VTG SALES & RESTORATIONS ARCHIVE - BLUES VINTAGE 12 STRINGS - USA HARMONY & HARMONY-MADE STELLA GUITARS FROM 1950S/1960S/1970S.
Brief details of previously sold Harmony USA made acoustic 12 string guitars - see "VTG AVAILABLE" listings, in the 12-String Guitar section, for similar available guitars or contact me.
SOLD
Intro
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Similar models awaiting restoration may be available to "pre-order" - please see "Restoration" section for any similar Guitars currently "In the Workshop".
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Whether it is Leadbelly, Blind Willie McTell or just 12-String Blues in general, these Harmonys & Stellas are the most authentic, practical and affordable option available.

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Harmony Stella 12 Strings Guitars.
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..........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.

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Sovereign and similar Harmony 12 String Guitars.
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.............Again, I have only managed to list a couple of these for sale. Not for the want of trying, but they are hard to come by - certainly in th sort of great condition of the last one which I sold for Perry Foster! I have always had a fondness for 12 string guitars - and this is one of the iconic ones, as those of us who remember Pete Townsend famously sporting one on the box around '66 will testify!

This is the classic All Solid Woods, Spruce and Mahogany, Chicago, USA built Harmony Sovereign H1270 Flattop Acoustic 12 string Guitar, which Harmony described as a Jumbo, although it is a 16", rather than the 17" super jumbo. As with all Harmony made Guitars there is usually an inside ink date stamp - the model was produced from 1964 through to 1971. Same original Harmony tuning advise came with these...same 2"/51mm. nut width & 25.25"/642mm. scale length, although the 12th. fret action on my last one was low at 2.25mm./3mm.

With it's ladder braced body, tailpiece/floating bridge, Solid Spruce book-matched top, Cream edges and Black Multiple Binding, Matching Soundhole Rings, Cream Bound Solid Mahogany Back and Sides, this is a much sought after 12 string - just a fabulous 12 string sound - hear and see the YouTube clips of James Ralston & Mike Russo!
Description
Here are some, not all, of the Harmony made 12 string Guitars I have sold in recent times - in some cases other examples of the same models may be currently available, or at least "in the workshop". Please enquire for current availability, prices and further details.

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PRE-2012 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** HARMONY H1227 USA VINTAGE 1973 OM/GRAND CONCERT SIZE 12 STRING ACOUSTIC GUITAR - All Solid Birch - really a late Stella in Harmony clothing! Great Condition, Sound & Playing - Photo #5.

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*** SOLD *** HARMONY STELLA H922 USA VINTAGE 1962 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET 12 STRING BLUES GUITAR - The Blind Willie McTell model - Ladder Braced, Great Condition, Character Looks & BluesTone - Photo #4.

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2012 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** HARMONY STELLA H912 USA VINTAGE 1964-1968 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET 12 STRING BLUES GUITAR - Ladder Braced, Great Condition, Character Looks & BluesTone, Overhaul I carried out included dressing work to frets & fingerboard - VTG1347 - Photo #1.

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*** SOLD *** HARMONY STELLA H913 USA VINTAGE 1971 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET 12 STRING ACOUSTIC BLUES GUITAR - Ladder Braced, Great Condition, Character Looks & BluesTone. Overhaul I carried out included dressing work to the frets & fingerboard - Photo #6.

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2013 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** HARMONY SOVEREIGN H1270 USA VINTAGE 1969 SPRUCE & MAHOGANY 12 FRET 12 STRING GUITAR - All Solid Woods Professionally Overhauled Excellent Condition, Great Sound/Playing, w/TGI Hardcase, Minor overhaul completed included bridge/saddle work to renew the dual saddles, in the original formation for good action height & correct string-spacing before selling on behalf of the "Big Daddy of British Blue" Perry Foster - VTGC1012 - 131002 - Photo #3.

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2014 SALES:
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*** SOLD *** HARMONY H1230 USA VINTAGE 1972 SPRUCE/MAHOGANY 12 FRET OM/GRAND CONCERT 12 STRING GUITAR - Rare Model! "Narrow Neck", All Solid Woods, Excellent Condition, Great Sound & Playing, Minor overhaul I completed included improving seating of floating bridge, & minor treatments to superficial finish only cracks - A "Sovereign" in all but name! - VTG1343 - 140304 - Photo #2.

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2015 SALES:
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*** 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, Ladder Braced, Great Condition, Character Looks & BluesTone - Major restoration, including Neck Reset & Re-fret for Perry Foster, Bluesman, Guitarist/Singer - "Big Daddy of British Blues"; "The Old Maestro" - http://www.perryfoster.co.uk - VTG1381 - 141203 - Photo #7.

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2016 SALES:
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*** SOLD ON PRE-ORDER! *** HARMONY STELLA H912 USA VINTAGE 1966 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET ACOUSTIC 12 STRING BLUES GUITAR - All Original Restored Condition Ladder Braced Great Character Looks BluesTone - Significant restoration included removal & re-fitting of fingerboard & Body top in order to complete repairs/renewals to dameged top braces, fret levelling/re-profiling & other minor overhaul works - VTG1507 - 151207 - Photo #9.

Sale Completed 04/01/2016 - to Mark Braidner in Belfast - https://markbraidner.bandcamp.com/releases - "Mark Braidner specialises in finger style blues and slide playing"....see "FEEDBACK" opposite...........

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*** SOLD ON PRE-ORDER! *** HARMONY STELLA H913 USA VINTAGE c.1969 ALL SOLID BIRCH 12 FRET ACOUSTIC 12 STRING BLUES GUITAR - All Original Restored Condition Ladder Braced Great Character Looks BluesTone - Major restoration included installation of new trussrod, purpose making & fitting of replacement Ebony fingerboard and fretting, removal & re-fitting of guitar back panel in order to complete repairs/renewals to damaged braces & reinforcement/cleating of old crack repairs & other minor overhaul works - VTG1143 - 160502 - Photo #8.

Sale completed 19/05/2016 to buyer from Kenilworth, who has since been in touch to say how well he is enjoying the guitar & enquire about another one!

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Condition
All guitars are restored to the same high standards as the scores of other Harmony & Stella guitars produced by Harmony throughout their long ownership of the Stella name from around 1940, up to the termination of USA production in Chicago in 1975, 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 availability and 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 are 12 string blues guitars, needing a higher action, and it may be that players will use a bottleneck slide, in which case a low/electric type action just does not work, and some fret clearance is essential.

As indicated above, 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. I am happy to discuss other string types/gauges to buyer's requirements.

The guitars do not usually come with cases, although I do have some of the original covered pressed-board cases originally supplied with these guitars....those who remember these will recall that they are not exactly what we would now call a fitted case! Alternatively, I may be able to offer a suitable size Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, offering infinitely better protection. Additional case prices available on request.
Contact us about this guitar
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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.

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**** INTERNATIONAL SALES ****
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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.

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**** FEEDBACK AND TESTIMONIALS ****
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Bluesman's Vintage Harmony & Stella Guitar Collection.

I have a copy of the February 2011 Issue of "Guitar & Bass" Magazine, which includes an article entitled "Harmony Central", in which Ian Siegal discusses his adored collection of Vintage '60s Harmony and Stella Guitars!

In addition to this and 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".

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**** OTHER GUITARS ****
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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!

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**** YOUTUBE ****
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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 I have embedded a video from "guitarded71" on a Stella H912.

For the Harmony 12 strings there is a YouTube clip of top-flight American Guitarist James Ralston playing an identical Sovereign H1270, the link to which is included as "Useful Link" #2. There are also further links on the Harmony Guitars Database link below to Concert footage of Mike Russo, also playing one, which looks as though it was recorded possibly around the time this guitar was made.

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**** FEEDBACK ****
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....AND THE FEEDBACK FROM MARK BRAIDNER ON HIS STELLA H912!

"Yes of course that would be no problem at all quoting for my last email. I meant every word of it and loving the guitar more and more the more that I play it. I must say that it really comes to life when I get the finger and thumb picks on, almost pianoesque if there's such a word and sounding great with the slide.".......and the original feedback verbatim.....

"I'm happy to report that the guitar arrived with me here in Belfast this afternoon.
It was exciting opening the box, I was like a kid at Christmas you could say and I wasn't disappointed when I opened the box up.
First impression was that the guitar looks stunning to me and I could have swore it said 'hello'!

I've now tuned it up, to the open 'C' that I had mentioned and have been playing away on it with it sounding better all the time as the strings bed in.
The action is all but perfect for me. It allows me to play slide easily and also fret the guitar in a conventional way very comfortably.
The neck is smooth to run along and not too wide, I wouldn't have the biggest hands in the world.
I can see the slight blemishes that you mentioned where the binding had separated after the removal of the top but that isn't really an issue at all.
The guitar is in great nick for it's age and I look forward to enjoying many happy hours playing it both at home and in a gigging situation (after fitting a pick up) and I will definitely get a you tube video or two up for anyone interested to take a look at!
Anyway thank you so much for your time and effort into restoring the guitar to such a high standard.
It has been a pleasure dealing with you too Bob. On the ball with your knowledge and concise assessments and always 'keeping me in the loop'. If anyone comes up to me and says to me 'I'm looking a vintage acoustic like that one can you recommend anyone?' I'll most definitely and gladly point them in your direction.

All the best with your future projects, I'm sure you have requests and instruments coming in all the time. I'll keep an eye on your website too and you never know in the future something might grab me! Meantime take care and all the best.

Cheers,
Mark"
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Video
Useful links
Harmony Guitars Database - Harmony H1270 Sovereign 12 String
YouTube clip '60s Harmony 1270 James Ralston
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