Preliminary Announcement - Library Photos of the 1966 example pending completion of workshop repairs.
I always look forward to being able to offer another vintage Harmony Archtop - having sold over the years various other similar 1950s & 1960s models from the same "family" of USA Harmony Guitars, including the Master and Broadway - this one is still in the workshop - meantime the photos shown here are from my photo library, not the actual guitar, but I will gladly send further photos on request.
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: VTG1150.
A superb classic Harmony Archtop Acoustic Guitar, from the "Family" of Harmony models, including the Broadway and Monterey models, in addition to the Master and other Harmony-made branded models including S S Stewart, made in Chicago, from All Solid Woods, Birch Top, Back and Sides. The usual original inside ink date stamp is visible - S-66, indicating that it was made in one of the 1966 production runs.
Production of the Harmony Master continued from 1954 until 1971, one of the most successful models in production during that period, with the distinctive Sunburst finish throughout the run, just with a few minor cosmetic/styling changes. In addition to preparing this 1966 example, I also have a really early example from 1955, which will be available after work - only the second year of production, with an older style headstock, and which despite the greater age has less finish wear.
The guitar is essentially original throughout, except that it is not clear yet whether there will a the need to replace the frets in order to level the fingerboard. The pickguard is currently missing, as they so often are! Originals are almost impossible to find, so I need to decide whether to source a new replica of the original fitting. The tailpiece and tuners are original and, although with some inevitable age-related discolouration, in good shape, and the machine heads work fine.
There are slight signs that work has been carried out on the guitar, and the neck had been reset and the back panel has been taken off and refixed, with some binding loss. The neck angle which has been achieved is not correct, and will be reassessed, together with the other work carried out in the past, in conjunction with the highly respected professional luthier I work with, to determine the exact nature and extent of the corrective work which needs to be carried out.
This work may include re-doing the neck reset to a better angle, or levelling the fretboard and re-fretting, and the body will be checked to see whether the back has been adequately re-glued or whether it needs refixing, whether any further internal work needs to be undertaken, but certainly it will all be cleaned up and the damaged binding replaced. All work needed will be completed in the luthier's workshop, under his supervision, to ensure that the guitar is entirely stable and in good playing condition.
Overall, the condition is as expected for a near 50 year old vintage archtop acoustic - the finish colour remains strong, but with a degree of ageing which I find attractive - it has the look of the older '30s - '50s guitars. There is typical age/use/wear marking and some limited finish loss, but to me this is all part of the great vibe and character of a guitar like this, and it remains a very handsome guitar!
If it does become necessary to level the fingerboard, the original painted on position markers will be lost. This is a question of personal preference, but if so they will be replaced with simple inlay dot position markers, as used on various other similar models in this Harmony "Family". Whatever corrective work is completed, it will be setup for a good playing action. It has the standard Harmony 1.75"/44.5mm. width apparently Original Nut just a tad wider than the typical modern acoustic, and will be re-strung with a set of Martin Bronze Light 12-54 strings.
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.