c.1965 Harmony-made Regal 0-size Guitar

Update 2013: This guitar is now on consignment and comes with a newer hard case ($100 TKL model I think). The endpin area is drilled out for a pickup jack and I will probably be installing a single-sensor K&K pickup in it and will have new pictures of this guitar available soon.

While slightly smaller than 0 size (this would be a modern 3/4 size), this late 1960s Harmony-made, Regal-branded guitar still packs a good punch. While it's physically similar to older Harmony models dating from the late 1930s, it has some upgrades that most Harmony makes in this body shape and size didn't have -- spruce top rather than birch, glued pin bridge rather than tailpiece, and solid mahogany back, sides, and neck, vs. the standard birch. It also has a truss rod, something Harmony didn't really start using on most models until 1966 or so.

I worked on this instrument for a customer of mine -- my work included a new (old stock German, rosewood model) bridge (the old one had fractured along the pins) as well as the usual setup and light cleaning. Said customer plays with 54w to 12s on this guitar so he can get around in alternate tunings and still have decent tension, so I set it up for that with 3/32" at the 12th on both sides to keep notes clean up the neck.

It's a cute guitar with more warmth and sustain than I'd ever suspect a ladder-braced small body like this to have. It's especially suited to fingerpicking in open tunings.

The headstock has a kind of cool multi-ply plastic veneer to it which gives it almost a deco look.

Radiused board, faux-MOP dots.

Here's that new rosewood bridge. This one has slightly longer wings and more rear-mounted pinholes vs. the original, bolted-on pin bridge. It's also true rosewood vs. some dyed mystery wood, so the tone's a bit better, too.

It's pretty amazing that the finish has held up so well.


Rolfyboy6 said...

This is one of several Harmony-made Regal-branded models that were produced for Fender Musical Sales in Fender's long history of messing about (usually with poor results) with acoustic models. Fender Music Sales was owned jointly by Leo Fender and George Fullerton and sold Fender Musical Instrument Co (solely owned by Leo Fender) electric instruments. George Fullerton was a music sales guy of genius and Fender bought the Regal trademark at some point in the late 50s or early 60s. These distinctive Harmonys were all top of the line and have the head stock overlay seen here. I owned one of the Sovereigns with this headstock overlay at one time, wish I'd never sold it. I've also seen the smaller 00 size Soverign and harmony's top 16" F-hole with the Regal brand headstock from the same time period. Fender sold the trademark at some point, probably in the late 60s.

Anonymous said...

So, it's the same as a Harmony 1203, except it has a pin bridge.

Rolfyboy6 said...

This is smaller than a 1203 by my eye. 0 size rather than 00 size. Note the less hourglass shape than a 1203 has.

orvil fields said...

I have this guitar and I love it!