Preliminary Listing - available for pre-order, pending restoration!
....photos added for the time being are of a similar 1964 vintage H165, to which we had installed the customer's L R Baggs soundhole pickup....photos of this guitar will be added when restoration completed.
Over the years I have sold more examples of the Harmony H162....the Spruce topped equivalent, than of the All Mahogany H165, although I have sold a number of them, but the last was now over 2 years ago....indeed the last H162 I had sold about 18 months ago. That guitar was sold to Dave Beckett - Acoustic Blues & Roots - http://www.deebeeblues.com/....who came all the way up here from Surrey to try it out, and went back with the H162 and also a nice little 1930s Harmony parlor. He was very happy with the H162, and last I heard had fitted an L R Baggs pickup & was gigging with it. You can see Dave's guitar - VTG1477 - if you select the VTG SALES ARCHIVE *** BLUES VINTAGE OM/GRAND CONCERT GUITARS *** HARMONY USA ACOUSTIC MODELS FROM 1950S/1960S/1970S page. I am always keen to be able to offer examples of either model....two of my favourite guitars.
This same model, All Mahogany Harmony H165 was at one time one of the weapons of choice for Lightnin' Hopkins.....see embedded YouTube clip of him playing one! Work is in progress to complete the neck reset and other work, in Professional Luthier's workshop, as described in the Condition section below. Indeed an earlier buyer of one left the following feedback - "Without doubt the best guitar I've ever played and Oh boy have I played some"!
When restoration is complete, this guitar should be equally good. 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: VTG1390.
A classic Harmony H165 Flattop Acoustic Guitar, made in Chicago, from All Solid Mahogany, Top, Back and Sides. The usual inside ink date stamp is not visible, but all the details of the guitar suggest a mid-1960s date. This is one of Harmony's longest running iconic models, first made as far back as 1944, and part of the "family" of Harmony models which also includes the Spruce/Mahogany H162, OM size or "Grand Concert", as Harmony labeled them, both beloved of many bluesmen of the time, for there sound quality and sheer playability, including Lightnin' Hopkins on the H165.
With it's all solid Mahogany, ladder braced body, with the original eggshell finish, the components all appear original, except for the possible need to install new frets, if the fingerboard requires re-levelling after re-fitting, and the need to install a new saddle.
I am very enthusiastic about this family of Harmony guitars, which I think rival many far more exalted and expensive USA made acoustics in terms of tone, volume and sheer playability - an ideal addition to any collection of blues/vintage guitars!
Overall, the condition is considered to be as good as you will find on an approx. 50 year old vintage acoustic, as I hope you will see in the photos! Inevitably there is superficial and local slight marking and small chips, but all really minimal for a guitar of it's age. The Solid Mahogany top is, I suspect, as flat as the day it left the factory, and has some very nice grain and figured markings, and the Solid Mahogany back and sides are excellent, and original red tortoiseshell pattern scratchplate will be re-fixed.
The original tuners show only a little age-related discolouration, and work fine. The restoration work to carried out in the luthier's workshop, includes re-setting the neck joint, for which the fingerboard has been removed to access the joint and remove the neck, and will be reset to give a good neck angle and playing action. Following this, and re-fitting the fingerboard, a decision will be made as to whether it is necessary to re-level the very nice fingerboard or not. If so, this will require the removal of the original frets, although neither these nor the fingerboard show any significant degree of play wear, and re-fretting.
The other job to be completed is the stabilisation of a small side crack. This will be inspected with the highly-respected luthier I work with to confirm the extent of reinforcement needed and access required to complete a sound repair.
As my luthier colleague is prone to saying, when we have finished with them, they are better put together than the day they left the factory 50 years ago, and in this case result will be one of the very nicest of the many H165s I have restored and sold - I make no secret of the fact that I think these guitars are special, and I think that the next owner of this one will have an exceptional guitar.
When properly set-up these guitars always play very well, with a comfortable "C" profile neck and following the neck reset, I will be looking for a good action of around 3mm. at the 12th fret. This should give scope for both fretted and Bottleneck playing, although a nut riser can be bought for a few pounds, if you wish to use the guitar for lap/slide playing at times. It has the standard Harmony 1.75"/44.5mm. width Nut, and 25.25"/641mm. scale length. It will be strung with a set of Martin Bronze Light 12-54 strings.
The is no case included, but I may be able to offer additional options of period or modern hardshell cases (including Hiscox Liteflite), or a gigbag, and the guitar will be packed securely for postage.
**** OTHER 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!