Harmony H-22 Electric Bass Guitar (1965)

Harmony  H-22 Electric Bass Guitar  (1965)
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Item # 11379
Prices subject to change without notice.
Harmony H-22 Model Electric Bass Guitar (1965), made in Chicago, serial # 6700H22, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

One of the 1960s' finest bass bargains, the Harmony H-22 "Hi Value" Electric Bass retailed originally at $99.50 and was the company's first bass guitar offering. The H-22 was officially introduced in Harmony's 1962 catalog; it remained pretty much the same into the late '60s when the body design was altered to a double cutaway.

This 1965 bass features a lightweight flat-topped fully hollow body mounting one excellent-sounding DeArmond pickup down by the neck. The neck itself is thick but comfortable, with a 30" scale dot-inlaid rosewood fingerboard. This one has the later single-piece stamped metal tailpiece unit -- otherwise, it is identical to earlier models. There is a vaguely visible factory date stamp in the body from 1965.

The bass' most distinctive cosmetic feature is the large white plastic off-center pickguard, in this case a well-done repro. This has limited function, but certainly contributes to an unmistakable look! The controls are simple, with single tone and volume knobs and a large white plastic "klunk" lever switch that bypasses the tone control for instant tone modification from dark to "baritone."

The H-22 was very popular with teenage garage bands in the US and UK and also used extensively in the mid-1960s by both Muff Winwood in the Spencer Davis Group and Ronnie Lane of the Small Faces, where its aggressively thumpy tone can be clearly heard on many recordings. Popular up into the late 1960s, the H-22 has recently again become a much used and sought-after item with new generations of players discovering its quirky charm, extremely easy handling, and excellent sonic qualities.
Overall length is 44 1/2 in. (113 cm.), 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 in. (5.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 30 in. (762 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This is a nice original bass with some general wear and tear. The finish shows some general scruffiness with minor dings, dents and scrapes overall, the most notable being a fairly large area on the headstock face where it looks like something was glued and removed, with a similar but smaller spot on the upper body. The hardware is all original except the oft-missing eccentric "batwing" pickguard was in fact missing, and a properly made repro is currently fitted. The rosewood finger rest, plastic strap buttons, knobs, small barrel tuners and rosewood adjustable bridge are all intact, as is the lever "clunk" switch, which for once works exactly as intended.

This bass is also a superb player, with a near-perfect neck and the classic H-22 look and sound. This one is a bit worn cosmetically but playing wise about as nice as they get, and includes the still functional original chipboard case Overall Excellent - Condition.