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

I worked on one of these (in almost as good condition -- but this one is really clean) last year, but didn't grab a soundclip. Now you know what they sound like! They're woodier and punchier (read: more bluesy) than your average Harmony H1203 which is the model these are a gussied-up version of. While the bridge is a little different, it's actually the cheaper birch back and sides that gives them a bit more guts to my ears -- though the tone isn't as rounded or sweet. These are the "little brother" to the more-widely-known H1264 jumbo "Jet Set" guitar.

Post-repairs it plays bang-on, has a straight neck, the truss rod is a little easier to access (I put a spacer between the nut and the rod's metal block/holder under the fretboard), and it has plenty of tone to spare.

My pickguard is not like the original but its red tortoise does mimic the style choices of the sunburst "big boy" Sovereigns made at the time. The original is in the case, however, should someone want to mount it.

But seriously -- look how clean this sucker is! Barely any hint of a scratch on it, though it was played a bit judging by the fretwear.

Repairs included: a neck reset, fret level/dress, side dots install, a replacement pickguard (original in case), and relocation of the saddle slot... plus a new bone saddle that's drop-in for easy adjustment. For whatever reason, Harmony always blew saddle location. I don't know if I've ever had one in where they placed the saddle within 1/16" of on-target at the factory.

Setup notes: action is spot-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE height at the 12th fret. Strings are 52w-11 gauges which is what I prefer on these 000 Harmony boxes. 12s are OK on these, too, but the tops are more temperamental with them used over time. The neck is straight and the truss rod works.

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: 19 1/8"
Lower bout width: 15 1/4"
Waist width: 9 1/2"
Upper bout width: 11 5/8"
Side depth at endpin: 4"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid birch
Bracing type: ladder
Fretboard: rosewood
Bridge: rosewood
Neck feel: slim C-shape, ~10" board radius

Condition notes: replaced pickguard and saddle, otherwise original and very clean. There's only the lightest use/handling marks throughout the body. Someone lightly-scratched their social security number near the endpin, though.

It comes with: an older (period) hard case.


CM said…
What a gorgeous box! Me Want! Love the classic bridge and the simple elegance.
Andy said…
that should be 'the model of which these are a gussied-up version' - I'd put this on Youtube but have no idea how ...
CM said…
Captain Kirk!! Sensors have detected a fleet of Grammarian rebels!!
Jake Wildwood said…
Andy: Mh, I think I will leave my late-night bad grammar intact for future generations, unfortunately. Thanks, though. :D

CM: I still have a hard time accepting the fact that I don't effect on people... but rather that I affect them in terrible ways.
Jake Wildwood said…
*effect people minus the "on" -- see, late-night blog posting's doing me no credit...
f10 said…
The real black brother (no pun intended) of the H1203 Sov is the H1204 model though. This H164 is a black-painted H166 -or Buck Owens for that matter.
So it should not really wear the Sovereign brand, but alas it does :)