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1959 Harmony Stratotone Jupiter H49 w/ Bigsby, DeArmond Gold Foils, Case


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Up for sale, a 1959 Harmony H49 Stratotone Jupiter in perfect working order, complete with a hardshell case. Produced in the second year of the H49's production run, the Stratotone Jupiter is one of the most unique and well-designed instruments to feature DeArmond's famed Gold Foil pickups. This particular H49 has been augmented with a Bigsby B5 vibrato and features the neck and body from two separate Stratotones, which can both be dated 1959 by the long “Y” on the headstock logo and the 59 date stamp inside the body (the neck is from the Stratotone “Mars” model).

The H49 was one of Harmony’s top tier offerings, featuring hollowbody construction with a solid spruce top, maple back and sides, and slab rosewood fretboard. This guitar delivers plenty of twang and top end, balanced with a full midrange and tight bass response. The DeArmond Gold Foils have a clear, percussive quality, with a glassy, dynamic snap and woody bite when you dig in hard. The guitar is featherweight at 5lbs 5oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The neck has been reshaped in almost every dimension, featuring a U-shaped profile carve that measures .955” deep at the 1st fret and 1.025” at the 12th. The neck has a new thick slab rosewood fretboard with large pearl dot inlay, refretted with flawless slender fretwire. The new fretwire is spaced for a full 25 1/2" scale (as opposed to the original 24 1/4" scale).  The aluminum Bigbsy bridge has been appropriately placed for the current scale length, and the nut width has been made more slender, measuring 1 9/16". The new nut is carved from bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. The headstock sports the original Stratotone silkscreen logo with the era-specific long “Y” on “Harmony,” and the modern Kluson Deluxe vintage-spec single line tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

On the body, all of the electronics work as they should including the ingenious "Blender" knob. This knob, which is unique to the Jupiter model, acts as a balance control between the two pickups when both are selected, giving the player a smooth gradient between the Bridge and Neck positions. The pickguard retains the original ambered mini DeArmond bell knobs, and the original transparent tortoise pickguard and pickup surrounds round out the plastics. The original CTS pots date to 1959, both pickups have their original Rowe Industries foil stickers (the parent company of DeArmond) on the baseplates, and the control cavity retains the original 1959 date stamp. Hardware includes the upgraded Bigsby B5 vibrato and floating aluminum Bigsby bridge with compensated saddle. A second Tune-o-Matic bridge is also included with a carved rosewood base. The vibrato actuates smoothly for light warbles, bouncing back to pitch quickly.

The original nitro lacquer finish exhibits various dings, scuffs, and minor battle scars across the body, with tight lacquer checking and prominent strum wear across the pick path, and a small (stable) separation in the outer ply of the body rim on the point of the cutaway. There is a tan line on top from the previous bridge placement, and a vintage Wenatchee Apples pin-up waterslide decal on the upper bout. The neck profile has been refinished in a nigh flawless gloss, while both sides of the headstock retain the original lacquer. The neck has a long, previously repaired split running the length of the bass side of the profile carve, professionally addressed long ago and beneath the current gloss finish (imperceptible to the palm while fretting).

A hardshell case is included.