*** 03/02/2019 - Restoration now completed and updated photos of the completed job added....sold & on it's way to existing customer in Bedfordshire, who had reserved it on "Pre-order, prior to restoration!
FEEDBACK! - "I think it will become a favourite of mine."
.....I have checked it over in conjunction with the luthier I work with, and the restoration work outlined in the condition section below will be completed, largely in his workshop, and under his supervision. Although different cosmetically, this guitar is the same structurally as all the Harmony-made Stellas from when Harmony acquired the Stella name from the collapsed Oscar Schmidt Company around 1940, up until the time Harmony in turn had to cease production in Chicago, in 1975.
That includes similar age Regal R200 I previously completed work on, which had been pre-sold from the website......feedback from happy buyer in Plymouth....."Guitar arrived safe and sound brilliant better than I could have hoped.", and also another sold to buyer in Newcastle earlier this year, whose feedback was....
"The guitar looks and plays fantastic, it has exactly that authentic Blues sound I was looking for. Many thanks for getting it to me so prompt and packaged well for a safe transit. It will be getting used in Blues clubs and events around the North East in the very near future.
The set up and playability is great for such an old girl."
Following the many '60s Harmony made Stellas I have sold, in all their many variations, this one is the H927 natural top/blond version of the original "faux flame" sunburst finish H929 model, made continuously for quarter-century from 1945 to 1970....another of these real "Little Gems" - this one particularly clean and smart - not completely blemishless, but you wouldn't expect a 45 year old Stella to be completely mint, would you? Just as near to that as you could get and full of historic all-American character!
Please check the other pages of similar Stella models available for restoration on "Pre-order", or contact me for details of othrs I may have in stock, yet to be listed!
Stock Number - VTG1513.
I have sold very many '50s and '60s Harmony made Stellas over the years. This one has the standard floating bridge/tailpiece found on all the H929s, H927s and several other Stella models, together also with various versions of the same guitar, but with differing livery made for the main Mail Order & Department Store brands, such as Silvertone & Airline. The floating bridge gives an advantage in the ability to make minute positional adjustments in order to optimise intonation, which can vary slightly if altered/open tunings are used. Although with an action slightly lower than I usually try to set these guitars at, it is set up for either Fingerstyle Blues or Bottleneck playing - a superb sounding parlor blues guitar, with great looks, lots of vibe and historic All-American character!
It comes in entirely original and clean condition - an iconic Chicago made, 12 fret-to-the-body, parlor Blues Guitar - all solid Birch, ladder braced construction. Sometimes these guitars are mistakenly described as three-quarter size - there is a three-quarter size version of the Stella H929 model (one of which I have in the workshop at present) which is much smaller, this being the full size model with standard Stella dimensions:-
Overall length - 36.25"/96cm., body with lower bout - 13.25"/33.5cm., upper bout - 9.5"/24.2cm., body length - 17.8"/45.2cm., body depth front - 3.25"/8.2cm., rear - 3.7"/9.3cm, with standard Stella/Harmony nut width of 1.75"/44.5mm. - just a tad wider than most modern acoustics - and a 24.25"/615mm scale.
The H927 model identification ink stamp inside is clearly readable, as is the date stamp of F-70, indicating that it was made in one of the 1970 production runs.....the last year of production!
If you are an acoustic blues player and wonder why that top line guitar you bought doesn't sound authentic when you play blues like those of Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell, or Blind Lemon Jefferson, I can tell you why it doesn't and never will! All of those guys and many others from the 30s through to the 60s played Birch bodied guitars, some of them with Spruce tops, some all Birch, but it is the Birch which gives that unmistakable sound. No guitar made today, American or otherwise can give you that sound, for Delta and Country Blues!
If you want a fully functioning, great sounding piece of American musical history, this is it - a really exceptional addition to any collection of Blues/Vintage Guitars.
Excellent original condition....in my view as good as you could possibly expect for a 45 year old Stella guitar - inevitably there is just a very little edge wear to the painted bindings and headstock, but otherwise virtually no finish loss, the very minimum of minor surface scratches...really the minimum I have seen on a Stella of this type and age, and I've seen quite a few! I hope that you will agree that the photos show that this remains a handsome & characterful vintage guitar.
Prior to sale restoration work will be undertaken, under the supervision of the highly experienced luthier I work with, to reset the neck and reinforce a small area of the top, immediately adjoining the soundhole, which has developed a small amount of "shaping"....this is a precautionary procedure we have carried out on many similar Stellas. The work will be completed to professional standard to ensure correct neck angle, playing action and structural stability.
The original tuner strips are particularly clean & bright, with virtually no age-related discolouration, work fine, and have original factory-fitted ferrules....only remarkable in that Harmony did not fit these on Stellas until about 1969. The wooden floating bridge is also original, as is the standard Stella type metal tailpiece, in good condition, with hardly any finish marking.
It already plays nicely with the typical "C" profile rounded neck and, on completion of the neck reset I will be aiming for a good Stella action, at around 3mm. at the 12th. fret, but with just a tad more string height at the nut/first fret in order to aid bottleneck play, which I reckon is ideal for a Stella "all-rounder", good for Bottleneck play, but with fretting aided by the shorter scale length and consequent lower string tension, therefore ideal for a mixture of finger-style and bottleneck play.
Alternatively could still be used for full-time slide with a nut riser costing no more than a few pounds. The sound is typically loud and pokey, just as a Stella should be - a great Bluesy voice! It has "That Sound" in spades - even, woody, bright, clear, ringing tone! It will be strung with Martin Bronze Light 12-54 strings, and really sounds tremendous - and loud!
There is no case (although the guitar will be well packed and securely boxed for posting), but I do have the odd period case, and may be able to supply one of the type these guitars originally came in, or alternatively I may be able to supply it with a virtually unused Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case. These cases of course do offer much better protection, but even the smallest case produced by Hiscox does require a couple of their extra internal pads fitting, in order to hold the small guitar correctly. I will be happy to advise whether I can marry the guitar to a suitable case, at the time of purchase, and if so agree with you an inclusive price for Guitar + Case, and adjust the invoice accordingly.