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1954 Harmony H44 Stratotone Vintage Neck Through Electric Guitar Gold Sparkle, Marty Bell


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Up for sale, a 1954 Harmony H44 Stratotone in excellent condition and in perfect working order with a Gold Sparkle gloss finish, courtesy of Marty Bell. Complete with the original DeArmond "Hershey Bar" pickup, wiring harness and hardware, this H44 is a visual stunner that remains largely stock.

Arguably the most collectable model produced by Harmony and also one of the most influential in the history of early Rock n' Roll, the H44 model was played by the likes of Richie Valens and Carl Perkins, who also owned a '53. The single DeArmond "Hershey Bar" pickup delivers a tone that is very responsive to picking dynamics, offering a rich sound that has both low end heft and treble snap. The overarching sound has a clear note attack and sweet, percussive character, and this is also one of the only neck through body designs ever produced by Harmony, with good sustain and an overall resonance that truly benefits from this construction. The guitar is featherweight at 6lbs 1oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings and easy-playing action all the way up the fretboard.

The neck has a very full U-shaped profile carve, measuring .985" deep at the 1st fret and 1.1675" at the 9th. On the bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard, the original fretwire is practically perfect, leveled and crowned in the guitar's lifetime with good meat remaining. The original bone nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width, and the original Waverly open back tuners with cream buttons turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The "Stratotone" logo is a modern replacement that perfectly matches '50s spec with a long "Y" in "Harmony."

On the body, the simple electronics work exactly as intended including the small two-way switch that bypasses the Tone control if desired. The stock CentraLab pots both have clean date codes from the 46th week of 1954. Hardware includes the original Brazilian rosewood floating bridge with bone saddle and short chrome-plated trapeze tailpiece. The single-ply pickguard and jack plate are new, custom cut in-house and carefully matching the contours of the originals. The plastics are rounded out by the original pair of brown "cupcake" knobs.

This guitar came to us stripped of its body and neck finish here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, and as the undisputed king of premium sparkle finishes, we had Marty Bell's finish the entire body and neck in a gloss, dimensional metalflake Gold Sparkle. The finish is flawless, and Marty Bell's stamp is present in the pickup cavity route.