1939 Harmony Marquise 00-Size Flattop Guitar

Update 2018: The owner of this guitar brought it back in for consignment (he's a regular wheeler-dealer) and I've added a new video and brand-new pics from 5/5/18.

Harmony's upscale "Marquise" instruments seem to have only been made for a year or so. This guy is like an "OMed 00" by which I mean it's slightly-wider than a 00-size guitar at 14 3/4" on the lower bout and has a longer 25 3/16" scale length which is closer to an OM in the way it responds to a pick. This particular model is closest -- to me -- to a Harmony Vogue Style B guitar I worked-on years ago.

In the end, despite its fancier trim and build quality (I love the binding/purfling mix on the top edge), this remains a spruce-over-birch, ladder-braced Harmony and definitely has a tonal response in that realm. To my ears, it actually sounds most like a better Harmony Sovereign from the '60s mixed with just a dose of Kalamazoo KG-11 tone. The birch lends a bit more lower-mids grunt and a little less upper-mids focus than mahogany, though. It sounds good!

Work included a neck reset, fret level/dress, new rosewood bridge, new pins, and new saddle. The guitar is crack-free and aside from the bridge stuff, is otherwise all-original and purty. It's now playing spot-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. I split the difference between 11/12s sets of strings and used 50w, 40w, 30w, 20w, 16, 12 gauges. The owner likes 12s but Harmony products (like Kalamazoos, at times) tend to have lightly-braced tops so I try to avoid regular 54w-12 sets on them.

Specs are: 25 3/16" scale, 1 3/4" nut width, 1 1/2" string spacing at the nut, 2 5/32" spacing at the bridge, a roughly 16" radius on the board, 14 3/4" lower bout, 10 1/2" upper bout, and 3 3/4" side depth at the endblock. Action is dialed-in at standard 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret. A heavier picker will probably like it jacked-up with a shim under the saddle but it's perfect for a light-to-medium strummer or fingerpicker at this height.

I love the firestripe pickguard on the Martin "shaded-top" finish-rip-off.

The nut is 1 3/4" and the ebonized-maple board has a light radius and the neck itself has a medium-to-big soft-V neck profile.

The dots are pearl.

How about all that purfling? It would've been bright orange/yellow/green to begin-with. I could see just a little bit of that under the fretboard extension when I pulled it up.

The new rosewood bridge is pretty mundane and I used a belly-bridge to help alleviate some of that aforementioned season-toseason top-movement I'm so used-to with Harmony products. So far, so good. The saddle is a vintage bone piece that I recut for this one. I added string-ramps to keep back-angle good despite setup adjustments.

The solid birch back and sides have faux-flame finish.

The dot-topped pins are all from my spare-parts bins.

There's the production date!

It comes with a good, hard case.


Unknown said…
love that burst !!!