Harmony H-835 Hollow Body Electric Mandolin (1973)

Harmony  H-835 Hollow Body Electric Mandolin  (1973)
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Item # 9923
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Harmony H-835 Model Hollow Body Electric Mandolin (1973), made in Chicago, serial # 9312H835, sunburst lacquer finish, maple body and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This is an unusual and rather fancily styled electric mandolin from the later days of the illustrious Harmony company. The single-bound scooped double cutaway body has an extended upper horn and eccentrically shaped "F" holes. The maple neck has a bound, block inlaid rosewood fingerboard and a headstock shape that mirrors the body profile. The much celebrated DeArmond "Golden Tone" pickup is centrally mounted with tone and volume controls on the lower bout, and gives quite a powerful electric sound.

This was actually one of the best electric mandolins of the time although to be fair, there weren't a lot of choices in the early 1970s. It was the favored instrument of Blues mandolin legend Yank Rachell in the later stages of his career as can be seen in numerous pictures of him. For blues or beyond this is an excellent playing and sounding example with just a bit of funk!
 
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 relatively clean with some light wear overall, all original except for one extra filled hole. This was for a strap button installed on the upper horn, and really, who puts a strap button on the face???! The lacquer has some dings and dents, but the only notable loss is on the treble side of the neck. There are a couple of places where the finish is cracking on the seams where the solid headblock meets the bent sides, and by the heavy binding on the tip of the top horn. There are solid and not structural separations.

The hardware is all original and generally relatively clean, even the often lost bridge cover is still present. The pickup surround has a tight surface crack around the treble side adjustment screw but seems solid. Apart from the fill repair to the bonehead strap button placement this H-35 is one of the nicer ones we have had, with a better-then-average straight neck and good frets making for a good playing and excellent sounding example. It resides in a modern HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.