Whoever coined the phrase “Everything old is new again” knew what they were talking about. The resurrected Harmony brand, associated decades ago with budget instruments (and at one time the largest guitar maker in the U.S.), began appearing on new guitars three years ago. And they’re still made in the U.S. – in the famed factory at 225 Parsons Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan, no less.
Harmony’s Comet is a reimagined model H-72, originally manufactured from 1966 to ’72. The new Comet sports a smaller body than the original, with a mahogany center block, neck, and body. The ebony fretboard has a 12″ radius with 22 medium-jumbo frets, locking tuners, a tune-o-matic-style bridge, and stop tailpiece. Scale length is 25″. As tested, the Comet weighed in at a very comfy five pounds and change.
Strapped on and plugged into a class-A tube amp, the Comet handled blues, jazz, ambient, classic country, roots, and mellower styles. The guitar sports two proprietary Custom Gold Foil humbucking pickups. There is not much to add about these units, as Harmony has been secretive about them. Suffice to say, chords on the neck pickup were smooth and mellow. The middle position added a pleasing bit of treble.
It’s worth noting that the Volume control serves as a coil splitter, a thoughtful feature that allows the player a wider palette of sounds. The bridge pickup alone with both coils engaged was clear and full but not harsh. In single-coil mode, the Comet approached Telecaster territory. The guitar didn’t take extreme distortion well, but then that’s not what it’s for.
Harmony offers the Comet in Sunburst, Midnight Blue, and Trans Red. To be sure, these are no-longer catalog budget instruments, but kudos to Harmony for keeping this venerable name alive – and made in the USA.
This article originally appeared in VG’s October 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.