Harmony H27 string length??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hellz Kitchen, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Me and my wife were on our way home last night and decided to walk into a guitar shop. We ended up walking out with a 60s harmony h27 bass. This thing is like butter and in great shape (they put more solid tuners on it, but it has a jack repair that seems like a solid repair job). I was going to change the strings to put roundwounds on it but just want to make sure I put the correct string length and strings on it. Also is it short scale or normal scale (i've read people describing it as both so am confused what the final verdict is).

    Width 15"5/8 398 mm
    Length 45"5/8 1159 mm
    Body depth 1"7/8 49 mm
    Scale 30"1/8 764 mm
    Neck at nut 1"3/4 44.7 mm
    Neck at 12th 1"7/8 49 mm

    They gave me D'Addario flat wound Long Scale (45 | 100) "regular light gauge" ECB81 (45 - 65 - 80 - 100). Is this the correct spec to not cause any warping or damage in the long term to this bass or will these cause potential long term damage? Also it was just set up but if I'm putting new flat wound strings (had round wound before) do I need to get it set up again or should it be good to go? And what kind of carrying backpack case would fit this large of a guitar snugly and is a solid and comfortable case?

  2. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Changing from rounds to flats almost certainly will require some attention to set-up. I would go for a lighter gauge, say 40 thru 100. I don't think those old harmony necks are that robust. Can't help with the case. Sorry.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Why don't you measure it and find out?
  4. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Those Harmony necks feel fragile, but they aren't. I had an H-22 and put 45 - 105 flats on it with no problem. The tuners are actually guitar tuners on that model, though, and my tech and I had to unravel the string wrap at the end of each string so they would fit. The DeArmond pickup in that thing just sounded HUGE!
  5. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    I feel like I need to see pics :D
  6. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    The neck dive is probably due to the replacement tuners. What tuners are on it now? You might be able to get lighter versions of them and cure the neck dive that way.
  7. Gotoh tuners. Could it also be my guitar strap (do some lend themselves to leaning towards the body side vs neck or is that not a thing?)
  8. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    It is a thing. I use wider leather straps which tend to grab your shoulder and stop neck dive. A nylon strap will just slide, and lets the neck dive happen. The Gotoh tuners are probably heavier than the original tuners (although better in quality). Are they open gear Gotoh, or the mini Gotoh tuners?
  9. mini
  10. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Hmm. Doesn't get much lighter than the Gotoh mini tuners. I'd try a wide leather strap and see if that cures the neck dive.
  11. okay cool that's an easy and cheap fix. Also do you think it needs a setup after putting on round wounds from flatwounds even though it was just setup and recommendation for backpack case?
  12. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    If you like the action where it is, leave it. I would just check the intonation otherwise. That might need a bit of adjusting going from flats to rounds. Backpack case? Like a gig bag? I use a Mono gig bag which that bass should fit into. It might be a bit short for that case, but there's a block in the case with a Velcro flap that holds the bass securely.
  13. hangman

    hangman Supporting Member

    I had one of those for a short period of time. Those tuners don't look like replacements to me--the shop told you they replaced them?
    To answer your question, that is a short-scale bass, so you'll want strings to accommodate that length .
    Those DeArmond p/ups are great sounding.
    I also had a H-22 and, if I remember correctly, the necks are indeed different. The H-22s have chunkier necks.
    One thing: the tortoiseshell pickguard material covering the headstock is prone to warping and can cause the headstock to crack, which sort of looks like it's starting to happen.
    Nice bass, have fun with it.
    Steven Ayres likes this.
  14. it's 30" from the nut to the sadles where the strings peal over into the bridge. I got 45 - 65 - 80 - 100 roundwound regular light gauge long scale. Would these work or would they cause damage in the long run? If these are no good what would I want to put on this puppy in terms of string sizes, length for round wounds?
  15. MichelD


    May 19, 2014
    Wow! Lucky guy. I don't have much of a wish list in the bass guitar department any more, but a hollow body Harmony or Kay is on it.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    From the pictures I've seen, it looks to me like the H27 would wear short scale strings.
  17. What are the cons to putting large scale strings on short scale bass? Tone, damage neck over time? Also would a nut change make for difference in tone on these?
  18. hangman

    hangman Supporting Member

    Well, they will work (using longs on ss basses was common back in the day when short strings weren't as available as they are now), but you'll have to wind a lot of the string around tuner posts, which may not have the necessary real estate. A short scale string winds easier. Longs shouldn't cause any damage to the bass, however.
  19. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The important thing is the ball-to-taper length the bass requires. You want the point in the E string where it tapers to fall between the nut and the tuning post.
    Some types of strings can break if you try to wind the thick part of the E around a skinny post.
    Damage to the bass depends on tension. Thickness, not length, determines that.
    Changing a nut only impacts the sound of open strings. Once you fret a note it is completely out of the tone equation.
    tlc1976 and Jeff Elkins like this.