1939 Supertone (Harmony-made) Singing Cowboys Rubber Bridge Parlor Guitar

Alright -- so the fella I cobbled-up the last Harmony cowboy guitar (a Gene Autry, click here to see) with a rubber bridge mentioned that he was more into a tailpiece setup and a hard-mounted pickup rather than the pin-style bridge on that one. Hm! My brain said ohhhh no, so rather than re-reset the neck for a different angle, I hopped on Reverb and bought this cool box instead.

It's a little older, has the desired tailpiece setup from the factory, and post-repairs is a hair louder acoustically and maybe a bit more "banjo-like" in response when picking it. I love the look -- yellowed battleship grey, stencils in faded yellow and orange-red, red highlights to the finish, trails of old clear tape that's merged with the finish at the seams, cowboys picking tunes around a campfire -- what's not to like? The fretboard even has a "splatter finish" to it.

Just like the Gene Autry mod, this one has a Duncan Hot Rails in the neck position and yields a similar tone that's nice and quiet (hum-wise) and fairly aggressive. The bridge is floating, though, and so the prospective new owner should be able to move it around to suit intonation with different string gauges and tunings. He mentioned baritone tuning which would be a stretch on a 24 1/8" scale parlor like this, but it could do it with the right gauges granted that the 2nd-highest string was kept plain (that'd be the F# string in bari tuning like BEADF#B low to high) as that's how I've got the bridge compensated.

Work included a neck reset, fret level/dress, side dots install, seam and brace repairs, parts-bin bridge mod with rubber saddle (truck tire rubber, hence the ragged look), electronics install and fitting, and setup. It's playing bang-on-the-dot 3/32" bass to 1/16" treble action at the 12th fret and has 52w-11 nickel strings with a wound G.

The body is all solid birch (no cracks) while the neck is poplar with an ebonized maple (or similar) fretboard. These old Harmony parlors have three top braces on the lower bout but in the tailpiece setup the middle one is extraneous structurally so I've removed it and that's given it more acoustic volume and a better sound. On the pin-bridge version of these guitars that extra brace helps to deal with the "twisting" tension of the pin-style setup.