1970 Silvertone 1227 (Harmony-made) Electrified 12-String Guitar

This has been updated as of October 2020...

Just looking at this -- complicated story, right? A consignor of mine sent the 12-string in for refurbishment and sale. A customer of mine asked me to fix an old Harmony 12-string up for him (with modifications) and he decided to go with this guy. It's a good modification platform, too, because it's a rugged guitar and even has a truss rodded neck.

Said modifications were to include electrification with some sort of soundhole pickup (we decided on an Alnico 5 goldfoil-looking mini-humbucker instead), knobs on the top for ease-of-use in a live setting, and a refret -- which makes it feel a bit more sports-car/deluxe. The buyer originally had me set this up for baritone tuning but I restrung it and set it up for standard E-to-E stringing more recently. Did I mention it also has a second jack with a K&K acoustic pickup running to it? That has a volume control for itself, too.

These mods resulted in a lush-sounding, interesting, and chunky-sounding old box. It's not acoustically boomy on the low notes but played as chords or picked with the fingers (Leadbelly or Blind Willie McTell-style) it sounds really nice and bluesy. Plugged-in it's simply rockin'! The mini-humbucker gives it a clean, precise tone with just enough of a DeArmond-ish kerrangy sound when played on cleaner settings. When it's given some gain or a little breakup, it's aggressive as heck. Yum. I'm not a great fingerpicker but I would love to hear what someone who can really work metal picks could do with this.

Repairs included: seam repairs, a neck reset, board plane and refret with jumbo/pyramid wire, cut and install for a pickup and tone/volume wiring harness, install of a K&K acoustic pickup and additional volume control and jack, modification of the bridge to a drop-in saddle slot and cut of a bone, fully-compensated saddle, two tiny-screw anchors for the floating bridge, new StewMac repro tuners at the headstock, cleaning, and a good setup.

Setup notes: it plays perfectly with 3/32" action at the bass and 1/16" action at the treble at the 12th fret. The neck is straight and the truss rod works. String gauges are, low to high: 22w/46w, 14/36w, 10/26w, 8/20w, 13/13, 9/9.

Scale length: 25 1/8"
Nut width: 2"
String spacing at nut: 1 13/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2 5/16"
Body length: 19 1/4"
Lower bout width: 15"
Waist width: 9 5/8"
Upper bout width: 11 5/8"
Side depth at endpin: 3 3/4"
Top wood: solid birch
Back/sides wood: solid birch
Neck wood: poplar
Bracing type: ladder
Fretboard: ebonized maple or similar, plastic nut
Bridge: ebonized maple, bone comp'd saddle
Neck feel: medium D-shape, flat board

Condition notes: it's fairly clean but does show minor use-wear throughout. It has no cracks. The new tuners have their string-mount holes close to the middle portion of the headstock, so it's slightly-tricky to fit the strings into them when restringing. They work really well, though. Clearly, the modifications have also changed the guitar, however. Aside from what I mentioned above it's original throughout. It has a 1970 date stamp inside, too.