*** VTG LIVE & NOW SOLD! - 30/12/2016 - Sold & on it's way to buyer in Norfolk!
*** I very rarely get the chance to offer one of these generally....I have restored quite a few, but have not had one available that has not been Pre-Ordered for quite a long time....now this one has gone, I do have a number of similar Stella guitars waiting for restoration....if you are interested, give me a shout!
(Archive Page entry - 31/01/2017).
I sell these superb little guitars as often as I can, but they are scarce and not easy to get hold off......now here is another one - a real Gem! The most recent buyer said - "It's brilliant; I'm completely in love with it. I had bought it for use around the house but I'm now wondering whether I can turn it into a gigging guitar."
This is the 3/4 version - the little brother! - of the famous Stella H929, the full size version having been in production continuously for a full quarter of a century, from 1945 to 1970. It is very similar in dimensions to the iconic Martin Terz Guitars, and therefore equally suitable for that unique sounding Raised Third/Terz "G" Tuning, or other raised tunings. These are serious guitars, despite their small size, not toys in any sense, and I have sold as many as I can get hold of for a number of years now, including the same size 3/4 version of another ultra long-running Harmony Spruce and Mahogany model, the H162.
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: VTG1452.
If you have been following my Stella listings, you may have noticed that I refer to the common misunderstanding that the full size Stella is a Three Quarter Size guitar - well this is why! - this is the real Stella H929 3/4 guitar, made from 1957 to 1970, by Harmony!!
A Superb Sounding late 1960s 3/4 Blues Guitar Of Great Character - do not be deterred by it's diminutive stature this is a serious guitar, and no toy! Nevertheless do please check out the description and photos, so that you are fully aware of the size of the guitar. In order to illustrate this I have included a photo alongside "big brother" - the full size equivalent, in this case a Stella H931. The dimension comparison for the two models is:-
3/4 Model:- Overall Length - 32.5"/82.5mm. - Overall Width/Lower Bout - 11.25"/28.5mm. - Upper Bout - 8.5"/21cm. - Body Length - 15.75"/40cm. - Body Depth Front - 2.6"/7.2cm. - Body Depth Rear - 3.375"/8.6cm. - Scale - 21.5"/546mm. - Nut Width - 1.625"/41mm.
4/4 Model:- Overall Length - 36.25"/92.5mm. - Overall Width/Lower Bout - 13.25"/33.5mm. - Upper Bout - 9.5"/24.2cm. - Body Length - 17.75"/45cm. - Body Depth Front - 3.25"/8.3cm. - Body Depth Rear - 3.625"/9.25cm. - Scale - 24.25"/615mm. - Nut Width - 1.75"/44.5mm.
On all the similar 3/4 Guitars I have sold, I have been particularly impressed by the unique sound they give, combined with great playability - these are serious guitars, not toys in any way! Small bodied 6 string and also 4 string/tenor guitars were popular in the USA, particularly going back from the 1920s/1930s on, so these 3/4 models were continuing a long tradition in American Music - but of course they are not made now, so are increasingly scarce and sought after by those who appreciate their appeal. You are looking at a guitar of basically similar dimensions to the iconic Martin 5/18 Terz guitar, associated with Marty Robbins and Bobby Gentry, in particular.
The Harmony Guitar Database indicates that the 3/4 H929 was made between 1957 and 1970, and presence of a scratchplate, fitted on later models, agrees with the usual inside ink date stamp, showing S-65, indicating that it was made in one of the 1965 production runs.
The guitar is all original....with the one exception that I have added the vintage period correct bushings/ferrules to the tuning machine posts, in order to improve operation of the tuners, as these were omitted originally by Harmony on this model, until the later 1960s.
Following the completion of the restoration work I have done, the guitar is in exceptional structural and cosmetic condition for a 51 year old Stella! Inevitably there are some small chips and edge wear to the painted body binding and elsewhere, and I have had to do the minimum of restoration to the finish around the seam where the back has been removed/re-fixed, but really minimal for the age of the guitar, and the Sunburst Faux Flame finish otherwise looks incredibly fresh. Original scratchplate is sound & the original tuner strips, which have been gently cleaned, retain a little typical age-related discolouration, but work fine.
The restoration has been completed in the workshop of the highly experience luthier I work with, under his supervision. The back panel was been removed, in order to complete internal repairs to re-secure the braces, and in fact make and fit one replacement top brace, and has now been re-glued back in place. The original glued & factory bolted, fretwire saddle bridge has been reset/re-glued, and the stained Maple fingerboard has been re-levelled, and re-coloured, as near as possible to the original, and I have completed the re-fretting and reset the original nut.
Following completion of workshop restoration, it has been set-up with an excellent action of around 2.75mm. at the 12th. fret, which should be good for combined fretted and bottleneck playing, and just a little more string height than usual at the 1st. fret, aiding Bottleneck play, whilst the shorter scale makes fretting easier.
Although very small, these guitars punch like heavyweights - loud and strident - just what a pokey little Stella should be - but with it's own unique rather "old-timey" tone - hard to put into words, but there is a certain element of Banjo-ishness in the sound of the treble strings, as might be expected from the fretwire, but also with a nice rasp at the lower end, ideal for blues/ragtime and similar styles - but do believe it is not short on either tone or decibels! For full time slide playing, a nut riser can be obtained for a few pounds only!
I will have to decide what type of strings are fitted when work is completed, so if you are reserving before that, I can give you the choice. It can be strung with either Martin Bronze Light 12s, or Extra-light steels, or Martin Silk and Steel strings, which are probably a better choice if you will be using raised tunings. Depending on how it is played the guitar can produce a very 30s sound you might expect to hear on an old Gospel 78, and a high lilting chime, in a way somewhere between a 12 string acoustic Guitar and a Mandolin. For this some players tune them up slightly, but for this you would certainly fit lighter strings, and I have heard this model elsewhere, similarly sounding superb fitted with Silk & Steel Strings.
There is no case included with the guitar, and it is difficult to find cases to fit guitars as small as this, but I may have one of the original type & size, which would be adequate for home storage, if you are not concerned about it's condition, but no doubt you may be able to locate a modern alternative on the net. Finally what a great Travel Guitar!!!