5/15/2016

1937 Harmony-made Supertone "Island Stencil" Parlor Guitar





This guitar was on the backburner for a long time (it's a consignor's instrument) until a customer was hunting-around for something small, fairly inexpensive, and cool for plugged-in stage use. I suggested this one out of a batch of various stenciled/decaled 30s guitars that are still hanging around and then "did it up."

It's branded with the Sears "Supertone" mark but was definitely built by Harmony and even has a Harmony date-stamp (for 1937) inside the soundhole. Work on it included regluing some braces and seams, a new compensated rosewood bridge install, crack repair and "popsicle brace" addition to the upper bout, a new bone nut and saddle, fret level/dress, and setup. It plays with standard 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret and I have its strung with "11s" save that the B&E are bulked-up to 16/12 instead.

It's an all-birch (solid), sturdily-built, ladder-braced guitar... and so the tone is that warm and boxy, bluesy sort of vibe. It does get good volume, though, for its size and specs. An old-time player might even really enjoy this for backing-up fiddles and the like.



It's got a 1 3/4" nut width and Harmony's standard "short scale" at 24 1/8" -- which makes the medium-big V-profile neck more comfortable via the lower tension on the strings.


The fretboard has that cool "frosted" paintjob. I also added side dots.




The bridge is NOS and Brazilian rosewood. It's in the pattern (and probably is, in actuality) of late-50s Gibsons like the LG-2/3.


The stencil job is wonderful, isn't it? Who wouldn't want to strum guitar to your lady-love while watching parrots (eh, are they really?) and sailboats pass by. Hit me with a coconut so I wake up!









I added one of those "vintage style" strap buttons to the heel since this is going to be, in the end, a stage guitar.






This poor old wood endpin will have to make way for an endpin jack pretty soon.



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