1970 Harmony Sovereign H164 "Jet" 000-Size Flattop Guitar

My buddy Scott and his family are just-now leaving Vermont for a new home in Pennsylvania, and he dropped a few instruments off for work before their journey. The first two were shoe-ins but this last one was planned to be a "ship once you're there." However, he was coming back to the shop one last time to pick up a '30s breakfast nook from my inlaws, so I pulled a late-night work extravaganza and got the neck reset and fretwork done on this so I could finish it up for him in the morning.

These black-painted "Jet" versions of the Sovereign H1203 don't show up all that often, and I have to say I really like it despite myself. It's cheeseball vintage, but still -- it's got character. It's all-original save the saddle, tuners, and pickguard, too -- and has no cracks. Compared to a normal H1203 model (with solid spruce top over solid mahogany), it plays the same, but the birch back and sides give it more of a direct, snappy sound. I think I actually like it more.

Work included: a neck reset, fret level/dress, new retro-style tuners, fill and recut of the saddle slot (they're never in the right place...), new pickguard, and a setup. It plays with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, has a straight neck, and is strung with a mix of "12s" and "11s" -- 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 low to high. The necks on these are wider (1 3/4" nut) but at this point in time the neck cut is pretty thin and fast front-to-back and has a mellow C-shape. It's a lot less chunky than the '60s Sovereign necks.