10/11/2012

c.1965 Harmony-made H1143 Barclay 000-size Guitar


This ridiculously-clean, 1960s Harmony is owned by a customer who's just learning guitar. She picked this up locally and in quite good shape. I was asked to set it up and it proved a breeze, which is something I can't say about most old Harmony products of this time since they were often not setup anywhere near correctly from the factory and time generally compounds any build-related problems with its passing.

That said... my work was cleaning, light setup at the nut, and light setup at the bridge. First I tightened up the bolts that hold the bridge on, then I removed the old fret saddle, just very slightly sanded the saddle-mounting area, then installed a new, better-crowned fret saddle. Action height is spot on at 3/32" at the 12th on the bass and a hair over 1/16" at the treble.


Cool red-brown sunburst with lots of faux-binding painted-on edging. I'm not generally a huge fan of the big white pickguard but it does look tres cool with the rest of the styling.


Plastic nut. I can only assume that this poplar neck has one of those "steel reinforcement rods" that Harmony put into most of their builds.


Painted fret markers and brass frets all on a dyed-maple board.



The bridge is dyed-maple as well. I used 48w-10 extra lights on this guitar since it has a 25" scale, ladder bracing, and I wanted to go easy on the new player's fingers.

Surprise, surprise: it doesn't need any heavier gauges... this guitar is remarkably full-sounding with lots of volume.





The grain all over this birch is quite something and really suits the finish.


Typical 60s tuners work just fine.


...and even the endpin is present.

If this is her first guitar... this is totally a great first guitar, especially now that it plays as good as it looks (in its curious way)!

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