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Harmony Rocket H53, H54, H56, H59

Hollowbody electric guitar

The Harmony Rocket, like so many American guitars, was produced at a time of amazing space exploration; it is no wonder that this, and numerous other models, were given suitably interstellar model designations. The earliest Rockets were produced in 1959, with a sunburst finish, but later (1963) changing to the Cherry red burst more commonly seen. Like all other 60s and 70s Harmony guitars, Rockets were built in Chicago, USA. These were entry to intermediate level guitars, and sold well in the early and middle 1960s.

ModelPickupsTailpiece
H53 Rocket IOne De Armond Golden-ToneHarmony Trapeze tailpiece
H54 Rocket IITwo De Armond Golden-ToneHarmony Trapeze tailpiece
H56 Rocket VIITwo De Armond Golden-ToneType W Vibrato
H59 Rocket IIIThree De Armond Golden-ToneHarmony Trapeze tailpiece

The 1959-67 Rocket was available in several variants, with different pickups and controls, but all based on the same body: completely hollow, single cutaway, with a bolt-on maple neck. Body dimensions were 15 3/4" x 40 1/2" and 2" thick. Indox Golden-Tone pickups were designed in conjunction with De Armond, and produced in Toledo, Ohio. Guitars were fitted with an adjustable truss rod circa 1964 (first mentioned in the 1965 Harmony Catalogue). Controls consisted of individual volume and tone for each pickup, and a pickup selector switch for the two and three-pickup versions.

H53, H54 and H59 Rocket guitars from the 1963 Harmony catalogue

H53, H54 and H59 Rocket guitars from the 1963 Harmony catalogue

The 1968 Harmony catalogue showed a redesigned Rocket range with new double cutaway body style. These new guitars, had a slash 1 added to the model codes, i.e. H53/1, H54/1, H56/1 and H59/1. These 'slash one' Rockets were otherwise broadly similar, although one notable exception is the control layout of the three-pickup H59/1, having a master volume but individual tone controls (compared to the six potentiometer H59). They were available until 1972.

H53/1, H54/1, H56/1 and H59/1 Rocket guitars from the 1968 Harmony catalogue

H53/1, H54/1, H56/1 and H59/1 Rocket guitars from the 1968 Harmony catalogue




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