Up for sale, a 1956 Harmony H1456 Monterey vintage archtop acoustic guitar in excellent condition, complete with a vintage chipboard case. The H1456 Monterey was the top of the line model in the Monterey family, featuring a select spruce top, maple back and sides, a full 16 1/2" lower bout width and 3 1/2" body depth. This particular Monterey has a large "Bonita" vintage waterslide decal added to the upper bout, and is otherwise 100% original.
The combination of spruce and maple provides a lively sonic platform, with a bold, barking tone. The midrange frequencies have a certain smooth yet pronounced growl and the low end is taut. The instrument projects well, with a dry top end and snappy treble response. This Harmony weighs a mere 4lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike and Mike’s Guitar Bar with fresh 12-54 bronze strings and comfortable action.
The maple neck has a substantial C-shaped profile carve with ample shoulder in every register, measuring .875” deep at the 1st fret and .955” at the 9th. The slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the original slender brass fretwire which shows virtually no wear. The neck is straight, and the guitar plays easily in all registers, with 14 frets clear of the body. The scale length is a full 25", and the original bone nut measures 1 3/4" in width. The headstock has clean silkscreen graphics, the original truss rod cover, and stock open-gear Waverly strip tuners with white buttons.
The original carved rosewood bridge is intact and at its lowest point of adjustment. The top has a perfect arch with no sinking, and action is very comfortable in all registers, sitting at 8/64" on both treble and bass sides measured at the 12th fret. Notable for not being a laminate top, this solid spruce top is pressed into its arched shape. The original raised brown celluloid pickguard is intact, complete with the original bracket. A nickel trapeze tailpiece rounds out the hardware. The model stamp and 1956 date stamp are visible through the F hole.
The original three-tone nitro lacquer Sunburst gloss finish is bright and bold, and there are various minor nicks and scuffs on the body as a whole from honest use, with a small area of buckle wear at the treble-side waist. The back exhibits one cleanly repaired crack and targeted touchup on the treble-side lower bout, with an additional repaired split along the back binding on the treble-side rim, and a smaller repaired split extending from the endpin. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss and faux flame silkscreening over the Sunburst.
A vintage black chipboard case is included.