Harmony H-835 Hollow Body Electric Mandolin (1974)

Harmony  H-835 Hollow Body Electric Mandolin  (1974)
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Item # 11816
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Harmony H-835 Model Hollow Body Electric Mandolin (1974), made in Chicago, serial # 6665H835, sunburst lacquer finish, maple body and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black gig bag case.

This is unusual and rather fancily styled electric mandolin dates to the final days of the illustrious Harmony company. The H-835 was the final designation of this always distinctive model. It is an instantly recognizable instrument with a single-bound scooped double cutaway body sporting an extended upper horn and eccentrically shaped "F" holes. The maple neck has a bound, block inlaid rosewood fingerboard and a headstock shape mirroring the body profile.

The now much celebrated DeArmond "Golden Tone" pickup is centrally mounted on the body with tone and volume controls on the lower bout. This unit gives the H-835 quite a powerful electric sound, without either the muddiness or overly shrill character that sometimes plagues amplifies 8-strings.

This one has a pickup dated to October 1974, so the completed instrument was likely sold in 1975. It was one of the best electric mandolins of the time although to be fair, there weren't a lot of other choices in the mid-1970s. It was the favored instrument of Blues mandolin legend Yank Rachell in the later stages of his career and can be seen in numerous pictures of him. For blues or beyond this is an excellent playing and sounding example of this cool and funky 8-string, a classic in its own right if an admittedly relatively obscure one!
Overall length is 27 3/8 in. (69.5 cm.), 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 14 in. (356 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.).

This now-almost 50 year old Harmony is very clean and all original. The finish shows just some very light handling wear overall. The hardware is also quite clean, except the sliding bridge cover which is still present but appears to have been damaged (bent?) at some point and has numerous scratches and dents. This H-35 is about the nicest ones we have had, with a better-then-average straight neck and just-polished out frets making for a good playing and excellent sounding example. It resides in a modern gig bag. Overall Excellent + Condition.