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1965 Harmony H19 Silhouette Vintage Electric Guitar Triple Pickup w/ DeArmond Gold Foils


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Up for sale, a 1965 Harmony H19 Silhouette in excellent condition. 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 Harmony's flagship solidbody instrument, this particular Silhouette featured "moustache" DeArmond gold foils, a larger nitrate tortoise pickguard that closely follows the body's offset contours, and an intonatable bridge and matching vibrato unit sourced by Harmony from Hagstrom.

This particular H19 has been modified from stock with a centrally located third matching genuine vintage moustache gold foil, with ingenious switching allowing for all seven possible pickup combinations. While the bridge/neck gold foils are wired to the three-way pickup selector toggle and Master Volume/Tone knobs, the middle pickup has its own dedicated Volume/Tone controls so it can be blended into the signal in any of the usual three pickup settings available on the H19. The middle pickup is mounted slightly lower so as not to impede the pick path, and the result is a smooth, percussive sound from the middle foil, adding a mellow heft to the outer foils when blended into the signal. And with the middle pickup dialed out of the signal, the traditional bold bite and chewy, snappy character of the gold foils shines through. The bridge pickup has a nice upper-midrange bubbly chirp, and the neck pickup is rich and girthy while retaining plenty of clarity. The guitar weighs 7lbs 9oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with a fresh set of 11-48 strings.

The maple neck has a chunky baseball bat C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder in every register, measuring .940" deep at the 1st fret and .995" at the 12th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard sports multi-ply binding, pearloid block inlay, and original fretwire that's in truly fantastic shape, showing only light wear primarily beneath the plain strings on frets 1-5. The guitar plays easily in every register with a straight neck, responsive truss rod, and  24 1/4" scale length. The original nylon nut measures 1 3/4" in width. The headstock features the original gold silkscreen Harmony script logo, fitted with a genuine vintage set of Harmony open gear strip tuners with black buttons. The tuner post holes were previously enlarged, now fitted with conversion bushings to best secure around the vintage-size tuner posts.

All of the electronics work as they should, with a combination of original mini pots and modern replacements, capped with one pair of original DeArmond bell knobs, and one matching modern pair. The date stamp on the underside of the pickguard reads December 27th, 1965. Utilizing the same red nitrate tortoise material as Fender did for their Pre-CBS era pickguards, this Harmony guard has great dimension and yellow swirls, with some expected modest shrinkage and chipping along the upper edge, although the guard is still secure and flush with the top on all edges. The Hagstrom vibrato unit works well with its original arm, perfect for downward dives, quick warbles, and surfy bends and featuring notably clean chrome plating.

The guitar is a particularly well-kept example, and the gloss Red Sunburst nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray. Cosmetic wear is limited to a few finish scratches and minor marks on the back, some scuffing on the back lower bout edge, and minor dings on the parameter of the slab body. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss, free of palm wear with just a couple tiny nicks on the profile length.