1950s Harmony H1215T Archtop Tenor Guitar

Every time I work on one of these it feels like deja vu! That's because... if you're looking for a vintage tenor guitar on a budget... what are your options, really? It's one of these... or one of the flattop tenor Harmony models... or maybe if you get lucky you can score a '20s or '30s Regal flattop. Everything else is out there but scarce -- I'm talking Kay tenors and '20s or '30s Harmony tenors. These H1215T models seem to have been made in enough numbers that they regularly show-up for resale.

Anyhow, it's exactly like the others I've worked-on -- a pressed-top (rather than carved) instrument of solid birch for the top, back, and sides -- with a poplar neck, and ebonized-maple fretboard and bridge. They take a beating and keep going and while they don't sound as good as, ya know, a Gibson TG-50 or something, they are pretty decent sound-wise.

The owner of this one wanted it in GDAE or GDAD Celtic-styling tuning and after a fret level/dress, side dots install, bridge fuss, hairline crack repair (to the top), and neck reinforcement (hidden bolt) at the joint, I strung it up for that and set it up. It's playing bang-on and is ready to go.

Neat things: 22 3/4" scale length, bigger '50s-style C/V mixed neck shape, flat board, and reverse-adjustable Harmony-style bridge (a terrible design but it works OK). This has the '50s-style bone nut, too. Oh... and they're about 000-size (~15" on the lower bout).