Harmony H1270 12-string c. 1967 | $675 | Harmony in Chicago was one of the first to begin again the manufacture of 12-string guitars post WWII. The Harmony ‘Stella’ H912 12-string was an all-birch bodied workhorse of a guitar during the baby-boom bubble and ‘folk’ era. By the mid-sixties, Harmony came out with the H1270 line of 12-strings, and they were a step up from the budget H912. The back, sides and neck were made from mahogany, with the body bound in multi-ply b/w celluloid and the neck in white celluloid. No painted ornamentation on this version! The H1270 body shape is ‘jumbo’ in size, but is a bit truncated on the upper bout when compared to its H912 kin.
Every H1270 we’ve owned or seen has had a slotted head stock. This example, oddly, has a ‘paddle’ head stock with the vine-like gold stencil often seen in the late 60s into the early 70s. However, the tailpiece is the plainer trapeze type, used in the earlier models, so this one is difficult to peg. The neck is a tad narrower than the standard H1270, too, but still twelve frets to the body. The body is stamped inside with the typical ‘H1270’ ink stamp, and there is no evidence that this guitar was a ‘marriage’ of body and neck.
The body measures 16 1/8” across at the lower bout, and is 4 1/4” deep at the end pin. The scale length measures ~ 25 3/8”. The neck measures 1 3/4” across at the nut, and string spacing is 2 3/8” across at the saddle. The neck is carved in a flat-ish ‘C’ shape, and supports a functioning truss rod. The fingerboard is a type of tropical hard wood, and the bridge is Brazilian rosewood, and features the double-saddle set up that Harmony favored on this model.
The guitar appears to retain its original components except for the saddle and nut. The neck appears to have never been off, and the saddle height is good, allowing a good break angle over the bridge for best sound output. Old repairs are a repaired top crack along the treble side of the fingerboard extension, and a three inch hair line along the bass side of the neck at the nut. Both are solid. We recently glued a few brace tips, leveled and dressed the frets, and strung it with new strings.
The guitar plays well, and has a nice 12-string tone with a bit of ‘boom’, but rounded and warm from the mahogany, less jangly that the H912 in birch.
Comes with a soft case.
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