For punk, this is a great choice. Metal, not so much, and for lead playing not the best. I feel that this guitar gives me a unique tone and feeling, so this is guitar is only second to a Tele for me. If you see this guitar, you would be happy buying it. I have been playing for 2 years, so since I know how to set it up I could fix it easily. But for a beginner, I don't think this would be good unless you want to pay money for a professional to set it up. If it were stolen or lost, I would cry. Unfortunately, this guitar isn't made anymore so I couldn't buy a new one. Fortunately, this guitar is not the best guitar ever, so I would probably buy a Les Paul Junior to replace it. But if that ever happened, I'll always have a special place in my heart for the Harmony I loved and owned since the beginning of my guitar playing days. That aside, I would give this guitar an average of 7. It also is a great collector's item, so it gets a bonus point for that. So that's all for my review on the Harmony H-802. Cheers! // 8

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overall: 10
H-802 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 06, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 80

Features: I got this guitar at a consignment shop for $50 without the bridge, which I got for $30 on ebay. The guitar's from the mid-late 1960s. It's got 22 frets, a maple neck and a rosewood fretboard. The body is plywood with a transparent 3-tone 'burst. The shape looks like if an SG and a Strat had a baby. The bridge is like a tune-o-matic. The pickups are two passive, fat single-coils with individual on-off switches. There's one volume and one tone knob, and the tuners are non-locking 6 on plate. // 10

Sound: I play country, rock, metal, blues, and songs traditionally played on an acoustic, and this guitar suits all those styles. It's extremely versatile. Every now and then I will play Queen music, and the H802 is great for that too. I just use a Standard Epiphone amp, but I can get a series of different sounds just by playing with the gain and level. This guitar doesn't buzz, and it can sound warm or bright, andyou can also make it scream on high gain. It's totally perfect! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I like high action, so this guitar is great for me. The pickups are well adjusted, and there are no flaws. Granted the body is plywood, but it makes for a surprisingly nice tonewood. There is one loose pot too, which I plan to replace or fix at some time, but that's just because the guitar is almost 50 years old. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Everything with this guitar is dependable: the strings stay in tune, the strap hooks are sturdy, I would bring a backup because no guitar stays in tune for 3 sets of musical performances, and tuning takes time. The finish is a nitro, and has started to fade, but that just ups the guitar's personality. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said, I play many different musical styles, and yes, this is a good match for all of them. I've been playing for a few years, and I've got a few guitars and some amps. Nothing special. I would have asked if they had the bridge at the shop, so I wouldn't have had to go through ebay, but, you know, live and learn. If this guitar vanished, I would definetly try to find another. I love everything about this guitar, and have no complaints. My favorite feature is by far the pickups. They're great! I prefer this guitar over my Fender Strat and my Epiphone Les paul Standard. I'm happy with this guitar the way it is. // 10

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