5/20/2012

c.1966 Harmony H54 Rocket Electric Guitar


This Rocket is a customer's instrument and from the stamp inside, dates to Spring/Summer of 1966. It's odd for a 1966 model, however, in that it has a non-truss neck and the older, non-polepiece pickups. Having had the chance to compare another '66 recently with the polepiece pickups, I think personally I like these ones a little better, but then again my taste is more for twangy old Dynasonics vs. a more Gibson-y single coil tone, so it's all a matter of individual response.

All that aside, after a fret level/dress, cleaning, setup, and slight mods to the bridge, this guitar turned out to be a slick, quickdraw, great-playing little gem. The Gretsch-y shape feels nice in the lap, too.


The condition of this rig is just really great. Usually Harmony electrics of this age are really, really beat up from years of use and abuse in bands. Additionally, it has no cracks which is also rare for a solid-wood Harmony body.


The nut on this fella was cut way too high to begin with. Note the cool headstock.






The finish is in great shape. I like the Harmony bolt-on neck design as well. Compared to a typical Fender joint, I don't seem to need to tighten these up as much when they're in for repairs.


The foil pickups are nicely mounted on rosewood blocks. Pretty fun!


Here you can see the rosewood shims I replaced the adjustable thumbwheels with. Old Harmony products tend to have "reverse" thumbwheel adjusters which force the small end of the adjuster shaft upwards towards the bridge topper/saddle. This is, of course, inevitably wobbly which can throw tuning and intonation off if you're the least bit rough with it while playing.

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