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1960s Harmony Stratotone Mercury H48 Vintage Guitar w/ DeArmond Gold Foil, Case


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Up for sale, a 1960's Harmony Stratotone Mercury H48 in perfect working order. This vintage USA-made Harmony is a rare Stratotone model, positively stunning in its presentation with a deep ripples of flame maple figuring extending liberally across the ambered top.

The maple body is fully hollow, with the articulate note attack of this particular tonewood balanced by the tonal breadth and sweet, airy quality of the hollowbody construction. The DeArmond Gold Foil pickup in the neck position has strong output and a clear, percussive quality. Dynamic and barking with an overdriven amp, the pickup has a chewy warmth and woody bite. The rotary tone switch coupled to the pickup has three settings: "Bass" offers the traditional use of the Volume and Tone knobs, "Treble" bypasses the Tone control (only the Volume knob is active), and "Rhythm" is the same as the Treble setting, but with a high pass filter (even more treble!). The instrument is featherweight at 4lbs 6oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings and low action.

The maple neck has a very full C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder, firmly in "baseball bat" territory and measuring .930" deep at the 1st fret and .950" at the 12th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the original slender frets which have their full factory height, showing light, uniform wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-3, with fainter wear extending beneath the plain strings until fret 5, and virtually no wear further up the board. The bone nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width. The Stratotone silkscreen text and atomic logo is intact, with some wear along the top headstock edge. The open-gear strip tuners include one original side and one modern antiqued side.

The electronics function as intended, with the original Rowe Industries (the parent company of DeArmond) sticker on the underside of the pickup. The date stamp is faintly visible (appearing to date to '60), stamped on the inside back of the hollow body, and visible in the control cavity route. The original floating Brazilian rosewood bridge and short trapeze tailpiece are intact, and the original pair of brown cupcake knobs are present, with a vintage black Dakaware rotary switch knob. The silkscreened text on the transparent red tortoise pickguard is flawless.

The Natural nitro lacquer finish exhibits heavy finish checking across the body, with some wear down to the bare maple where the forearm crosses the top. There are some minor scuffs and nicks on the body as a whole, and one small piece of new back binding near the input jack. The neck profile shows light palm wear on the bass side of the carve behind frets 1-3, and a few additional very small shallow marks on the profile length that aren’t distracting to the palm in the slightest.

A vintage two-tone chipboard case is included.