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Harmony H900 For Sale for £499.00

 15479 For Sale for £499.00 price on request.
Trade User Category Acoustic Guitars
Manufacturer Harmony Location Midlands
Model H900 Viewed 127 times
Date Listed 10-Feb-2019 Price £499.00 price on request

VTG NEWLY AVAILABLE, RESTORED & READY TO GO! - HARMONY H900 CHICAGO, USA VINTAGE 1936 ALL SOLID BIRCH LADDER BRACED BLUES PARLOR GUITAR - Mainly Original, part VTG-Restored, Fingerboard Re-levelled & Re-fretted, following previous Neck Reset by Luthier elsewhere, Waverly Tuners, Martin Retro Monel Strings.



T: 01543 677140.



If you have any enquiries please email me & I will reply as soon as possible. Details of all guitars available can be seen at the Vintage & Traditional Guitars website. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if I can help. Best wishes, Bob.




HARMONY H900 CHICAGO, USA VINTAGE 1936 ALL SOLID BIRCH LADDER BRACED BLUES PARLOR GUITAR - Mainly Original, part VTG-Restored, Fingerboard Re-levelled & Re-fretted, following previous Neck Reset by Luthier elsewhere, Waverly Tuners, Martin Retro Monel Strings.


Stock Number: VTG1560.

*** There is limited information on the H900 model on the Harmony Guitars Database, which reads as follows....

H900TL: Acoustic flattop: Production year(s) : 1940 (other years possible, not verified): All birch, contrasting dark and light fret fields. "Idento" tailpiece (place for your name on a rectangular card)......from the HGD descriptions of other very similar guitars of the same era you could add to this....."Sunburst with horizontal faux-flame. All birch. Top wood Birch. Body wood Birch. All solid woods.

*** These "Depression Era" guitars are always interesting, and this description is interesting both for what it does say & what it doesn't say. It gives the production date as 1940, but I read the date stamp in this guitar as 1936. Equally, although information on the H900 in the HGD is so sparse, I have seen photos of guitars described as H900 models sporting various features found on other familiar models from the mid-thirties to the early '40s. In particular I have seen one with the Laurel pattern soundhole ring decoration, which I have read somewhere that was a stylized representation of the Olympic wreath at the time of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and then again another one sporting a wooden "Wartime" tailpiece, suggesting typical Harmony finish variants of the model, and a wider production period. The HGD description refers to the "Idento" tailpiece, which this guitar has.

*** This is an interesting vintage guitar with the floating bridge/tailpiece configuration regularly used on parlor guitars in the 1920s/1930s, and continued on in many of the Harmony-made Stella guitars from 1940 to 1975. In addition to the restoration work I have now completed, work had been carried out by a luthier, for the previous owner, before it came to me.....see details below.

*** It appears that the previous work entailed primarily a neck reset, bridge modification, and some subtle clearcoat over-finishing. These works would not have been ones I would have done, or at least not in exactly the way they were, drawing a little away from the maintenance of originality, which I prefer to see. Nevertheless I have to concede the slight customization resulting has given the guitar a unique character, which I'm sure will appeal to many serious players.

*** Although the guitar had previously undergone work by a luthier before it came to me, and I have now completed restoration work, the guitar appears to be all original, except for the bridge, and some clearcoat over-finishing. The overall condition is good for an over 80 year old guitar. Inevitably there is cosmetic wear and ageing, including various scratches & knocks, but the clear over-finish does give a tidy appearance, whilst not detracting from the vintage character of the guitar.

*** Structurally, the previous luthier's work entailed a neck reset, very tidily completed, with appropriate fillet added under the fingerboard extension in line with the altered neck angle....only unusual feature is that the alteration of the neck angle was much greater than usual, resulting in the need for an elevated bridge in order for the strings to clear the fingerboard & play, but with the disadvantage that, because of the bridge height, strings were not correctly fitted to run under the front edge of the original "Idento" tailpiece. With the neck-angle further back than I would have set it, the resulting geometry of the guitar is more like that of a small archtop, and the replacement bridge then installed had a height of approx. 19mm., rather than the 11mm./12mm. normal for a parlor guitar of this type. The bridge height has now been reduced a little following fingerboard re-levelling, and the strings correctly located in the tailpiece.

*** The other issue identified was that not only were inadequate frets fitted, but the fingerboard was significantly uneven. Having removed those frets, I have re-levelled the typically flat, un-radiused, fingerboard in order to not only correct the unevenness, but also slightly reduce the angle of the fingerboard alignment, which then enabled me to take down the height of the bridge a little, reducing in height and re-shaping more satisfactorily the Bone saddle insert.....the unit is still taller than is usual....not that the high bridge & consequent break angle for the strings over the saddle is any bad thing, giving good down-force on the bridge, aiding sound transmission. After re-levelling was completed the fingerboard dot position inlays were replaced & new frets installed.

*** Not unusually in guitars of this age and type, there is very slight shaping around the soundhole and, after consultation with the luthier I work with it was decided that, purely as a precautionary measure, additional small Spruce braces should be installed running front to rear, above & below the soundhole, between the ladder/cross braces to the front & rear of the soundhole. This has been completed, just to give extra precautionary strengthening & reinforcement in this area.

*** The square-ended 3-on-a-strip tuners are original, and although not stamped do appear to be Waverly machineheads, remaining surprisingly clean & bright, for their age and fully functioning. In fact their operation is so good and they are such a good fit that I have not fitted the vintage type "Bootlace" ferrules/bushings that I normally add to those Harmony guitars on which they were not factory fitted....The fit is so close that I would have had to ream out the post-holes in order to do this, so their didn't seem to be a need....however they can be fitted if a purchaser required. The original "Idento" metal tailpiece is similarly in good shape, with only very limited & localised corrosion.

*** Wooden nut is of original type, if not the actual original, and after fingerboard work, has been adjusted and re-fitted. There is no intention to do any further finish restoration, leaving the tidy over-finish as is, merely to clean where needed and allow the superbly aged guitar to shine.

*** The completed set-up of the guitar gives a good action of around 2mm./2.75mm. at the 12th. fret, which with just a tad more string height at the nut/first fret in order to aid bottleneck play, I reckon is ideal for a parlor or Stella "all-rounder", good for Bottleneck play, but with fretting aided by the shorter scale length and consequent lower string tension, therefore ideal for a mixture of finger-style and bottleneck play.

*** Additionally it could also be used for full-time slide with a nut riser costing no more than a few pounds. The sound is typically loud and pokey, just as a Stella should be - a great Bluesy voice! It has "That Sound" in spades - even, woody, bright, clear, ringing tone! Unless otherwise requested, it will be strung with Martin MM12 Retro Monel Light 12-54 strings, and really sounds tremendous - and loud!

*** There is no case (although the guitar will be well packed and securely boxed for posting), but I do have the odd period case, and may be able to supply one of the type these guitars originally came in, or alternatively I may be able to supply it with a virtually unused Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, with additional factory-fitted internal pads to accommodate the small Stella body size. 

*** I haven't yet found a YouTube clip of an H900 so, on my Vintage & Traditional Guitars website, I have embedded a link to a clip of a Depression Era Harmony-made parlor, by top-flight American Guitarist James Ralston. James is a favourite resource for YouTube clips, because of the sheer quality of his playing and the great old guitars he plays, but the limitation is that he always seems to go for '30s parlors with slotted headstocks, and pin bridges....but there we are...similar construction Harmony parlors from the same era.......entitled "1930's Supertone 12 Fret Parlor Guitar. Solid Birch. Restored." by James Ralston.

*** Very Extensive Description Details on the Vintage & Traditional Guitars Website, including dimension details,  together with the additional link to a second YouTube clip........."1930's Supertone Parlor Guitar. Restored." also by James Ralston.....please ensure that you check the full description carefully.

*** UK & EU postage only....please enquire for individual details.