2/13/2016

1969 Harmony H1270 Jumbo 12 String Guitar





Just like the '67 H1270 I just posted, this guitar is a huge-sounding, rumbling beast. It's had the same work done, too, including a neck reset, fret level/dress, new fully-compensated bridge, cleaning, and a good setup. It plays on-the-dot at 1/16" DGBE and 3/32" EA at the 12th fret, has a good, easy feel, and tremendous punch and carrying power.

As I stated in the last writeup, this is as close as it gets to the boom and thump of a 20s-style Stella 12 with a tailpiece setup. It simply sounds enormous. Part of the reason is the big, wide 16" body and dreadnought-depth sides. The other part is a lightweight, ladder-braced top and 12-fret positioning of the bridge. It's entirely in the sweet-spot for "big sound" generation.


The top is solid spruce, the back, sides, and neck are solid mahogany, and the board and bridge are rosewood. This is all-original, too, save for my new bridge (the original is stowed in the chip case).

The top and back are crack-free, though there's a bit of finish-rubbing with the grain on the top lower bout's treble side.


Rosewood headstock veneer and a wide 2" nut. The scale length is a longer 25 1/4" which is why I tune these down a step D-to-D for safety's sake. Still, the truss works fine and the neck is nice and straight. It's strung with standard 47w-10 12-string "lights."


The frets are all basically full-height and in good order. Note the typical Harmony machine-lining in the rosewood from whatever piece of equipment they used to radius the boards with.

The neck profile is a big D shape but that means the string spread is wide enough that chords ring-out true rather than muffled by one's fingertips mashing other strings. I find it a comfy neck to play compared to, say, a Martin D12-20 of the same period (which cramp my hands a little more).



The original pickguard came glued-down just fine (they're usually warping-up).


My new rosewood bridge is compensated for each string individually -- so if you're an open-tuner and like to capo a lot, this will make your ears very, very, very happy.


Compared to the '67 I just worked on, this tailpiece is higher-quality.


Here's that rubbing at the lower-bout treble edge of the top. It doesn't seem to be cracked, but it is worn. Even if it was a real crack, it runs right over the kerfing under the top so it's a non-issue.









The original tuners are lubed and in good order.




There's one longer, repaired, crack on the lower bout treble side. It's not going anywhere.


The one that appears here at the bass waist side is actually just a finish hairline.

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