1969 Harmony-made Barclay H1203-Style Flattop Guitar

This was a while-you-wait spruce-up job for a customer. He also got to learn a bit about the process of that sprucing-up while he waited, too.

It's a rebranded Harmony H1203 Sovereign with a proper sunburst finish on the top and a different name at the headstock. That means ladder bracing, solid spruce over solid mahogany, and a mahogany neck with a truss rod. These are nice materials on what could've otherwise been a low-brow guitar, and even though most old Harmony products need a lot of love to get them to play the way one would like, the Sovereign-level instruments are always worth the effort. This one changed from a dull duck into a gutsy old-time picker with a nice, woody, direct voice. I love that caterpillar-butterfly effect.

Work included: a fret level/dress, conversion of the bridge from top-load to pin-bridge, a relocated saddle slot (made drop-in for easy adjustments) and new bone saddle, mild cleaning, and a good setup. It plays bang-on at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret, has a straight neck and working truss-rod, and is strung with 54w-12 gauges.

Condition notes: the original pickguard must've been removed decades ago as it only left a faint impression on the top. The heel cap is a replacement and I've modified the bridge a lot, but otherwise the guitar is original and in good order. It has very little wear and tear due to being a case-stored item.