The Stratotone series consisted of a number of Harmony models produced in Chicago, USA in the 1950s and 60s. The earliest, the H44 was solid bodied, as was the H42 Newport. The other models were semi-hollow, but without f-holes.
At a time of space exploration, space-age guitar names were all the rage - and with words like stratosphere ringing in a nations ears, it's no wonder that they were applied - along with the planetary suffixes. The original H44 actually preceded the Fender Stratocaster, there was no name copying on Harmony's part!
They were entry/intermediate level models and as such were not seen so often in the hands of the stars, however Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones was one proud owner of a H46 Mars, bought in 1962, and can be seen in early Stones footage using the instrument.
Excitingly New! Ultra-Thin! Stratotone Electrics are now made with a carefully designed hollow "tone-chamber" wood body, in place of solid wood. The addition of vibrant body tones combined with improved pickups extends their range and versatility to permit perfect response and tone balance
Some of the differences in the Stratotone models are summarised in the table below:
|H45 Stratotone Mars||One De Armond single coil||Sunburst Shaded||1958-1965|
|H46 Stratotone Mars||Two De Armond single coil||Sunburst Shaded||1958-1965|
|H47 Stratotone Mercury||One De Armond Golden-Tone (S-grille soapbar)||Shaded Cherry||1958-1962|
|H48 Stratotone Mercury||One De Armond Golden-Tone (S-grille soapbar)||Natural blonde||1958-1965|
|H49 Stratotone Jupiter||Two De Armond Golden-Tone (S-grille soapbar)||Natural blonde||1958-1965|