Up for sale, a 1965 Harmony H19 Silhouette in excellent condition, complete with a hardshell case. The H19 was the only Silhouette model produced under the Harmony name (as opposed to the Sears variant "Silvertone" models more readily seen), and as such, this particular Silhouette featured "moustache" DeArmond gold foils, a larger nitrate tortoise pickguard that closely followed the body's offset contours, an intonatable bridge with metal saddles, and a vibrato unit sourced from by Harmony from Hagstrom. It's hard to match the H19 for feel, tone, and great playability, and this example is very soulful and resonant, with a loud acoustic voice that translates well through the gold foils. The guitar weighs 7lbs 13oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with a fresh set of 13-56 strings (in-line with the heavier string gauges of the era), this Harmony plays well with low action and accurate intonation.
The pair of DeArmond gold foil pickups have strong output, with a full sound that has plenty of top end chime and clear, percussive attack. There's nothing that comes close to the tone of a gold foil in terms of balancing the clarity of an acoustic guitar with the midrange rich fullness of an electric, and the metal saddles on this particular version of the Silhouette give the pickups a bit of added twang and bite. Plug in any tube amp and your favorite overdrive or fuzz and go nuts! The moustache gold foils on the H19 also have adjustable pole pieces, an upgrade only seen on Harmony's finest models, and the Silhouette was the company's flagship solidbody guitar.
The neck has a chunky C-shaped profile worthy of the "baseball bat" moniker with generous shoulders and a substantial feel, measuring .940" deep at the 1st fret and .980" at the 12th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard sports multi-ply cream binding, pearloid block inlay, and original fretwire that's in truly fantastic shape. The frets have their full factory height with well-rounded crowns and only light wear beneath the B and High E strings on frets 1-8. The nylon nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width, and the scale length is 24 1/4". On the headstock, the stock open gear tuners are intact and turn smoothly with original white buttons.
All of the electronics work as they should, with four original pots and very clear mini DeArmond bell knobs, providing individual Volume and Tone controls for each pickup. The original CTS pots date to the 19th week of '65, and the date stamp on the underside of the pickguard reads October 12th, 1965. Utilizing the same materials as Pre-CBS-era Fender tortoise, the distinctive nitrate tortoise pickguard has great depth and swirl, notable for having virtually no shrinkage and lining up well with the original mounting holes. All of the chrome plating on the hardware is notably clean, and the Hagstrom vibrato unit works well with its original arm, perfect for downward dives, quick warbles, and surfy bends.
The original Red Sunburst gloss finish shows some modest aging on top, with very faint sticker tan lines behind the bridge. There are scattered nicks on the body parameter, some scuffing in the gloss across the back, and minor finish loss adjacent to the neck bolts, all wear consistent with light, honest use. The neck profile exhibits a few small nicks in the gloss on the profile length, mostly on the bass-side shoulder behind frets 9-11.
This vintage Harmony H19 Silhouette is a very reliable, responsive, and exceptional sounding instrument, professionally setup and complete with a modern black tolex hardshell case.