1960s Harmony H1203 Sovereign 000-Size Guitar

I received this guy as a trade-in -- and what a nice one it is, at that! It's quite clean, has a strong, woody, midsy, crisp voice, and looks great visually. This is the "little brother" of the venerable H1260 model and shares the same appointments and neck handling but in a smaller body size.

It needed the usual repairs but after they were done it's now a solid player. I think of these as fingerpickers first and flatpickers second. They do a nice job as a flatpicking guitar, but a good fingerpicker will pull "the sound" out of these.

Repairs included: a neck reset, fret level/dress, expanded saddle slot and new rosewood saddle, cleaning, setup.


Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany

Bracing type: ladder

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret:
3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12

Neck shape: medium C/D

Board radius: 10"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium


Scale length: 25 1/8"

Nut width: 1 3/4"

Body width: 15 1/8"

Body depth: 3 3/4"

Weight: 3 lbs 11 oz


Condition notes: it's pretty clean throughout. I found no cracks but the upper-bout-bass-side does have a "rubbing" scratch mark in the finish that you can see in the photos. It's nothing to write home about. Otherwise the finish shows mild wear and tear and weather-checking but is overall in good shape. I replaced the original saddle with an oversize (compensated) rosewood one so that I could get intonation decent. It also needed to be wider so there would be more grip in the bridge so the front wall wouldn't blow-out under tension. Why rosewood? In this application it both looks less awkward than a huge bone saddle and it sounds warmer. The heel cap has some age-rot in it. There's minor wear to the fretboard itself. The fretboard extension also dips down and away from the rest of the fretboard a bit but this is not an issue unless you're a gymnast playing up around the 17th fret a lot. The truss rod works, it's all-original save the saddle, and it's ready to go.

















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