Harmony H39 Electric Archtop 1953 | $425 | (v2106) Post WWII, electric guitars became 'the thing', and Harmony jumped right on the band wagon. The single pick-up H39 first appears in 1952 as an 'affordable' arch top electric with solid birch body and a single 'Hershey Bar' pick up. This particular pick-up lasted until about 1958 or 59 when it was replaced with a gold foil pick-up. This example exhibits a few of the early H39 hallmarks, including the pick-up, the Harmony script on the pick guard, and the Atomic logo on the head stock. The model number H39 and the date code S53 are ink-stamped inside the body.
The top, back and sides are constructed from solid birch. The top is supported by two longitudinal braces. The top and back are trimmed in white paint binding, and the sunburst looks more like a bow-tie than a sun, ...kinda' cool. The neck is poplar with a dark-painted finish and white-painted position markers. The head stock is painted black, and sports the Harmony brand in white script and the symbol for atomic energy with an eighth note in its center .. a true sign of the 50s. The faux-tortoise pick guard is raised with Harmony in white script. The bridge is Brazilian rosewood with adjustable 'wheels' to set the action. The Hershey Bar pick-up is screw-mounted in the finger board position, and was originally set up with a remote jack and volume control. Someone in the past upgraded it to a traditional input jack and knob (see photo).
The body measures 15 3/4" across the lower bout. Scale length is 25". The finger board measures 1 34" across at the nut and string spacing is 2 5/16" across the saddle. The neck is carved in a soft 'V' shape.
The guitar appears to be all original except for the changed input jack and volume knob. Additional old repairs include two brace tips glued and some back/side seams glued. It appears that the top might have been removed to make the jack and brace repairs since the white binding has been repainted. We recently reset the neck and leveled and dressed the frets. The guitar is in overall solid condition, with some wrinkle to the top, (the integrity of the arch remains stable) and nicks and dings from years of playing and handling. When plugged in, the guitar really comes alive with a bluesy tone straight out of the 50s. We've noted some 60hz hum when the gain is increased.
Comes with a 60s era hard case.
Check out the sound clip through an old Sears tube amp.
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