8/17/2012

c.1933 Harmony-made Supertone "Parlor" Guitar




This guitar has been hanging around the workshop for a while until a rainy day like today to get it back up and running. My buddy Tom bought this a couple years ago and traded it in to me towards a 5-string banjo. It had previous work done to it: a new bridge and a refinish to the top, back, and sides. Originally this had some of those cool Hawaiian-themed decals on the front (you can see the outline still there under the new finish).

My work on it included a neck reset, fret level/dress, and setup. It was already pretty clean when it got to me and the tuners were lubed by me previously. It's turned out into a decent player (3/32" at the 12th fret) with warm, old-timey tone and good rumbly volume.


Unlike the slightly earlier Harmony-made Hawaiian-theme guitars (invariably setup at the factory for lap/slide play), this one has the early to mid-1930s style body shape that became the typical 12-fret shape on smaller Harmony guitars all the way through to the 1970s.


Fun slotted headstock with typical mellow "wave" at its center top, typical for Harmony products of the time. Newer bone nut.


Brass frets -- I believe the pearl dots are replacements, too.


Newer pyramid bridge looks nice and is decently-cut. Bone saddle, too. Note the good quality spruce (solid) on the top. There are a few repaired hairline cracks on the top as well and they're sturdily-cleated and rock stable.


Bound top and soundhole in white celluloid. The multicolored purfling is a nice touch!


Old "Supertone" label is falling apart, but the red date stamp still reads a "3" on the end of it, just barely, hence dating to 1933 is about right for its build, anyhow.


Spruce top and birch back/sides with a poplar neck. The fretboard is dyed maple.


Back is refinished, too, but not as nice as the top. There's some streaking in it, but it still looks alright considering the look of the instrument. The finish has been darkened, too. It was likely originally a medium orangey-red tone to begin with.



Neck set is good to go.



Fun black-buttoned period tuners.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have one of these with the decals intact. The wood was stained to look like koa. The original Canadian-made case is in perfect shape. Beautiful guitar.