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Harptone Guitars Acoustic RS-6BC

#1 User is offline   Drilla 

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:04 PM

Hello From South Florida,

I just purchased a Harptone Acoustic model RS-6BC. I'm having trouble locating information about it. Is there anywhere I can look up the serial number to find out what year it was made and Value. I bought it at a garage sale for cheap its in low condition but with a little love and a few dollars it will be a real gem. Thanks to all!

#2 User is offline   Jim__H 

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:51 AM

Drilla;
Sounds like you have a black Ringo Starr model, I am not too familiar with those but I can steer you to someone who is. If you are on Facebook look up the group "Standel and Harptone Guitars" and feel free to join. It's an open group with over 50 members, most if not all owners of Harptone and Harptone relabeled guitars. We can help you with all your questions and needs. If you are not on Facebook I can get you in touch with Eric, the guy who runs the group.

Jim
'97 Gibson BluesHawk, Ebony
'70 Supreme E-6N made by Harptone
'68 Standel 520C made by Harptone

#3 User is offline   Drilla 

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:04 PM

View PostJim__H, on 28 March 2013 - 08:51 AM, said:

Drilla;
Sounds like you have a black Ringo Starr model, I am not too familiar with those but I can steer you to someone who is. If you are on Facebook look up the group "Standel and Harptone Guitars" and feel free to join. It's an open group with over 50 members, most if not all owners of Harptone and Harptone relabeled guitars. We can help you with all your questions and needs. If you are not on Facebook I can get you in touch with Eric, the guy who runs the group.

Jim

Hey Jim,
thanks brother since I posted on this sight I found some information and yes it is a Ringo Starr. From what I hear Harptone sold the company to a business in Chicago in 1971 and they continued to making some guitars but they were made in China. Mine was made in New Jersey I'm assuming in 1971 since the Ringo Starr was made from 71 to 74. I have a facebook account but I'm rarely on there. I will try and log in if I can remember my info lol. I love this guitar it is very well made but what a shame how the ex-owner treated it. I have the serial number and would like to get more info if possible. I will try and hit up that Facebook group and see if I can get any more info. Thanks

#4 User is offline   Jim__H 

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:45 PM

View PostDrilla, on 28 March 2013 - 09:04 PM, said:

Hey Jim,
thanks brother since I posted on this sight I found some information and yes it is a Ringo Starr. From what I hear Harptone sold the company to a business in Chicago in 1971 and they continued to making some guitars but they were made in China. Mine was made in New Jersey I'm assuming in 1971 since the Ringo Starr was made from 71 to 74. I have a facebook account but I'm rarely on there. I will try and log in if I can remember my info lol. I love this guitar it is very well made but what a shame how the ex-owner treated it. I have the serial number and would like to get more info if possible. I will try and hit up that Facebook group and see if I can get any more info. Thanks


Drilla, Glad to see that you found your way to our group on Facebook. Harptone, long known for high quality instrument cases had a couple of ventures into the guitar business, the most notable in the '60s and '70s under the direction of luthier Sam Koontz. They built two full lines of acoustic and electric guitars and sold them under their own name, and relabels: Standel, Yamaki, Conn, and Supreme. Yamaki and Conn, both Japanese companies also built some copies which I think were authorized. The company was sold in the early 70's to Diamond S and moved from New Jersey to Virginia. There was also a company called Micro Fret that was somehow involved but I am not sure what the connection was. Production ended in the mid 70s. Your RS I think is from that later post sale period and can be dated by some features that it may or may not have, like a zero fret and the shape of the pickguard.

Now here is where I put my little plug in. I mentioned Supreme, which is what I have, a six string dreadnought, of the "Eagle" design. As far as I know it is the only one in existence, I have seen two posts in a couple of forums from posters who either own or have owned 12-string Supremes but I have not been able to connect with them to verify whether they are Harptones or not. My guess is that this was a business venture with Harptone in the late 60s that did not go anywhere and some prototypes were made. I am the original owner, bought it in Cleveland in December of 1970. If anyone knows of or has heard of Supreme guitars built by Harptone I would love to hear from you.

If anyone finds this story interesting and would like to read more, there are four Standel guitars currently up on ebay by a seller called Tuneyoursound. They are listed at some rather large prices. In the description of these listings is a very detailed write-up of the Koontz/Harptone/Standel story. Or you are more than welcome to visit the Facebook group, we are dedicated to preserving the heritage of these fine but rare and obscure guitars.

Thanks, Jim
'97 Gibson BluesHawk, Ebony
'70 Supreme E-6N made by Harptone
'68 Standel 520C made by Harptone

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