26/05/2019 - Reserved on "Pre-order" for existing customer in Sussex.
06/06/2019 - now completed & sold....on it's way to the customer. Meantime, updated photos of the restored guitar have been added.
Another Stella H929TG from 1955 has since been reserved on pre-order.
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 Stellas, but also Harmony Sovereigns & Archtones, none of which seem to hang about long at all, and in most cases "pre-sell", before I have completed the work on them - see excellent feedback from buyers!
I am now finding that I regularly "pre-sell" my guitars, at the stage where I am still working on them. This arrangement has now worked consistently well on a steady stream of restoration sales, so I am continuing to list some of the guitars coming through the workshop, in advance of them being fully ready, and welcome further enquiries.
Stock Numbers: VTG1530.
The Harmony made Stella H929TG is the 4-string/Tenor version of the iconic H929 6-string, of which I sell many, but the Tenor is the scarcer animal! Same size body, but with 14 frets to the body join, rather than 12 on the 6-string - actual dimensions are 91.25cm./36" overall length, 45.3cm./17.875" body length, 33.5cm./13.25" max. body width/lower bout, 24cm./9.5" upper bout, 8cm./3.2" body depth front, 9.3cm./3.7" body depth rear, 582mm./23" scale, 31.5mm./1.25" nut width, 37.5mm./1.5" fingerboard width @ 12th. fret.
It has great looks, lots of vibe and historic all-American character - a superb sounding parlor blues guitar, set up for finger-style or for bottleneck playing - an iconic Chicago made, tenor Blues Guitar - all solid Birch, ladder braced construction. The usual Harmony ink date stamp is clearly readable on the 1955 version, made without a scratchplate, but not clear on the later one, which was by then produced with a white scratchplate, now missing on this one, but I may have an original replacement I can fit with the existing screw holes...I think I can see where the stamp may have been, and I have an idea that it might possibly indicate 1963 manufacture, which would tie in with other detailing, which did change in only minor respects over the near 20 year production period.
I have sold a good number of 23" scale Tenor Guitars over the last few years, including Tenor versions of the Harmony Sovereign, Archtone and Stella models, all eminently playable guitars, which have proved outstandingly popular, and include ones I have shipped to buyers in Denmark, Rome and Portugal, as well as to U.K. buyers! The Tenor Guitar has a long and strong heritage in American Music, following early development as an alternative for Banjo players - not only in Blues, but also Bluegrass and Country Music - but excellent for a variety of playing styles, as anyone else who has heard Irish/Celtic tunes played on a Stella Tenor, will appreciate.
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.
Components are essentially original....the only major departure is that the guitar has a replacement bridge, and a front strap button has been added previously to the neck heal, which is to be retained, at the customer's request.
The bridge replacement was carried out elsewhere, before the guitar came to me. The replacement is a neat & tidy, professionally completed alteration, with inset bone saddle, and will be retained. A detailed inspection will be undertaken, but overall there appears to be little wrong with the guitar, other than the need for a relatively limited attention to the fingerboard, including a gentle stoning/levelling & re-profiling of the original thin brass frets, which is in progress.
During the course of this inspection, particular attention was given to the small crease or check line, not really a true crack line, in the top, to the rear part of the treble side lower bout. The previous professional repair on the guitar was again confirmed, when an additional wooden reinforcement was located under this position, removing any small doubt about it for the future.
Original tuning machines have been cleaned, having a modest amount of typical age-related discolouration, but work fine. I have added appropriate vintage type ferrule/bushings, which were not factory fitted. One little note of interest is the typical painted fingerboard position markers....these are quite variable on Harmony Stella H929TG tenor guitars....some have single dots at frets 5, 7, 10 & 12, some have the 5 dot style, like this one, but at frets 3, 5, 7, 10 & 12....but at least one I have had before has had the same arrangement as this one with 5 dot style at frets 3, 5, 7, both 9 & 10 & 12....just another bit of typical Harmony idiosyncrasy!
I expect to set tenor guitars of this type up with a 12th. fret action of 2.75mm./3.25mm., which I think is ideal for a Stella tenor. The neck is necessarily very slim, with 1.25"/32mm. width nut, but with a proportionally deep profile, somewhere between a "D" shape and a gentle "V", making playing very comfortable.
If "Pre-ordered", strings will be fitted in accordance with the customer's intended tuning.....as indicated above, typically, "Chicago" 13/17/26W/34W, "Standard" 10/13/24W/32W, and "Irish" 12/18W/28W/38W.....in the event Eagle Music Standard "C" Tuning - CDGA Pure Nickel 10/14/24W/32W strings have been fitted.
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 Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, with additional factory-fitted internal pads to accommodate the small Stella body size.