1940s Harmony-made SS Stewart 7006 Archtop Guitar

Mr. Paul picked this beauty of an old archtop up and sent it here for setup-side work. It got a refret in the end and this is often what pushes these old boxes past "cool" into "excellent" territory. The experience of original, low-mass Harmony frets is... ho-hum. It also let me level/dress minor neck inconsistencies off the top of the new, wide, tall frets.

While the soundclip doesn't truly reflect the bass-side presence of the guitar (my hand was in the way with that mic position), this box really does sound the business. It's got all that chop, bite, and attack you want from an archtop but also more smoothness on the top-end and a good, chunky rumble on the low. The owner and I are pretty sure it's a carved-top Harmony model, but we're not sure on that. It has many of the hallmarks of a carved-top model on the inside.

Repairs included: a refret with jumbo/pyramid stock, modification to the bridge (original Harmony bridges adjust backwards from most archtop bridges and I reversed this so it works like a normal one -- the wheels hold the bridge up from the bottom of the saddle rather than the other way around), cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: it plays bang-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, strung with 54w-12 gauges, and the neck is straight under tension.

Scale length: 25 1/8"
Nut width: 1 3/4"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/4"
Body length: 20"
Lower bout width: 16 1/8"
Waist width: 9 1/8"
Upper bout width: 11 3/8"
Side depth at endpin: 3 1/4"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid maple
Bracing type: tonebar
Fretboard: ebonized pearwood/maple
Bridge: ebonized pearwood/maple, adjustable
Neck feel: medium-big V, ~10" board radius

Condition notes: the guitar is totally-original and in good order save new frets. There's a minor amount of (repaired) chip-out at the fretboard extension on the board and minor scratches throughout the body.

Who doesn't love tortoise headstock veneers?

The original tuners look great.


Nick R said…
I think those Waverly Tune Rite tuners and the S S Stewart logo indicate a very late 1930s date for this guitar- I have an advertisement showing Harmony made mandolins with those same designs. In his collection, Francois Demont showed a circa 1950 7006 and he mentions the top as spruce, for the 7008, he states "spruce (carved)" which probably means a pressed top for this model. You had a few of those tuners for the low E side of the guitar for sale last September, I seem to recall. Are they still available?