7/20/2013

c.1935 Harmony-made Supertone Archtop Guitar


This has no date stamp inside but probably dates from around 1935-39. It's branded "Supertone" (via the Sears catalog) but was made by Harmony in Chicago. The only work needed was a fret level/dress, cleaning, tuner lube, and setup. It has a couple of hairline cracks (small) on the back, is missing its pickguard, and has a "crunch" crack near the heel on the side, but it's otherwise in great shape and pretty clean. There are the usual scuffs and scratches but not an over-abundance of them.

I worked on this for a customer and I'm happy she dropped it off. It's a fun guit! The whole thing is made from solid mahogany save the fretboard (dyed pearwood? dyed maple) and the bridge (rosewood). It has a good, bright, mid-range sort of dry tone that cuts easily and really suits blues or old-time fingerpicking. The top on this guy is press-arched rather than carved and has the late-30s shallow-arch profile Harmony started using from then on into the 1950s. It's 16" on the lower bout.


Doesn't that hog look great? Compared to many Harmony archtop products that have a tighter waist, this one has that slightly later wider waist and is more comparable to holding a Gibson L-48 or similar.


Original bone nut and Supertone stencil.


Pearl dots in a lightly-radiused board.


The f-holes on this guy are so, so close to the look of Gibson-made Kalamazoo models.


I love that checker binding!






The original tuners lubed-up nicely and now work just fine. You can also see the mahogany mid-size v-neck shape, here.



Nice rosewood endstrip and wood strap button.

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