1965 Harmony H1215T Electrified Archtop Tenor Guitar

Today's scheduled while-you-wait work was to get this old H1215T going electric. The owner brought it in stock and after some general setup work and side dots installation, we got to work on electrifying it. To that end, I'd suggested a Kent Armstrong Johnny Smith-style pickup with adjustable poles, but it just wasn't going to happen comfortably with the string height over the body.

The back-story here is that some weeks ago, the owner had stopped-by hoping I had an old thin DeArmond pickup he could use for this very guitar in the neck position. Three days prior to his arrival to install the Kent Amrstrong, I'd taken the 1957 DeArmond now on this off of a Tele-style guitar of mine and forgotten about it. Thankfully, it was available as it was what was needed to make the least-invasive installation we could on this guitar. It also has that period sound the owner was looking for. If you crank down the treble and push the mids and bass, it gives a very respectable clean jazzy tone.

Aside from making a new harness and the setup-side work, we also glued a couple of open top/back/side seams while we were working on it and fit the non-original pickguard to it at the same time with its new pickguard-mounted controls.

It's been getting harder and harder to find these old Harmony tenors as the tenor guitar craze (an offshoot of the uke craze, mostly) continues to grow and gobble old ones up.

This one has a more-respectable acoustic tone than some of the ones I've worked-on, so it was good to find a pickup solution that preserved that sound as well.


Grant Sanders said…
I just purchased this same guitar from a friend. It's missing the pickguard, the nut, and the endpin. And once I saw your post, I knew I had to electrify it as well. If you could post a link or spec for the pickups you might choose and a source for that cool pickguard, I would appreciate it.