The Blind Willie McTell model - All Original Restored Condition Ladder Braced Great Character Looks BluesTone.

Preliminary Announcement - available for pre-order, pending restoration!

The last example of this very scarce & difficult to locate model I sold went to Perry Foster, Bluesman, Guitarist/Singer - "Big Daddy of British Blues"; "The Old Maestro" - http://www.perryfoster.co.uk.....restoration having been completed in February, 2015 from Perry's pre-order reservation just a couple of months earlier in the December....I have both Harmony Stella H912 & H913 12-string models, which are the successors to the H922, "in the workshop"....if you may be interested in one of these please contact me - Photos showing this actual guitar were taken before Repair/Restoration work commenced.

Apart from being in the ownership of one of this country's foremost & long-established Blues figureheads, the previously restored & sold H922 Stella had some other interesting recent history. In October 2014 I was approached by the prominent London based, Eagle Rock Productions, seeking the loan of that Stella 12-string for filming use in connection with their production in progress and titled "Legend of Lead Belly" film, aired on the 23rd February, 2015 on the Smithsonian Channel in America, and now available on their subscription channel.

I am now finding that I regularly "pre-sell" my guitars, at the stage where I am still working on them, and although previously I had my doubts, this arrangement has now worked well in quite a number of cases, so I have decided to list some of the guitars coming through the workshop, in advance of them being fully ready, and welcome further enquiries.
Stock Number: VTG1524.

..........I don't often get to list these when already up & running and ready for sale...they tend to get reserved before we get there! At the time of writing I have four Stella 12 strings in stock, all waiting for me to complete work on them.

Basically, Harmony made Stella 12 strings are either the earlier Stella H922 (the Blind Willie McTell model!), made through from around 1940, when Harmony acquired the Stella name, up to about 1964, which was followed by the sunburst H912 to 1968, and then the natural/blond topped H913 to 1971....still the All Solid Birch, Ladder Braced 12 Fret to the body Stella with that classic slotted open headstock, still reminiscent of the early Stellas way back - designed to be tuned down for that characteristic 12 String Blues sound - and they are loud!

The original catalogues contains the following caution:- "A 12 string guitar should never be tuned up to regular 6 string guitar pitch, to avoid pulling up the top, or bowing the neck. Experienced players recommend tuning three or four half-tones lower." We have moved on of course since, with lighter string gauges, but it is still the case that these guitars were designed for that spine-tingling detuned sound, often achieved by tuning down to C, or other tunings that were commonly used.

In general terms the highly respected professional luthier I work with sees no problem in tuning 12 strings to concert pitch, but the increased tension is great, and these are vintage guitars! I generally fit two alternative stringing options - either with Martin Bronze Light gauge 12-54 gauge needed for the suggested C, or similar tuning, but which must only be used for lowered tunings, or Martin Bronze Extra-light 10-47 gauge, with which you might still want to tune to D and capo.

The model identifier & production date ink stamps are clearly visible. The date stamp reads S-64 indicating that it was made in one of the 1964 production runs. Although it is needing some typical restoration attention, as detailed in the "Condition" section below, the cosmetic finish & hardware condition is really very good for a 53 year old Stella.

The approx. dimensions are as follows:-

Overall length: 40"/101cm.
Width: 15.25"/38.7cm.
Top Bout: 11.75"/29.8cm.
Waist: 9.5"/23.7cm.
Depth: Front: 3.375"/8.6cm.
Rear: 3.875"/9.75cm.
Scale:- 12 frets to the body 25.25"/642mm.
Nut Width: 2"/51mm.
Fingerboard 12th fret width: 2.375"/60mm.
Floating Bridge string spacing: 2.9"/62.5mm.
Tailpiece: string spacing 2.5"/57mm.
length: 4"/10.1mm.
The guitar is all original, and as I think you will see from the photos, the cosmetic condition of the finish to most areas of this H922 is really very good for a 53 year old vintage Stella. Inevitably there is some marking and small areas of localised wear & finish loss, including to the painted edge "bindings" and seams. There is a bit of a "bruise" on the bass-side shoulder, which it turns out from looking inside is where it appears a small hole has been drilled in the past & not too tidily filled....don't propose to do much with, just colour it down a bit perhaps, but don't see it as detrimental, and certainly no evidence of any cracking.

The tuning machines show a small degree of the usual age-related discolouration, but are working fine. They will be removed and generally cleaned. The originl tailpiece likewise shows only little discolouration and is sound, as is the original floating bridge.

The guitar will be restored in conjunction with the very well-respected professional luthier I work with, and work will be carried out in his workshop and under his supervision. In particular the neck joint will be reset. In order to access the neck joint, the fingerboard will be removed. The fingerboard shows virtually no play wear, but a degree of wear is noted to the first 4 frets. A decision as to whether fingerboard re-levelling and re-fretting may be needed will have to be delayed until the fingerboard is re-fitted, after the neck reset has been completed it's levelness checked, and if needed a refret & re-levelling will be completed, together with any other work required to complete full restoration.
Action, strings & cases
When correctly set up, all the Harmony Stella 12-strings play nicely with the distinct "D" profile neck on the later models, as this one, but all with that 2"/approx. 51mm. nut width & 25 1/4"/642mm. scale length. I aim for a 12th. fret action of around 3mm., making it ideal for a mixture of both fretted and bottleneck play, and will consult with the buyer regarding his anticipated tunings and string it up accordingly. 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!

As mentioned earlier, the usual stringing options are Martin Bronze XL 10-47 gauge strings, necessary if tuning up to or near concert pitch, alternatively Martin Light 12-54, only for lowered tuning, or a third option I used at Mark Braidner#'s request on the H912 restored for him completed around Christmas 2015 are John Pearse Heavy Gauge 13-56 strings, designed for C# tuning.

There is no case included, but I do usually have some vintage cases of the type these guitars were originally sold with, although they are covered pressed fibreboard, not intended to last a lifetime, and in variable condition. Alternatively I may be able to supply a virtually unused Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, offering much better protection, and if I can marry the guitar to a suitable case, I will be please to agree a combined price for guitar + case.
Contact us about this guitar
Please enter the following security code
Delivery details
You are welcome to come and try out the guitars available, and of course to collect your guitar. Alternatively I may be able to deliver in person, within reasonable distance, at cost. Otherwise, I will pack securely and post as per arrangements made with you.

Postage Costs:-
To U.K. Addresses usually £15.00, for Parcelforce Express 24 service.
To European Addresses £30.00 to £50.00, for Parcelforce Euro Priority service, depending on size, weight, value and delivery location.

If you need further information postage costs/timing/insurance or advice on other matters, please contact me via Contact form above, telephone 01543 677140. If no immediate response, I may be contactable via my mobile number 07970 832955, and I will do my best to answer any questions.


In addition to hundreds of UK sales, during the last few years I have sold and had safely delivered many guitars to buyers in EU Countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, and also to Switzerland and Norway. I am always happy to advise potential buyers from throughout Europe with regard to postage arrangements and delivery costs.


Bluesman's Vintage Harmony & Stella Guitar Collection.

I have a copy of the February 2011 Issue of "Guitar & Bass" Magazine, which includes an article entitled "Harmony Central", in which Ian Siegal discusses his adored collection of Vintage '60s Harmony and Stella Guitars!

In addition to this and the testimonials on the Home Page, to see the hundreds of complimentary feedback comments kindly left for me by eBay buyers, please check out my eBay ID "vintagetraditionalguitars", and eBay Shop "Vintage and Traditional Guitars".


I have a stock of guitars which is added to regularly, but some tend to take a little time to find their way through my workshop, so if you do not see what you are looking for on my website currently, please enquire - who knows, I may have just what you are looking for!

**** YOUTUBE ****

I cannot provide a video/audio demonstration of this guitar, nor have I yet found a demo for this H922 model, but YouTube is well blessed with clips from players who really can on similar but slightly later H912 & H913 Stellas....I have included links to a selection from "Guitarded71", Jim Perrett & "Deepriver100"....the latter not titled, but "She moves through the Fair", if I'm not mistaken - not Blues, but class playing to my ears - and note how he has the floating bridge angled back just a little to aid intonation across the strings - the other two videos for the Blues.
Useful links
YouTube clip - Stella 12 String Guitar played by Jim Perrett
YouTube clip - Harmony Stella H912 12 string by Deepriver100
Sitemap  Privacy Policy  Admin