8/22/2015

1940s Harmony-made Archtop Guitar




This guitar started out as a late-30s/40s-era Harmony pressed-top archtop of a nicer grade (spruce over flamed mahogany) but was later stripped and refinished. Different fret markers were also added as well as a newer tailpiece (since replaced for the 2nd time by me) and the neck was refretted at some point in time. Its original bridge and tuners were also long gone when it stopped in for a setup, though the replacements were in good order. I find a lot of models similar to this one were branded under the SS Stewart name at the time.

Work included fitting a new rosewood bridge, adding a more appropriate replacement tailpiece, and a general good setup. It plays perfectly and has a nice chunky midrange sound. It's a bit deeper in sound than I normally associate this model with... which is a good thing!





An electric pickup was fitted on the guitar at one point and that was removed and a Barcus Berry acoustic pickup was glued-up under the soundboard with a volume control on the (replacement) pickguard. The sound is thin and nasal on the pickup -- not something ideal for live us but it might be useful for recording needs.


This longer, Gibson-y style tail was in my parts bin so I used this to replace the flimsy, lightweight, semi-hollow electric guitar tail that was on it when it came in.


It's hard to find fault in the cool trim, huh?



Nice-grade solid mahogany is all over the back, sides, and neck.




Like the figure? I do.



Harmony only added an endstrip on their nicer-grade models.

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