Preliminary Announcement - showing photos of the guitar, in the early stages of the restoration process, with parts placed in position in order to take the images.
Many of the restored vintage guitars I sell are now "pre-sold" - their restoration is completed for a particular buyer who has enquired from previous sales.
I always look forward to being able to offer another vintage Harmony Archtop - having sold over the years various other similar 1950s & 1960s models from the same "family" of USA Harmony Guitars, including the Monterey, Master and Broadway - this one is still in the workshop, but is the archtop of identical design and construction to the previously mentioned, purely acoustic archtops, to which Harmony added a factory-fitted electric pickup.
Stock Number: VTG1260.
A superb classic Harmony Archtop Acoustic Guitar, from the "Family" of Harmony models, including the Monterey, Broadway and Master models, and other Harmony-made branded models including S S Stewart....made in Chicago, from All Solid Woods, Birch Top, Back and Sides, this is the only model of identical construction to ythe other similar archtops, which was factory-fitted with a pickup, rather than remaining purely acoustic. The usual original inside ink date stamp is visible, showing S-53, confirming it has having been made in one of the 1953 production runs, only the second year the model was produced, by which time the headstock design had already changed to the "Atomic" logo.
Production of the Hollywood continued until 1967, with change of pickup to the DeArmond S Goldfoil with standard body mounted Tone & Volume controls from 1958 on, in place of the original "Hershey Bar", bar magnet type pickup with single body-top mounted control, as on this early version. It has what became the standard post-war Harmony archtop body size, comfortably manageable 15 3/4"/40cm. width, with the also standard Harmony archtop scale length of 25 1/4"/641mm., and 1 3/4"/44.5mm. nut width.
The guitar is original throughout, and I anticipate that replacements will be limited to the renewal of the wiring harness for the pickup & control, although further consideration will be giving to the routing of the wiring and whether to replace the original trailing lead system, with a standard endpin jack socket. The back of the body has been removed in order to provide access for internal repairs, and also because the glued seam had come apart and been temporarily secured with pins, revealing a previous repairers dated signature from 1989. It appears likely that top linings & long braces may have been re-glued at that time....possibly the painted "bindings" may have been renewed?
The neck joint has been removed , in preparation for re-setting the neck, and detached back brace patch will be re-glued, and linings and joint seams will be thoroughly cleaned off to remove old glue residues, before the back is refixed, and the small pin holes filled and tidied, although I don't expect to have to do any re-finishing work as such.
The fingerboard has not been detached on this occasion, and appears fairly true, with only a minor degree of wear to frets and Rosewood-effect stained Maple fingerboard. Hopefully it will not be necessary to replace the frets, probably completing a gentle stoning & re-profiling.
Otherwise it is in great working condition! The pickguard is original...something of a rarity on an archtop of this age! Th adjustable floating bridge is also original and in good shape. The only "upgrade", is that like many Harmony guitars from this era, the tuning machine posts were not fitted with ferrules. I will be have adding original vintage type eyelet bushings, which will help to improve the operation/stability of the tuners. The original tailpiece and the tuners show just a little age-related discolouration, but remain generally bright and the machine heads work fine.
The guitar has been inspected jointly with the highly respected professional Luthier I work with, and work will be completed mainly in his workshop, and under his supervision. Overall, the condition is considered to be as good as you will find on a 64 year old vintage archtop acoustic, and you can see already see from the pre-restoration photos, that as with the example in the embedded YouTube clip, the finish colour remains vibrant, and it remains a very handsome guitar!
On completion of the restoration work, the guitar will be set-up to play nicely with a good archtop action, hopefully of around 3mm. at the 12th. fret. It has the standard Harmony 1.75"/44.5mm. width apparently Original Nut, just a tad wider than the typical modern acoustic, and 25.25" scale length. Decision on the choice of type/gauge of strings to be fitted will be taken in consultation with the buyer.
There is no case included, but I do usually have some vintage cases of the type these guitars were originally sold with, although they are covered pressed fibreboard, not intended to last a lifetime, and in variable condition. Alternatively I may be able to supply a virtually unused Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, offering much better protection, and if I can marry the guitar to a suitable case, I will be please to agree a combined price for guitar + case.
**** YOUTUBE ****
You can find various YouTube clips of demonstrations of Harmony Hollywoods, but in the main they seem to all be the later version with the Dearmond Goldfoil pickup....just one I've found, with rather restricted sound quality, but it is the identical "Atomic" logoed headstock/Hershey Bar pickup model & I have included it as the embedded clip, entitled "1955 Harmony Hollywood Archtop - for sale !" by "mfrancis66". Additional Links include one of the many demos available of the later version of the H39 Hollywood with Gold Foil pickup, from Gibbons Guitars, and for completeness, another clip with the "Hershey Bar" pickup on a Harmony solid-body guitar of the same era, from Vince Lee.