Preliminary Listing - available for pre-order, pending restoration!
....photos show this guitar, prior to restoration.
I sell these superb little 3/4 size guitars as often as I can, both the Spruce & Mahogany H162, like this one & the all solid Birch Stella H929 3/4, but they are scarce and not easy to get hold off......now here is another one - a real Gem, and a real find, as there are definitely very scarce! The most recent buyer of a Stella 3/4 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 one of my favourite guitars, the Harmony H162, the full size version having been in production continuously for over 30 years from 1940 to 1971.....the 3/4 H162 itself was introduced in 1951 & made until 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 some years now, although more frequently the same size 3/4 version of another ultra long-running Harmony Stella all solid Birch model, the H929.
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: VTG1508.
If you have been following my Harmony-made Stella guitar listings, you may have noticed that I refer to the common misunderstanding that the full size Harmony Stella is a Three Quarter Size guitar - well this is why! - this is the real Harmony 3/4 size guitar - same size as the Harmony Stella H929 3/4 guitar, and very near in dimensions to the iconic Martin Terz guitars, as discussed below!!
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" - in fact both the full-size H162s I have currently are not to hand just at the moment, so the photo shows my Silvertone S1214, which Harmony made to the exact same full size OM size or "Grand Concert" size as Harmony described it. See dimensions opposite...........
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 H162 was made between 1951 and 1970, and presence of factory fitted bushings/ferrules for the tuner posts, which Harmony only started fitting on some models in the very late '60s, agrees with the usual inside ink date stamp, which appears to show S-69, indicating that it was made in one of the 1969 production runs.
The guitar is original and, with the completion of the work I am currently doing, in excellent structural and cosmetic condition for a 47 year old Harmony! Inevitably there are some small chips and scratches from normal wear on a vintage guitar, but really minimal for the age of the guitar. Some gentle cleaning is still required, but the general finish is exceptionally good. Original scratchplate is intact and the original tuner strips have some typical age-related discolouration, but work fine.
Prior to sale, work on the restoration will be completed in the workshop of the highly experience luthier I work with, under his supervision. There was a question mark about the neck joint, whether it has been previously reset, and whether it does need to be reset, but on the advice of the luthier, to be entirely sure, we are going to reset the neck joint. It will remain to be seen, hen the fingerboard is re-fixed, after removal for access to the neck joint, how much treatment it will then need & whether it will require re-levelling, which will involve the removal of original frets and re-fretting. The original glued & factory bolted, Rosewood bridge appears secure, and provided it's positioning is confirmed to be correct for accurate intonation, it will just be a question as to whether a taller saddle will be required on completion of the fingerboard re-levelling. If so a new one will be purpose-made in bone. The original nut is rather ill-fitting, and unless it will re-fit satisfactorily, a new bone replacement will be purpose-made.
The 12th. fret action is currently around 3mm., which indeed is near to what we will be aiming for on completion of workshop restoration, but then having a good fingerboard alignment, which should be good for combined fretted and bottleneck playing, with 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 - 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 - 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!
The decision on what type of strings are fitted when work is completed, is for the customer, and should be in accord with the tuning the buyer proposes to use. 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.
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, or near, 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!!!