3/09/2013

c.1967 Harmony H1265 Sovereign Deluxe Jumbo Guitar




This big old guitar is a Harmony Sovereign "Jumbo Deluxe" model with all that lovely 60s trim. I'm pretty sure this was their fanciest flattop model at the time and it sports two "country-style" pickguards, a "moustache" bridge, faux-pearl big block inlay on the fretboard, and binding all around. This model (the H1265 with the non-symmetrical pickguards) was only produced from 1967-8 so there aren't a lot of them hanging about. For a Harmony collector this is a very spiffy find!

I worked on this instrument for a customer but it was pretty good to begin with. It needed a light fret level/dress to remove a few divots, the pickguards and headstock veneer needed a little gluing here and there and overall it needed a good setup. I cut string ramps at the bridge and also modified the adjustable saddle so there would be better back-pressure on it for cleaner and better tone and volume. The pickup needed a new output jack on the lower-bout side and also needed a bit of adjustment and tightening-up of its parts to keep it from rattling as well.


Check out that big, sunburst top! It's solid spruce over solid mahogany back, sides, and neck and definitely has that 60s sunburst going on. There are no cracks anywhere and the finish is in good order. This is a wide-waisted, 16" lower bout guitar so this is larger than a Martin D. With the regular light gauge strings (54w-12) on it right now it has plenty of power and warmth and a fuller voice than I'd expect from a ladder-braced instrument. It reacts and sounds tonally more like an x-braced guitar.


Way-cool headstock veneer! Also, the truss is good to go. All parts on this instrument are original except for the (new) pickup jack and a (new) black endpin. The nut and saddle are both some sort of hard, slippery plastic.


The rosewood board is bound and inlaid with faux-pearl. The frets are tall and good for many years of use. The neck itself is quite comfortable with a mid-40s/early-50s Gibson sort of feel (well, a "Harmony" sort of feel, really) with a round mid-depth back and quick 1 11/16" nut and radiused board.


Check out those pickguards! They were apparently reglued a bit in years past since on a couple edges there's excess glue (not really noticeable, but it's there).


The thumbwheel is for volume control. I'd say this would be best used going into either an amp with plenty of power or a preamp board before it goes to a smaller amp. The pickup is low-output but has a good clean tone. This was a factory-original option when purchasing this guitar.


The moustache bridge is very cool. The dots hide bolts. Also, I had to grind down and then reshape the edges of the adjustable saddle holder (the metal part) to allow a better string path. It's much more effective, now, especially since the saddle needs to be pretty close to the deck. Like most ladder-braced guitars, while the neck is properly in its pocket and set correctly, the top has deflected slightly upwards over time, which is why an adjustable saddle like on this guy is nice to have.






The sunburst is carried over to all sides. The mahogany on the back also looks pretty darn nice. Note the added strap button near the heel.


Original tuners work quite well. Do you see how massively wide the headstock is? Lots of glam!



I popped in a new plastic endpin, here.


...and it has a decent gigbag, too.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, I want a Harmony jumbo without a pickguard that I can convert to a lefty. I do.

paulrpaulr said...

Is this for sale? If so .... what is the price please.