1965 Harmony Stratotone “Mars” H46 Double Pickup Cutaway

Description

Summer ’65), (’62 Catalog).  It’s 1965, guitars and cars were influenced by the space age and the atomic era with tailfins that made a car look capable of flight.  Guitars had names from the Stratosphere, Fender’s Telecaster (Telstar satellite) and Stratocaster, Harmony with models such as Mars, Jupiter, and Mercury.  The Stratotone had a logo which included an atom with a musical note, appearing on the headstock and the pickguard.  This one also has an emblem similar to a Mercedes Benz painted on the body.  I can’t find this emblem on any other examples but the patina of the paint looks identical to other white paint on the guitar (i.e. by appearances wasn’t added years later) but there’s no evidence to support that it’s been there since ’65.  There are quite a few old Harmony guitars still alive today and they seem to have stood the test of time better than most student/budget models from the era.  The Stratotone line has been one of the more desirable models since I’ve been in business and while there are quite a few in circulation, examples like this one with that set up superb (action at 12th fret) aren’t nearly as plentiful.  All original other than period correct Dano stacked knobs; pots and other electronics are stock.  Here’s a description from the ’62 catalog:  “Provides outstanding value in its price class.  Hollow “tone chamber” construction.  Ebonized maple fingerboard. Straight-line hardwood neck with built-in steel reinforcing rod.  Finely finished in warm sunburst effect showing the grain of the wood.  White celluloid bindings.  Adjustable bridge.  Hinged tailpiece.  Twin built-in pickups, each with tone and volume control.  3 position selector switch permits playing forward pickup for rhythm – bridge pickup for take-off or solo – or both pickups at once, for maximum tone variation.  $99.50. Carrying case, $11.00 extra.”  Scale length is slightly shorter than Gibson at 24 1/4″.  For more info visit this great site for vintage Harmony, including the Stratotone (link).  This guitar has a very useable, unique tone that isn’t unlike the old Dano’s of the era.  It’s very comfortable to play with a fairly wide fretboard, chunky neck that was popular in the mid-60’s, and very low action.  Despite it’s rosewood hollowbody bridge, the intonation is very good and tuners stay in tune well.  It’s a very desirable model with dual pickups, finished in sunburst, with a set up that won’t fatigue your hands.  At over 50 years old, it’s a good value in American vintage at $499.

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