Harmony Stratotone Mercury H48 Natural 1963
Harmony Stratotone Mercury, made in USA around 1963, natural gloss finish. What a cute little thing! Harmony were an enormous market presence in the young electric guitar market in the 50s and 60s, making a tonne of instruments out of their Chicago factory. They launched their Stratotone line in 1954, the very same year another guitar company launched a similarly titled guitar out of California. It's a really lovely little thing: lightweight, comfy in the hands, rounded but playable neck, resonant, reasonably stable in terms of tuning... it's very charming indeed. The Gold Foil pickup is excellent: clear, articulate, warm, open, complex; the thing sounds fantastic. It's very convincing for jazz or country stuff, and would be a great strummer for a player who's more of an acoustic native. The naturally yellowed and checked natural finish has a warm and inviting look, and paired with the vintage tort guard, aged pearl inlays and quirky headstock, it looks very chic. These don't come up very often in this part of the world, so if you're taken with it, don't miss your shot!
Model: Harmony Stratotone Jupiter 1
Made: USA, 1963 approx
Serial: not visible
Finish: natural, gloss poly
Body: laminate maple, hollow construction, 336mm across, 48mm deep
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, 12" radius, 24" scale, moderate D style shape, three-bolt join
Mods: truss cover replaced, frets look to have been replaced at some point, minor cracks glued and filled near the jack
Pickups: DeArmond Gold Foil single coil
Accessories: non-original padded gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has minor dimples on the end, sides and front, as well as some scuffs and a couple of dents on the back. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples, checking and rub wear on the back only. The back has widespread minor checking and scuffs, as well as some dimples in the middle of the body, on the top horn, near the back edge and in the bottom corner. The sides have minor dimples and scuffs around the whole body, a decent chip in the binding in the elbow area and some glued-and-filled minor cracks near the jack, The front has widespread checking and scuffs around the whole body, as well as dimples along the back edge and elbow area and some play wear on the guard and horns.
Overall: good condition (7/10)
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. Wearing fresh 11/49 Moonshiners strings.
Fret Life: 7/10, minor wear only