8/22/2015

1940s Harmony-made H1431 Biltmore Ritz Archtop Guitar


The owner of this guitar tells me this was his "first guitar" and he was hoodwinked into it by a fellow who told him it was a "Gibson for $20." Oh well. At least it's a nice old Harmony, though, and has the H1431 model code stamped inside (but no date stamp). It's probably from the late 40s judging by the build and materials and shares the swelled/rounded 16" body shape of the Patrician models rather than the more pinched-waist shape of your average Harmony archie. It's also solid mahogany all over save the rosewood board and bridge.

This one came in for customer repair work -- including a neck reset, light fret level/dress, seam and crack repairs, cleaning, and setup. While there's a tiny bit of relief (1/64"-1/32") throughout the neck, it plays great and has a nice, cutty and dry sound. It's unfortunate that I didn't get to grab a soundclip as these all-hog Harmony archtops have a certain sound.




Everything on the guitar (save a missing pickguard and replacement adjuster wheels at the bridge) is original. I love the coffee-colored tuner buttons. Well -- Rhode Island coffee, anyway. Bone nut.


This has brass frets in a rosewood board.


I compensated the B-slot on the bridge and added some new adjusters (simple nuts) to replace the missing thumbwheel adjusters. After the neck set they were certainly needed!








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