Harmony Tenor Archtop Guitar Back to Fretsville or Reality Check

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Review:

I enjoyed owning this vintage Harmony Archtop Tenor Guitar for a while, then sold it on ebay. It played well. The action was exceptional for a guitar this age. According to an early 1960s Harmony catalog, this guitar is made from "seasoned hardwood." Nice faux "flamed maple" finish, too!

It displays as a glossy beauty here, but it was incredibly filthy when I rescued it from a local flea market for $75. Not only did it have many years patina of dirt and tobacco smoke residue, but a former owner, a moron apparently, had hauled it to a painting party and failed to protect it. It had hundreds of tiny flecks of white paint sprinkled over it. Fortunately it was a latex based paint and the guitar was already very dirty before the party.

I carefully removed the paint flecks using a credit card as a scraper. Then it got a light bath using a soft dampend cloth and Murphy's Oil Soap. Next came a little session of wicking CA into a couple of areas where the celluloid binding was loose. I finished it off with a lot of elbow grease and some automotive polishing compound, followed by Meguire's.

Click HERE to view more pictures and notes about this guitar.

It was made in 1965, according to the internal markings. I think this is the tenor version of Harmony's Montery Leader guitar. Harmony stamped the inside of these with a letter and date code that's easy to deciper. This one is marked "S-65-JM" and has the serial number "7280H950".

It measures 16 inches across the lower bout. It also has a body length of 18-5/8 inches. The scale length is about 22-1/2 inches and it's about 37-1/2 inches long overall. Nut width is 1-1/4 inches. String height measures about 3/32 inches at the 12th fret, where it plays well. This is with the adjustable rosewood bridge set nearly at its lowest setting.

1989-2014 by Dennis Ecklund.
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