1963 Harmony-made Silvertone H1429 Hollowbody Electric Guitar

Some years ago I owned a Harmony Meteor and -- oh man -- was I ever a fool to have sold it. These 3-pickup, DeArmond-equipped beasts are like the Meteors but even better. With the three pickups and on/off switches for each, any combination of them is possible. Add to that that all the pickups are as hot and fiery as your average spicy modern humbucker (while still being and sounding-like a firebreathing single-coil), and you've got a winning combination for pushing your amp into drive pretty fast.

I think this one was made in '63 per its very, very-illegible stamping on the inside.

Harmony electrics usually have a bit of an odd feel to modern hands, however. The necks start at 1 3/4" at the nut but then don't really widen very much as one progresses to different positions up the neck. Usually one would expect the neck to widen and so it can sometimes be a make-it or break-it moment for one of these Harmony products to see if you can "hack it" full-time with the narrower spacing up the neck.

I worked on this for a customer who's owned this for a long while. It was beginning to become problematic, however, so he sent it up here (along with a Bigsby-ized version of the same guitar) for sprucing-up.

Work included: a board plane and refret, tweaking of the truss-rod for better functionality, cleaning, a tuner-swap from originals to Gotoh relic Kluson-repros with 15:1 ratio, and a good setup. All the electronics were working as-intended, so that saved a lot of hassle right there. In the end, it plays bang-on with hair-over 1/16" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret, strung with 54w-12 flatwound strings. The neck is straight, the truss works, and it's happy as can be.

Scale length: 24 1/8"
Nut width: 1 3/4"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at saddle: 1 7/8"
Body length: 19 1/4"
Lower bout width: 15 3/4"
Upper bout width: 11 1/4"
Side depth: 2"
Body wood: ply with maple veneer
Neck wood: mahogany
Fretboard: rosewood
Neck shape: slim-to-medium C-shape, ~9.5" radius board
Bridge: original adjustable, compensated
Nut: plastic

Condition notes: aside from some replacement screws here and there and the new tuners, this guitar is very original. It's also very friendly, with enough wear-and-tear to make taking it out for stage use a non-issue.


Nick R said…
I have been told- more arcane Harmony lore, that the "MADE IN U.S.A." on the truss rod cover plate began to be impressed in 1963. That seems to square with the date stamp, although I appreciate a plate can be replaced over time- especially if the plastic degrades but I would reckon, that the plate is the original, from before the added impressed words began.