4/23/2018

1960s Harmony H1203 Sovereign 000-Size Flattop Guitar




Like the last H1203, this one lacks a date-stamp but can be located in time by its particulars: the original nut is bone, it never had a pickguard, and there's an endstrip at the endpin. This suggests an early-to-mid '60s build. This one is also very clean, with no cracks and everything original except for the new bone saddle and truss rod cover. It has a brighter, fingerpicking-friendly, KG-11-sort-of tone that carries nicely. The neck is mild-to-medium in bulk and it's a comfortable and attractive guitar in the lap.

My work included a neck reset, fret level/dress, new bone saddle, cleaning, and setup. It's playing perfectly, has a straight neck and functioning truss rod, and the finish is glossy and clean save for weather-check here and there per normal for an old guitar. The fretboard extension over the body dips a little down from the rest of the board, but this is not the sort of guitar you'd likely be doing 17th-fret gymnastics on, anyhow.

Specs are: 25 3/16" scale, 1 3/4" nut width, 1 1/2" string spacing at the nut, 2 1/4" spacing at the bridge, 15 1/8" lower bout width, 11 1/2" upper bout, and 3 7/8" side depth at the endblock. Action is 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret. The neck is mild-to-medium in depth and has a D-shaped profile with a ~12" radius to the board. Strings are 50w, 38w, 28w, 20w, 15, 11.


Per the usual Sovereign specs, the top is solid spruce, the back and sides are solid mahogany, the neck is mahogany, and the fretboard and bridge are Brazilian rosewood. It's ladder-braced.


That truss rod cover isn't original. That's one from my parts-bins. It looks handsome, though.








Isn't that mahogany gorgeous?






There are a few white scuffs on the lower-bout-treble-side.


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