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1961 Harmony Stratotone Jupiter H49 Vintage Guitar, Near-Mint w/ Case, DeArmond Gold Foils


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Up for sale, a 1961 Harmony H49 Stratotone Jupiter in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original chipboard case. The Stratotone H49 model was one of Harmony's top tier offerings in the early '60s, featuring DeArmond's famed Gold Foils pickups. Fully hollow, the thinline body boasts a solid spruce top, maple back and rims, and a slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard capping a maple neck.

The clear, percussive quality of the DeArmond gold foils really shines here, with a glassy, dynamic snap and woody bite when digging in hard. The guitar is featherweight at a mere 4lbs 15oz, and this example has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with flatwound 11-49 strings, easy-playing action and accurate intonation

The neck has a baseball bat-worthy chunky C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulders in every register, measuring .940" deep at the 1st fret and .960" at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood slab fretboard features multi-ply binding and pearloid block inlay, and the original slender frets have their full factory height and well-rounded crowns, showing minimal wear. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24 1/4" scale and the neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width. On the headstock, the guitar features the original Stratotone silkscreen logo as well as the extremely clean Waverly open-gear tuning machines which turn smoothly.

On the body, all of the electronics work as they should including the ingenious "Blender" knob. This knob 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. This is easily one of the coolest features of the Stratotone Jupiter and one found only on this model. The CTS pots date to the 11th week of '60, and the tortoise pickup baseplates retain their Rowe Industries foil stickers (parent company of DeArmond). The 1961 manufacture date is also stamped inside the body. Original hardware includes a positively gleaming nickel-plated trapeze tailpiece, as well as the floating Brazilian rosewood bridge. There are a few additional notches in the bridge (presumably for an altered string spacing, but not viable for proper setup). Near-mint plastics comprise the transparent red tortoise pickup surrounds and pickguard, as well as a full complement of transparent mini DeArmond bell knobs.

The nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, and the body exhibits some vertical lacquer checking. A forward strap button mounting hole has been added, and cosmetic wear is limited to a small amount of finish loss on the outside edge of the treble-side cutaway and a few minor dings and light finish scuffs consistent with sparingly little use over the past 60+ years. The gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh flawless, and there is a small amount of finish loss on the top headstock edge.

The original Harmony form fit chipboard case is included with the original latches and handle.