*** 01/01/2017 - Reserved as provisional pre-order for customer from Essex, when newly arrived and pending completion of the restoration.
*** 26/01/2017 - Now completed, including the repro pickguard we purpose-made, and ready for collection.....photos updated to show finished job!
*** 31/01/2017 - Collected & sale completed!
These are scarce guitars....the last two I sold were in 2014, when I was lucky enough to be able to get the two in. Before that I think the previous one was around 2009/2010! Steve Harrison, Community & Traditional Folk Musician, in West Yorkshire, bought the 1964 example we made the pickguard for....his second purchase, having previously bought a Stella H929TG tenor from me.
The second, a 1969 made one, went to Graham Legge, Sound Engineer & Folk at the Salmon Bothy, Portsoy, far up in North East Scotland...fullsome feedback was a delight....you might gather that I have been up there & seen some of the musicians he works with.....see his feedback under the heading below...........
First option to buy this example has been offered to an existing customer, but I am always on the lookout for other Archtop Tenors, but already have a choice of flattop tenors in stock so, if you are interested in purchasing one please do get in touch.
If you follow my listings you will know that from time to time (i.e. as often as I can get hold of them) I do list Tenor Guitars regularly, most often H929TG Harmony made Stellas, which usually don't hang about long at all - with excellent feedback from buyers! Availability of the Stella Tenors is also limited, and I generally don't manage to get more than 2 or 3 a year, and the last one I had in the workshop was pre-sold, and has now been completed and collected by the buyer.
My tenor guitar sales have been fascinating in regard to the quality of the players who have bought them, including one restored as a private project for David Bristow, well-known Midlands-based Bluesman. David is extremely happy with it, and footage of him gigging it is now available on YouTube - David Bristow - Three Fat Ladies! Sound is better on the one recorded at the Musician, Leicester.
Another, partly rebuilt and restored sold to Richard Hawley, who has since bought another tenor...this time a Harmony Sovereign H1201TG from me, and again I have been in touch with Richard recently, and he is very happy with both of his tenors, and happy for me to use his endorsement.
Stock Number: VTG1543.
A superb classic Harmony Archtop Acoustic Tenor Guitar, made in Chicago, from all solid Birch. It carries the original inside ink date stamp of S-63, indicating that it was made in one of the 1963 production runs, this model, the Archtone Tenor guitar, having been made from 1956 through to 1971.
Experts and Tenor Guitar/Banjo players will know far more than I do about the tuning options for Tenor Guitars, but there is also information available on the web, and I previously had a copy of the very useful "Tenor Guitar Chord Bible" by Tobe A. Richards, which I passed on with one of the Tenor Guitars I sold. available on line from Fretted Friends, with chords for CGDA (Standard Tuning) and GDAE (Irish Tuning), as opposed to the Chicago tuning, derived from the 6 string. Various string makers produce string sets specifically for Tenor Guitar, and locally based Newtone Strings produce them in 3 sets:- "Chicago" 13/17/26W/34W, "Standard" 10/13/24W/32W, and "Irish" 12/18W/28W/38W - available on line from the excellent Eagle Music - I will consult the buyer as to their choice of preferred string gauges, according to the tuning they use.
In addition to the other Harmony and Stella H929TGs I have have sold a number of other Tenor Guitars over the last few years - these have included 1960s Kay/Silvertone models and earlier Oscar Schmidt Stella short scale and all Mahogany Kay models. All have been eminently playable guitars and have proved outstandingly popular - so much so that in addition to some of the prominent UK buyers, others have been shipped to Denmark, Germany, Rome and Portugal! Accordingly, as good examples, like this one, are so scarce, I think that this is an opportunity not to be missed by serious Tenor Guitar players!
The condition is I think as good as you are likely to find on a 54 year old Harmony acoustic, that has been used at all, and not just sat in it's case for half a lifetime! Some typical age and use marking, as to be expected for a vintage guitar of this age, including wear/small areas of finish loss to the painted bindings, & slight indentations on the back of the neck, but nothing which in any way hampers play. I hope the photos show, this remains a particularly smart and handsome example of it's type.
All the components appear original, and in good condition, except for the pickguard, which like most of these, was missing, so in conjuction with the minor alterations needed for l/h conversion, a replacement 'guard has been purpose-made in the style of the original, as I did on another identical archtop tenor for Steve Harrison. The individual tuners, again original, remain bright, with very little age-related discolouration, and work fine. I can see no sign of previous repairs.
The commission from the customer who has reserved the guitar is to convert for left-handed play, which we have very successfully done on tenors previously. The guitar has been checked over fully with the very experienced professional luthier I work with, confirming that there are no ongoing problems or major works required, and the bulk of the light restoration and conversion work needed has been quickly completed in his workshop & under his supervision.
The light overhaul included a light stoning of the original slim brass frets to level & remove slight play wear. Stained Maple fingerboard is in generally good shape, with only a small area of finish only wear & slight edge irregularity, not detrimental to playing. The adjustable bridge and tailpiece are also original, in good condition, with only a little age discolouration to the latter, but the top of the dyed Maple bridge has been slightly flattened off in the past, and has had a minor re-shaping to adjust the angle to reverse for left-handed stringing. The rest of the switch to left-hand was only minor adjustment to the retained original bone nut.
It plays superbly, currently in Chicago or 6-string tuning, and even with old strings, the gauge of which I haven't checked, it sounds excellent. Tenor guitar action does not really need to be particularly low for a 23" scale tenor, but this one is playing cleanly, with the bridge adjusters low down, giving 12th fret action of only around 2mm., with more adjustment on the thumbwheels to raise it to what I would normally be looking for at around 2.5mm./3mm. At the customer's request I will be fitting a dedicated tenor guitar string set gauged for "Standard" Tenor Guitar Tuning, and I'm just awaiting the arrival of the Eagle/Newtone strings from Eagle Music.
The customer has requested that the guitar be supplied in a Hiscox Liteflite case to fit at modest additional cost.