Harmony H-62 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1957)

Harmony  H-62 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1957)
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Item # 10266
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Harmony H-62 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1957), made in Chicago, serial # 2560-H62, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, laminated spruce top; maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a nice example of a cool if fairly obscure Harmony classic, the H-62. In the mid-50's this was one of Harmony's top of the line electric guitars. Essentially the same as the H-63 Espanada without the more badass gleaming black finish and metal edged trim, the H-62 is a more conventionally appointed full-depth 16 1/2" archtop with two pickups and a full Gibson-style wiring rig. This is not surprising as the pickups themselves were sourced from Gibson, through their parent company CMI. Referred to as P-13's, these metal-covered units with adjustable poles were Gibson's immediate predecessor to the P-90 first issued in 1940. After WWII, Gibson did not employ them again but sold decent numbers to Harmony, which used them on their better grade electrics up through the late '50s.

Even apart from the pickups, the H-62 is a fairly classy instrument despite Harmony's generally humble reputation. The H-62 in sunburst finish sold between $187.50 and $199.50 in the mid-50s, less than similar Gibsons but still not all that cheap by period standards. The laminated maple body with a spruce top is 4-ply bound, and the set-in maple neck has a bound rosewood fingerboard with pearloid block inlay. The neck has a fairly chunky but still comfortable round profile, far more player friendly then similar competitors from crosstown rival Kay. The tuners are openback Waverlys, the adjustable rosewood bridge and celluloid pickguard are standard Harmony fare and the fancy tailpiece was sourced from Germany.

With its two Gibson-made pickups the H-62 is a very good-sounding instrument, and can be both snarly and sweet when coaxed. The wiring is the now-common scheme Gibson developed in the early 1950s: tone and volume knobs for each pickup and a single toggle for selection. The neck is equipped with the then-new "Torque-Lok" trussrod, an under/over double design adjusted at the headstock that is actually quite effective. The internal factory date code on this guitar marks it as a 1957 model, as does the deep sunburst finish as earlier examples were only offered in natural. "Truly outstanding in design, detail and performance" claimed harmony in their 1955 catalog, and indeed the H-62 is indeed still a solid performer today; one of Harmony's all-time best crafted designs.
 
Overall length is 41 3/4 in. (106 cm.), 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

Overall this is a very nice example, showing some general wear but nothing too serious. There are dings, dents and scrapes over much of the original lacquer finish but no large areas of wear. The most noticeable are some small but dinks feelable on the back of the neck, a spot on the upper top where something was removed and some finger wear around the upper volume control. All hardware is original; there is one repaired crack in the front end of the pickguard but all else is as it left Chicago in 1957 with just some typical playing wear. The neck has been VERY expertly reset and refretted, making this as good a playing example of this fairly rare Harmony as anyone is likely to find! With its set neck and Gibson-derived pickups this is definitely one of Harmony's finest, most upscale creations, a great if unsung vintage blues or early Rockabilly box with a cool pedigree. Overall Excellent - Condition.