Retrofret Stock # 4041. Standel 520-S Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar, c. 1968, made in New Jersey, serial # 1023M, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case. A beautifully made and very rare example of 1960's American guitar design, this Standel can be considered one of the great lost instruments of the era. The somewhat convoluted history behind this guitar binds the names Standel, Harptone, and Koontz together, with nods to DeArmond and Guild as well! In the late 1960's, California-based Standel was an amplifier manufacturer that had made several half-hearted attempts to get into guitar production. Somehow they hooked up with the Harptone company of Newark, New Jersey, which was a well-known case manufacturer with some background in guitar production. Harptone commissioned New Jersey luthier Sam Koontz, known for his original archtop creations, to design a line of hollow body instruments and set up the production line. The guitars were offered in a range of models branded Standel, and distributed out of California. Soon enough, the Standel company ran into financial trouble and the guitars were re-branded Harptone, and sold for another few years out of New Jersey. Although the Harptone line lasted into the early 70's, the company soon focused on acoustic guitars and the electrics were discontinued.These instruments feature very high-grade workmanship throughout, with a vibrant sunburst finish and quality hardware. The line was fairly extensive, all instruments being hollow body electrics ranging from full-depth carved top 17" to 16" thinlines with several different cutaway options. The most distinctive common feature was the unique Koontz-designed headstock with the large center scoop. This model, the 520-S, is closest in design to a Guild Starfire IV, with a thin double cutaway body, two DeArmond pickups with a standard Gibson style wiring rig, and a master volume control. The neck is thin and comfortable and overall this rates as a very good-playing guitar. These guitars were introduced in the late 1960's at the point where solid bodies were resurgent; had they been introduced a few years earlier, they would no doubt be much better known today. A very fine 1960's American-made instrument at a reasonable price.Overall length is 42 1/4 in. (107.3 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 5/8 in. (625 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). Appears all original and with very little wear. Plays and sounds well. Excellent + Condition.
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Retrofret has been shipping instruments throughout the USA and worldwide for nearly 20 years. We have yet to experience a single instance of damage (...I hope this doesn't jinx our perfect record). Retrofret's shipping department can send parcels via UPS, Fedex, USPS, BAX, DHL and DSV Air and Yusen Air Cargo. We ship instruments and other items on a 48 hour approval basis once we received payment in full. Shipping charges and taxes are not included in the prices listed. Mail order shipments within New York are subject to sales tax of 8.875%. Shipments out of state are not subject to NY city and state tax, although the buyer assumes all other tax requirements of their municipality. Before sending payment, please call to confirm the instrument's availability and the cost of shipment.
If you decide not to keep an instrument shipped to you, notify us by telephone, fax or email within 48 hours of receiving it. We'll take note to expect the return. Please ship it in the same carton via UPS, insured for its full value. We will refund the price of the instrument as soon as we receive it, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left the shop. The customer is responsible for all shipping charges.