6/23/2016

1960s Harmony H162 Flattop Guitar





This is a customer's guitar that was in for a glorified setup -- a fret level/dress, new saddle slot, and new saddle. It's a beat-up old 60s (I couldn't find a proper date stamp) H162 -- the lower-brow version of the gussied-up H1203 Sovereign model -- and it's been well-loved by its owner and has had a number of well-done old repairs to its credit (a refret, bridge reglue, crack repairs, and perhaps a neck reset).

I might as well say that this might be the best-sounding H162 I've played as it has a full, warm, juicy lower-mids emphasis that means it plays more like an x-braced guitar than its ladder-braced build would suggest. It positively roars under a flatpick -- something exciting to me as I expect these guitars to mostly be good fingerpickers.



Gold, Safe-T-String Kluson-style tuners have replaced the original, no-frills, funky units sometime in the past.


This has replacement, jumbo frets. How about that? This made the fret level/dress easy-peasy and there's still an absurd amount of "meat" for later level/dresses to follow-up with. The frets also give the guitar a more modern feel.


As usual, the board and bridge are Brazilian rosewood and the dots are faux-pearl. The top is solid spruce and the back and sides are solid mahogany.


Don't you love the branding-iron touch?


My addition to this guitar at the bridge was a slight reprofiling job and a better saddle and saddle slot. I also string-ramped behind the saddle.


The pencil lines are where I ran my Dremel (with cut-off wheel) to make the new, compensated slot. Note how far off the original, thin saddle slot was -- even after the bridge reglue.



The back is gorgeous, figured mahogany.



The poplar neck was shaved, apparently, in the past -- presumably to remove the 5th-fret-plus "bulk" that these can have.


Like a Martin from the time, the binding is tortoise.



Overall? A fantastic example of an H162, albeit well-worn-in.

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