1962 Harmony Rocket Hollowbody Electric Guitar




I'm a fan of Harmony Rockets. They handle like nothing else, really. One would expect them to be Gretsch-y or Gibson-y, being slim hollowbodies with a rather "long" body shape. They don't, though. The necks have a short scale and are medium thickness, with no taper. Combined with the usual Harmony-style DeArmond pickups that tend towards kerrangy, aggressive, and midsy-bright, they're much more rocky than rockabilly or jazzy.

This one's all done-up, now, and playing bang-on, but it does have one weakness: the neck coil is damaged and the output from it is less than the bridge, the tone thinner, and the tone control is nixed as useful when coils are mucked-up. It's useable, actually, but rather than chop it out, I've decided to let the next owner decide what to do about it, if anything. I wouldn't mind putting-in something else on the house, though. If it were me I'd put a non-polepiece mini-humbucker in a soapbar-style pickup ring and never look back. That'd probably be just about a perfect match for the loud, roaring bridge pickup.

Work included: a fret level/dress, side dots install, new nut, compensation at the bridge, new ground wire to the tailpiece (these didn't have one to begin-with, tsk tsk), cleaning, and a good setup. Action is hair-over 1/16" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret, strung with 46w-10 gauges. The neck is straight and has a non-adjustable metal rod installed.

Scale length: 24 1/8"
Nut width: 1 3/4"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at bridge: 1 7/8"
Body length: 19 5/8"
Lower bout width: 15 7/8"
Waist width: 9 1/2"
Upper bout width: 11 3/8"
Side depth at endpin: 2" plus arched top/back
Body wood: solid birch
Fretboard: ebonized maple
Bridge: original ebonized maple adjustable
Neck feel: medium C, 10-12" board radius
Neck wood: poplar w/non-adjustable rod

Condition notes: replacement nut, mild playwear/usewear throughout, and someone reglued the fretboard at some point. There was glue seep along its edges and I scraped it off, but that left a little bit of finish scraping at the edges below the board. It's a non-issue, however.














Comments

CM said…
If that were mine I would send the wonky pickup down to Seymour Duncan and spring the dough to have them rewind it. I love Rockets especially red ones. cm
Dave said…
Jason Lollar is killer at rewinds too. Also Curtis Novak. He's done work for me.