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1966 Harmony H76 Vintage Electric Guitar, Airline-Branded w/ DeArmond Gold Foils, Bigsby B3 & Case


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Up for sale, a 1966 Harmony H76 in near-mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with a hardshell case. This particular USA-made Harmony iteration is branded "Airline," indicating that it was made exclusively for the Montgomery Ward catalog. The H76 was at the top of Harmony's vintage guitar line, featuring three DeArmond gold foil pickups, a figured curly maple body, factory-installed Bigsby B3 vibrato tailpiece, and nitrate tortoise appointments.

There's really nothing that can match the balance, clarity, and overall tonal character of a good trio of gold foil pickups. They have a percussive snap and twang, tight bass, and a harmonically-rich midrange that sounds great when each pickup is singled out or when paired together in any one of seven combinations. Unlike many gold foils, the ones on the H76 also feature adjustable pole pieces, so you can dial in the balance between the strings. All three pickups have strong output, and when mated with the fully hollow maple body, the tone benefits from both the immediate attack of the maple and the warmth and fullness of the hollow construction. The guitar is featherweight at 6lbs 14oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings and easy-playing action.

The maple neck has a round U-shaped profile carve with tons of heft and shoulder, measuring .930" deep at the 1st fret and .985" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is framed by multi-ply binding and boasts pearloid block inlay. The original slender frets retain their full factory height with well-rounded crowns, showing only faint wear on frets 1-4. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24 1/4" scale length with a straight neck and responsive truss rod, and the nylon nut measures 1 3/4" in width. The headstock sports a red nitrate tortoise overlay and matching truss rod cover, made from the exact same material as Fender's tortoise pickguards of the era, complete with a raised "Airline" badge. The original Waverly tuning machines are intact, turning smoothly and holding pitch well.

All of the extensive electronics work as they should, including the pickup switches and all six Volume and Tone knobs. The three Rowe Industries DeArmond gold foils have gleaming chrome plating on the covers, with "Rowe Industries" stamps on the baseplates and individual May 18th, 1966 dates. Two pickups retain their original windings, and the third has been recently rewound to vintage spec. Hardware includes the Brazilian rosewood bridge with bone saddle insert, working in concert with the Bigsby B3 vibrato tailpiece which has a smooth, easy-actuating response. Plastics include the four-ply tortoise pickguard and matching control plate, with a trio of long baton cream pickup selector switches and a sextet of lightly ambered mini Dearmond bell knobs. Visible through the segmented F hole on the body, the H7280 model stamp is present (the designation for the H76 model sold through Airline/Montgomery Ward).

The Sunburst nitro lacquer finish highlights light curly maple figuring extending across the body. Cosmetic wear is limited to just a few finish scratches and very light marks on the body as a whole from minimal, careful use, and the neck profile retains its smooth gloss, free of palm wear

A vintage (non-original) black tolex hardshell case is included.