5/11/2017

1972 Harmony H6450 Monterey Archtop (Electric) Guitar





The owner of this latter-days Harmony all-birch archtop is an "old-timer" from over in Middlebury and he wanted me to fit this thing out with an electric pickup. Considering that these Montereys sound best amped-up, I figured that was a good idea. The job, as always, would have to be "on the cheap," so we plunked around in my parts-bins to figure out what to put on it.

In the end, I routed and fit an Artec Alnico P90 under a chrome cover (his choice) at the neck and with a vol+tone harness and Switchcraft jack. It's a classic "poor man's ES-125" -- a mod that I'm familiar with, enjoy a lot, and am frequently surprised tonally (they sound great!) by.

This guitar, being a '72, also has a fairly comfortable neck (compared with essentially the same guitar from the 40s-60s), though the customer's opt-out of a fret level/dress means it has a minor amount of warp and a few uneven frets which give some "zip" when playing it acoustic. Plugged-in, it's not as noticeable -- and that's the point, right?


The body is all made from solid birch with a "faux-flame" paint job. The neck is poplar and the bridge and fretboard are stained maple (or similar).



A 12" radius on the neck feels pretty comfortable.



While I had to enlarge the holes in the cover (they didn't fit the cheap P90), the look does match the guitar's vibe, no?


I "reset" the neck on this with a bolt through the heel (countersunk) and that made the adjustable bridge effective enough to put the adjusters back on it. I then compensated it and cleaned-up the cut-down/funky top edge of it.


The parts-bin black speed knobs sort-of work on this funky thing... again, his choice.




The guitar is your standard 16" archtop shape and, thankfully, has the cool "curvy" Harmony lines instead of their flatter-shouldered pattern.



The tuners just needed some tightening and a lube.






Here's the model and date stamp in the f-hole.

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