A Harmonious Pair - A dynamic duo from the freshly revitalized Harmony Guitars
By Jeb Silburn, Twin Town Guitars Staff Writer
Once upon a time, Harmony stood as the largest producer of musical instruments in the United States. Crafting everything from banjos and ukuleles, to violins and- most notably, guitars. Harmony’s roots began in 1892, and writhed through a number of growing pains with different owners and corporations at its head, until it eventually ceased and the name was sold in 1975. Luckily, in 2019, BandLab Technologies relaunched the brand and came to market with a small number of production models made in Kalamazoo, MI. Among this first set of releases were the Silhouette and Juno.
Made in the image of their original 1960’s model of the same name, the current update to Harmony’s silhouette is snappy, lightweight, and articulate. This modern take on a vintage classic is built like a workhorse, with a look and feel that competes with the space of many leading boutique manufacturers. Two Goldfoil pickups ooze vintage vibe, with crispy top end and emphatic lows. The sparkle finishes on any of its three standard colorways are nothing short of cosmic, and the woods selected are a dream to the touch. It’s incredible to have so well encouraged growth in such a well loved instrument, while still maintaining what made it so coveted in the first place. The Silhouette’s offset shape, and 25” scale make it an incredibly comfortable player, with harmonics and richness that let its 60 years of heritage shine through brightly.
The Juno recalls the body and stylings of Harmony’s venerable H44 Stratotone, a model from the early 50’s. A diminutive, yet robust body is perfectly balanced with Harmony’s iconically massive neck profile, and barks much louder than anything else of its size. Loaded up with an updated pair of custom made P90 Goldfoil pickups, the Juno excellently delivers loads of growl and note definition in perfect unison. The size and scale of the body make for a wonderfully intimate playing experience, enheartening the desire to sit and dwell upon unaffected single notes as they ring out into warm decay. The Juno feels familiar to hold, and fills a room despite its footprint.
Somehow, Harmony has reestablished itself with incredible foothold in what tends to be a very saturated market- updating vintage guitars. Carving out their own niche once again, Harmony has successfully called upon its roots to design their new line of instruments. Often, modern takes on classic guitars can feel gaudy, and repress what we love so dearly about their vintage counterparts. The contemporary Juno and Silhouette do just the opposite, and only seem to emphasize what made their namesakes so estimable. A player can be sure to find themselves lost in the tonal vibrance and aesthetic authenticity of these new offerings.