6/28/2012

c.1970 Harmony Monterey Archtop Mandolin


Here's a mando in great shape -- no cracks, very clean (the finish is practically spotless for its age), and only needing a fret level/dress and setup to make it play its best. It's a little later period than my usual purchases but I so rarely see the spruce-top version of the Monterey mando that I figured I'd give it a spin. I'm happy I did! Mostly one sees the cheapy painted-binding, painted-grain, super-student all-birch Monterey models, but this one is a much nicer variant and more along the lines of this early Harmony archtop mando.

This one dates to 1970 per the F-70 mark inside.

This has darn good volume and cut for what's essentially a student to mid-range instrument and leaves me with that "Stradolin" feeling -- that it's got a fair amount of bang for the buck vs. other instruments from the same time that one might be considering. It's no A-5 but it certainly does the trick!

So -- ?? -- solid spruce top, laminate somewhat curly maple back and sides, maple neck, rosewood fretboard and adjustable rosewood bridge, 100% original, and super clean -- what more to ask? Right, 12th fret neck join and standard 13 7/8" scale, so it plays like it should, too, with an easy reach up the board.


The orange-burst (iced-tea-burst?) looks nice on this fella. The owner before me must have added the black foam pads to the bottom of the pickguard to help stabilize it.


Synthetic nut, good-quality tuners, and of course the cool Harmony logo.


Rosewood board with brass frets. By leveling the frets I removed a less-than 1/64" relief that was in the neck overall (mostly in the fretboard extension). It's now "dead straight" as it were.


Adjustable rosewood bridge is still kicking!


Waverly "Cloud" tailpiece looks good.


Bound in creamy-white on the top, fretboard, and back. The extra trim gives it a nice look.




Here you can see the curly maple used for the back. I'm fairly certain this has laminate back and sides.


These are high-ratio tuners, probably 18:1 -- they tune smoothly and it's much easier to get the strings in tune with one another with the finer ratio vs. typical cheaper types.





Tailpiece has some tarnish and spotting but still looks good.

No comments: