8/28/2013

c.1967 Harmony Sovereign H1260 Jumbo Flattop Guitar


This cool old 60s Harmony jumbo guitar is owned by Mr. Kevin Crossett of both Guitar Sam (where I send folks for modern gear) and also Kepasa Ukuleles (they're awesome, I've been lucky enough to try a few out at Kevin's shop). It was in the shop here for a light neck reset (pop off, pop back in, shim up gap in joint) as well as a setup.

As expected, after work was done this had that big, breathy, boisterous Harmony sound that's peculiar to their jumbo and dreadnought models of the 60s/70s. Because it's a ladder-braced top there's definitely that 30s overtone sequence and solid midrange going on but the big, wide 16" (like a triple 0 on steroids) body gives this thing a lot of airspace and a rumbly bottom end.


First off, this guitar is obviously in primo shape -- no cracks, very little wear, and very clean.


A truss-rodded neck means overstringing on the player's part can be corrected in the future...


The neck shape reminds me of a longer-scale 40s Gibson feel on the rear combined with a 60s Martin feel on top.

Note the grinding marks on the fretboard: I actually had a fellow return an all-mahogany 60s Harmony to me a few years ago with the assumption that someone had mucked-up the board and then (foolishly) installed "new" brass frets -- right...

Well, folks, lemme tell you: Harmony must have been using the same planer (or something) and method for years and years and years because every Harmony rosewood, radiused (not flat) board that I've come across from the 30s on up has had these against-grain marks on them from the factory. They get progressively worse after the 50s and into the late 60s with 70s ones being the least-refined. I'm guessing there's some sort of time-saving reason behind this fretboard abuse, but to be honest, whether your board is perfectly smooth or not matters very little to the overall structure of the instrument.



I had to lightly shave the saddle area.



Right, Jake, what about woods?

As you can see -- solid mahogany back, sides, and neck with a solid-spruce top. The Sovereigns were the "grandest" Harmony flattops built and, these days, are still pretty fantastic value for an old, solid-wood dread-style guitar.



That wood is gorgeous...



The neck reset with very little fuss and the now-filled void that's typical to Harmony (and Regal, and Kay) dovetail joints means that it shouldn't have to be fussed with for a long time in the future.


Clean!

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