Harmony Silvertone Model 643 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1968)

Harmony  Silvertone Model 643 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1968)
This item has been sold.
Item # 11773
Prices subject to change without notice.
Harmony Silvertone Model 643 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1968), made in Chicago, serial # 217H643, sunburst lacquer finish, birch back and sides, spruce top; poplar neck with ebonized fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

This Silvertone model 643 was one of the bigger and (somewhat) better of the ubiquitous Harmony/Sears flat top line, many players' first guitars during the boom eras of the '50s and '60s. This 15 1/2" wide ladder-braced birch and spruce flat top sold for $36.95 in 1968 (without case) in Sears' catalogs. For that it did come but complete with a padded strap and "instructions". The recommended P-3600 string set was offered at $1.89. The catalog touted a "Resonant spruce top" along with the "Steel reinforced neck" as notable features. The nicely shaded sunburst lacquer adds a classy touch, while screws through the pickguard and bridge are reminders of its budget origins!

Thousands of amateur players started out on guitars like this, often with a fairly high action that discouraged ambitious playing. That has been rectified on this one by resetting the neck, revealing a better instrument that is quite pleasant sounding and more playable than one might expect. The neck has a comfortable round-backed profile and somewhat better fretwork than many earlier Chicago pieces. These Harmony-made Sears guitars are very solidly built of all solid woods and when set up to more modern standards are better instruments than many who remember them from "back in the day" would expect.
Overall length is 40 1/4 in. (102.2 cm.), 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/4 in. (641 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar shows some light general wear but with a recent neck reset is playing better than it likely ever did! The original finish has some small dings, dents and scrapes overall, most notably pick wear to the lower rim if the soundhole. The back of the neck is relatively clean but has a feelable rougher spot behind the 5-6th fret area, probably from contact with a vinyl strap. The plastic pickguard has some scuffing from enthusiastic picking.

The guitar remains all original; the frets show some very light wear in the lower positions not affecting play. The D tuner shaft is bent but still functional. This is a very playable and surprisingly good sounding guitar, with a deeper more powerful tone than many similar instruments from the golden age of catalog guitars. It still resides in the original chipboard case, which is solid and as functional as it ever was. Overall Excellent - Condition.