Harmony H27 - Harmonys Fine Electric Guitars
Harmony advertisement showing a number of hollow-body electric guitars. There are three newer models, all launched the previous year: the H-72, H79 twelve string and H27 bass, and three older models: the Meteor, Neo-cutaway and H77.
Harmony H27 - You plug it in, it turns you on
The title of this advertisement, of course, is a play on Dr. Timothy Leary's 'Turn On, Tune in, Drop out' suggestion, so current amongst the youth of late 1960s America; Harmony new their market. Unusually though, this advert puts the bass centre-stage.
It features the two-pickup hollow-body H27 bass, the three-pickup H77 electric acoustic, and 1260 acoustic. Also shown is the HS70 amplifier. These were the top-of-the-range models in the Harmony line, representing the best instruments available from the company at that time.
Hollow body basses were very fashionable in the mid 1960s. Gibson re-released the EB2 in 1964 (after a break of three years), with the two pickup EB2D coming in 1966. This was also the launch year of Fenders hollow body offering the Coronado bass. Guild put out the Starfire also in 1964, with their two-pickup version appearing in 1967. So the Harmony H27 was well placed amongst its competitors, offering one and two pickup models as early as anyone else. Production continued until at least 1972, but the heyday of this bass was most definitely in the 1960s.
The H27 first appeared in the 1966 Harmony catalogue, along with a new solid body model the H25. The H22 had been available since 1961, and in many ways, the H27 was a deluxe version of the H22 (though more like 1969-1972 H22/1, which had the same double-cutaway body shape). Both models had the same 30 inch scale, laminated maple top, back and sides, rosewood fingerboard, De Armond 'Golden Tone' pickups (however the H27 had two to the H22s one). Other than the cosmetic differences of the shell pattern celluloid headstock, the H27 also had an upgraded metal bridge (to the H22s floating rosewood bridge)
This guitar is bound front and back, but with unbound f-holes
Rowe Industries DeArmond pickup detail, produced in Toledo, Ohio. Note also the finger/thumb rest above and below the pickup.
Heel joint and back binding. The neck is held in place with four screws.
Harmony H27 bass tortoiseshell headstock, with matching truss rod cover scripted harmony logo.
Harmony H27 plastic headstock logo detail.
The serial number is on a paper label within body cavity, and visible through the sound holes.
The table right compares the H27 with some of its American-built competitors; the Fender Coronado, Gibson EB2, Guild Starfire, and Gretsch Country Gentleman. It is certainly cheaper than all the other semi acoustic bass guitars, but of comparible price to a typical solid body, such as the Gibson EB0, or Fender precision.
Prices above come from the Harmony 1966 catalogue, Gibson price list 1-4-66, Fender price list 1-2-66, Guild price list 11-66, Gretsch price list 11-66.
There were of course other brands worldwide making semi-acoustic electric basses at this time, of varying qualities and at varying price points; Vox, Eko, Kent, Framus, Hagstrom, Rickenbacker to name but a few.
Back to the HARMONY INDEX | comment
Vintage Harmony H27 basses for sale