Up for sale, a 1954 Harmony H88 Stratotone Doublet in excellent condition and in perfect working order, 100% original save for new pickup height adjustment screws (in lieu of fixed-height rivets). The rarer big brother of the H44 Stratotone, the H88 Doublet boasts a pair of DeArmond's "Hershey Bar" pickups in distinctive black-painted brass covers with chrome accents.
Coupled with pairs of concentric Volume/Tone knobs, the H88 delivers a tone that shimmers and sparkles with great sustain and clarity. Ideal for fingerstyle playing through a low wattage tube amp, this guitar is dynamic, responsive and powerful. Naturally, it sounds equally as good when flatpicked, yielding a broad tonal spectrum and a percussive wooly bark when pushed hard. This is also one of the only neck through body designs ever produced by Harmony, and the sustain and overall resonance of the instrument truly benefits from this construction. The guitar weighs a mere 5lbs 12oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and currently strung with a fresh set of 11-49 strings, this H44 would be equally at home in the studio or on the road in a touring arsenal.
The neck has a no-nonsense baseball bat U-shaped profile carve that fills the palm and increases in girth to practically a full semi-circle when you reach the higher registers, measuring .985" deep at the 1st fret and 1.135" at the 12th. The neck is surprisingly easy to play and the dyed maple fretboard is bound and inlaid with pearloid blocks, retaining the original slender fretwire. The frets have been freshly leveled and crowned, showing virtually no wear. Great care has also been taken to achieve action that is easily playable in every register, appreciably lower than most Stratotones on the market. The original bone nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width, and the original Waverly open-gear strip tuners with cream buttons turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The "Stratotone" silkscreen logo is present on the headstock face and the music note atomic logo can't be beat!
On the body, the electronics work exactly as intended with dedicated stacked Volume/Tone knobs for each of the Hershey Bar pickups and a three-way pickup selector switch complete with original top hat tip. Originally riveted to the pickguard, the pickups now have height adjustable screws, offering more freedom in dialing in pickup height relative to the action. The original Sprague paper-in-oil capacitors are intact, the solder joints are untouched, and the CentraLab pots date to the 34th week of 1954. The original acrylic pickguard and jack plate is intact, and the stock floating Brazilian rosewood bridge retains its bone saddle insert.
The gloss Black nitro lacquer finish is intact, with prominent vertical lacquer checking across the body, exhibiting some scattered dings on the body parameter, particularly on the back lower bout body edge, a few with targeted black finish touchup, and just a few additional minor finish scratches and nicks on the body, largely relegated to the back. The neck profile gloss is smooth and free of palm wear with only a few minor marks along the profile length.
The original brown tolex hardshell case is included. The case features the original handle and central functioning latch, while the outer latches are partially missing.