Selection of "Restoration to be Completed" Vintage Harmony Stella Guitars - fully restored prices indicated below or available on request - meantime, showing photos of the selection of models available, before start of restoration - ready to go "In the Workshop" for restoration & available to "pre-order"!
A Full Set of Details of each of the guitars listed can be provided on request, but I have felt for some time that I needed to rationalise the amount of information confronting folks....hope it works for enquirers!
Less numerous than the floating bridge versions of the Stella which Harmony made, a good number of examples of which can be found on the separate page I have dedicated to them....principally the models are the "Redburst" Harmony Stella H931, and the "Brownburst" Silvertone H or S604 (and an identical S608).
Silvertone was the brand for Sears, Roebuck, replacing the pre-war Supertone brand, and Airline was the Montgomery Ward mail order brand.
I am now finding that I "pre-sell" the majority of my guitars, certainly the vintage restoration Stellas and other guitars from the same era. Hence many, but not all of the guitars I have in stock are now listed on the website, in advance of restoration, or the stage where I am still working on them. This "Pre-Order" arrangement has now worked well for a good number of years....buyers reserving guitars coming through the workshop, in advance of them being fully ready, without any formal or binding commitment, and I welcome, and thankfully receive a steady stream of enquiries.
I have sold many 1940s, '50s and '60s Harmony-made Stella guitars over the years, in their many variations of the same basic model.....quite a few of them mentioned in the list opposite, under the heading "CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER".
Set up for either Fingerstyle Blues or Bottleneck playing, or mixture of both - these are superb sounding parlor blues guitars, with great looks, lots of vibe and historic All-American character - all original condition - an iconic Chicago made, 12 fret-to-the-body, parlor Blues Guitar - all solid Birch, ladder braced construction!
This page is restricted to the models which have the fixed bridge, usually incorporating a fretwire saddle, and always featuring the two factory fitted bolts, which often enquirers new to these guitars, assume most be later "repair" fittings...not so the bridges were glued, but the bolts fitted in the factory.....see seperate page for the variations of the same basic Stella guitar, but with floating bridge and Tailpiece!
Links are provided to The Harmony Guitars Database, which unfortunately does not currently include full description pages for the guitars Harmony made for other brand names, but searching "Silvertone H or S604" or the other non-Stella/Harmony branded guitars in the HGD search box does usually still bring up a series of photos, if no further description.
Individual condition report and repair/restoration schedules can be supplied for each of the guitars mentioned, on request.
All are in either entirely or essentially original condition....finish & colour in my view as good as you are likely to find on any guitars of this type, ranging between 50 & 75 years old - inevitably there is a little edge wear to the painted bindings and other edges and minor surface chips/scratches...in the main, really the minimum for 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 these remain handsome & characterful vintage guitars.
All the guitars are inspected in conjunction with the professional luthier I work with, in order to determine the schedule of restoration works required, whether it may include a neck reset or the need to re-level the fingerboard, on which if we cannot avoid losing the painted position markings, we do have stencils in order to replace them, or alternatives to install dot markers, etc. to retain the character of guitar as much as possible. Major jobs are carried out in the luthier's workshop, and the whole restoration completed under his supervision.
The original tuners & tailpieces do generally show some typical age-related discolouration but, in the main they work fine, amd are retained wherever possible, but if that is not practicable there are good options for repro parts or I do have a stock of original parts to call on. Original wooden floating bridges, wooden or very good original hard plastic nuts, are re-used whenever possible, but if not practicable replacements are individually purpose-made in Ebony or Bone.
Following whatever restoration/repair works are required on the individual guitar, on completion of the set-up adjustments we will be looking for an action of around 3mm. at the 12th. fret, which I reckon that 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. Within reason it can be a degree higher or lower to suit individual requirements.
Additionally these guitars could also 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! They are usually strung with Martin Bronze Light or Martin Retro Monel Light gauge 12-54 strings, and really sound tremendous - and loud!
There is usually 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 some 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.