Iconic Vintage Acoustic 12 String Blues Guitars Made in Chicago, USA - not yet "In the Workshop" for restoration, but available to "pre-order".


The current selection of Iconic 12 String models - USA made from the 1960s & just into the 1970s I have waiting for restoration....as you may gather, I like 12 strings!


..........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 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!

They play nicely with the distict "D" profile neck on the later models, heavy more "V" shaped on the earlier H922s, but all with that 2"/approx. 51mm. nut width. I aim for a 12th. fret action of around 3mm., making it ideal for a mixture of both fretted and bottleneck play. 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!

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 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.
Models currently "In the Workshop" - Some of the photos displayed are the individual guitars, prior to preparation and some are from my archive, of other examples sold in the past. Please contact me for Prices and further details.


HARMONY STELLA H912 USA VINTAGE 1966 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET, 12 STRING ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - will be All Original Restored Condition, Ladder Braced, Great Character, Looks & BluesTone - VTG1507 - predecessor model to the H913, and same construction, but with earlier Sunburst finish - photos #1-4 - NOW COMPLETED & SOLD ON PRE-ORDER.


HARMONY STELLA H912 USA - CHOICE OF TWO VINTAGE 1966 & 1967 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET, 12 STRING ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - will be All Original Restored Condition, Ladder Braced, Great Character, Looks & BluesTone - VTG1516 & VTG1518 - same model as photos #1-4 - VTG1516 NOW ON FULL LISTING DESCRIPTION ON PAGE 7.


HARMONY STELLA H913 USA - CHOICE OF TWO VINTAGE 1969 & 1971 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET, 12 STRING ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - will be All Original Restored Condition, Ladder Braced, Great Character, Looks & BluesTone- VTG1143 & VTG1176 - same model as Photos #5-8 - VTG1143 NOW COMPLETED & SOLD ON PRE-ORDER.


HARMONY STELLA H922 USA VINTAGE 1962 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET 12 STRING BLUES GUITAR - The Blind Willie McTell model - All Original Restored Condition Ladder Braced Great Character Looks BluesTone - VTG1381 - same model as Photos #9-12 - SOLD - following pre-order from one of my main customers.


HARMONY STELLA H922 USA VINTAGE 1964 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET 12 STRING BLUES GUITAR - The Blind Willie McTell model - All Original Restored Condition Ladder Braced Great Character Looks BluesTone - VTG1524 - Photos #9-12.

All these guitars will be restored to the same high standards as the scores of other Vintage Guitars which I have restored and sold over the years.

The concentration is on structural soundness and playability, rather than any cosmetic touching-up, and certainly no ill-advised refinishing, but of course the guitars are sympathetically cleaned, setup and re-strung, as part restoration.

For individual details on the various guitars, and the restoration work being done on them, please do contact me by email or telephone.
Action, strings & cases
I set out to achieve a 12th. fret action of around 3mm. on these guitars...but if that sounds high to you, please bear in mind that we are in a totally different world of guitar-playing here, to which we cannot apply the "all my guitars have an action of less than 2mm." approach. These 12 String acoustics, with a lot of treble strings, and courses of widely varying string gauges, played mainly down the safe end of the fingerboard, and a little more string height is needed.

I fit Martin Bronze XL 10 Gauge Strings as standard on 12 string guitars. The same type Light 12 Gauge strings are available, but only for use with lowered tunings, particularly for Lower blues tunings on the Harmony/Stellas....some players will tune down to say D, even with the XL strings and Capo at the 2nd. fret.

The guitars sometimes do not come with cases, although some do have older type but sturdy cases. Alternatively, I may be able to offer a suitable size Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, offering infinitely better protection. Additional case prices available on request.
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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 15.00 or 25 for Next Day Delivery.
To European Addresses 30.00 to 60.00, 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.


In addition to 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 ****

YouTube is well blessed with clips of Harmony Stella 12 strings, from players who really can play - try "Deepriver100" - 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. For the Blues try a video entitled "Harmony Stella 12 string no2" from "guitarded71" on a Stella H912, as well as the one I have embedded here...."Death Don't Have No Mercy" on a Stella H913, played by Jim Perrett.

Then there is the clip from the master of the Stella 12 string, Neil Harpe, of stellaguitars.com, entitled Movie.stella.wmv....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anj4tARja74....on whivh Neil plays a '60s Harmony Stella H912, which appears cosmetically to have been partially 1920s-ised....splendid stuff!
Useful links
YouTube clip - Harmony Stella 12-string by guitarded71
YouTube clip - Harmony Stella H912 12 string by Deepriver100
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