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Vintage Harmony Guitars

Instruments and amplifiers manufactured by Harmony, USA

American guitar manufacture was at its peak in the 1960s, with numerous highly-respected guitar companies making instruments at all levels; from the likes of Kay, Gretsch, Epiphone, Guild, Fender and Gibson. But Harmony was one of the very biggest producers, at one point the biggest, selling guitars branded both as Harmony, and rebadged for numerous other distributors. In fact, in the mid/late 1960s, Harmony was said to produce more guitars than all other American guitar manufacturers combined. Most were entry or intermediate level instruments though, and although examples of most models are easy to find, examples in really good condition are rare.

1966 Harmony advertisement featuring the H76 thinline semi acoustic, the H19 solid body electric and the 1260 flat-top acoustic

1966 Harmony advertisement featuring the H76 thinline semi acoustic, the H19 solid body electric and the 1260 flat-top acoustic

But Harmony produced a lot of instruments other than guitars: ukuleles, banjos, mandolins, violins etc; the company was proud of it's history, proudly American, and as proud of its skilled workforce, as it's use of modern technology "We've produced millions of instruments but we make them one at a time". This long history of instrument manufacture explains why Harmony had the expertise to produce so many well-built acoustic and hollow-body electric instruments; guitars like the Meteor and Rocket were very well received. They were slow, however, in committing to the solid body market; although they released the H44 Stratotone neck-through solid body in 1952, it was gone by 1957, and there were only hollow bodies until the release of the Silhouette in 1963.

So you can be sure that, while every Harmony instrument has the same basic characteristics for which all Harmony products are noted, each individual instrument has had dozens of man hours devoted just to it alone
    - By skilled craftsmen fully trained in innumerable precision hand operations - and the use of most modern equipment- for that closeness-to-perfection which is our constant goal
    - By experienced finishers, who give thoroughgoing individual care to each instrument as it passes through their hands
    - By inspectors who know that Harmony's heritage of fine instrument making depends on how carefully they check each detail of adjustment and playability before the name Harmony may be affixed to the instrument

Harmony H72
Harmony guitars use De Armond pickups, 1965
Harmony Chicago guitar plants 1 and 2, opened in 1940 and 1962 respectively

Harmony Chicago guitar plants 1 and 2, opened in 1940 and 1962 respectively

Harmony had been producing instruments in America since 1892, and used a number of different premises in Chicago, however from 1940 instrument production was performed at the Racine Avenue factory (plant 1, top right). From 1962, some processes - final assembly, inspection, and shipping - was moved to plant 2, about a mile away (bottom right).

Harmony, like many other early guitar manufacturers, used some very fine tonewoods in the production of instruments: spruce tops, maple, African mahogany and birch backs and sides, South American mahogany, maple and poplar necks and rosewood fingerboards and bridges.

Several notable ranges of similar guitars were produced with different finishes and features; whilst some companies lumped all variants together with a single model name - i.e. a Fender Stratocaster is a Fender Stratocaster, irrespective of it's finish, in many cases Harmony split it's models, giving a different model designation depending on finish, inclusion of a tremolo etc.

Harmony's market share of entry and intermediate-level instruments was it's downfall in the mid-1970s, as it found itself unable to compete with the competition from overseas (particularly Japanese) manufacturers. The higher-end American companies like Guild, Gibson and Fender struggled to some extent too, but the imports were generally aimed at student guitarists rather than professionals.

Harmony guitars, basses and amplifiers

Follow the links listed below for more information on each model.

Harmony Catalogs

Page by page scans of guitar catalogs by USA guitar manufacturer Harmony.

1963 Harmony catalogue

Electric acoustic guitars: H75, H77, Neo-Cutaway H74, Meteor H70, H71, Vibra Jet H66, Roy Smeck H73, Rocket H53, H54, H59, Mars H45, H46, Stratotone Mercury H47, Stratotone Jupiter H49, Hollywood H39, H41, Solid body guitars: Silhouette H14, H15, H17, H19, Bass: H22, Archtop acoustics:: Master 945, Monterey Leader 950, Broadway 954, Montclair 956W, 1213, 1214, 1215, TG1215, Brilliant Cutaway 1310, Monterey Grand Auditorium 1325, Patrician 1407, Monterey Professional 1456, Flat Tops: Sovereign H55, Stella 12-string 922, Sovereign Tenor TG1201, Western Special 1203, Sovereign 1260, 1270 twelve string, Classic guitars: 150, 162, 162 3/4, 165, 173, 174, Stella acoustics: 910, 927, 929, 929 3/4, tenor TG929, 931, 1141, Amplifiers: H303A, H304A, H305A, H306A, H310, H311, H322, Steel guitars: H1, Roy Smeck H7


1965 Harmony catalogue

Electric acoustic guitars: H75, H76, H77, H78, Neo-Cutaway H74, Meteor H70, Vibra Jet H66, Roy Smeck H73, Rocket H53, H54, H56, H59, Hollywood H39, H41, Mars H45, H46, Stratotone Mercury H47, Stratotone Jupiter H49, Solid body guitars: Silhouette H14, H15, H17, H19, Bass: H22, Archtop acoustics:: Master 945, Monterey Leader 950, Broadway 954, Montclair 956, 1213, 1215, TG1215, Brilliant Cutaway 1310, Monterey Grand Auditorium 1325, Patrician 1407, Monterey Professional 1456, Flat Tops: Sovereign H55, Sovereign Tenor TG1201, Western Special 1203, Sovereign 1260, 1270 twelve string, Classic guitars: 150, 162, 162 3/4, 165, 173, 174, Stella acoustics: 910, 912, 927, 929, 929 3/4, tenor TG929, 931, 1141, Amplifiers: H304A, H305A, H306A, H400, H410, H420, H430, H440, Steel guitars: H1, Roy Smeck H7


1968 Harmony catalogue

Electric acoustic guitars: H60, H64, H72, Deep Body, H68, H75, H76, H77, H78, H79, Rocket H53/1, H54/1, H56/1, H59/1, Rebel H81, H82, H82G, Solid body guitars: Bob Kat H14, H14V, H15, H15V, H16B, H16R, H16W, Bass: H22, H25, H27, Archtop acoustics:: Master 945, Monterey Leader 950, TG950, Broadway 954, Montclair 956, 1213, 1215, TG1215, Brilliant Cutaway 1310, Monterey Grand Auditorium 1325, Patrician 1407, Monterey Professional 1456, Flat Tops: 150, 158, 162, 162 3/4, 165, 167, 168, 180, 181, Sovereign Dual H55, 937, TG1201, 1203, Sovereign 1260, Sovereign Deluxe 1265, 1270 twelve string, Classic guitars: 171, 173, 174, 175 Stella acoustics: 910, 912, 927, 929, 929 3/4, 933, 942, TG929, Amplifiers: H400A, H410A, H415, H525, H535, H540, H570, Steel guitars: H1, Roy Smeck H7


1971 Harmony catalogue

Electric acoustic guitars: H61, H71, H72, Deep Body, H68, Rocket H53/1, H54/1, H56/1, Rebel H81, H82, H82G, Solid body guitars: Bob Kat H14, H14V, H15, H15V, H16B, H16R, H16W, Bass: H22, H25, H27, Archtop acoustics:: Master H945, Monterey Leader H950, HTG950, Broadway H954, H1213, H1215, HTG1215, Brilliant Cutaway H1310, Monterey Grand Auditorium H1325, Patrician H1407, Flat Tops: H151, H159, H162 3/4, H162/1, H164, H165/1, H166, H182, H937, HTG1201, H1203, H1204, H1230, H1260, H1264, H1266, H1270 twelve string, Classic guitars: H171, H172, H175, H177 Stella acoustics: H910, H913, H928, H930, H930 3/4, HTG930, H934, H940, H941, Amplifiers: H500, H510, H512, H515, H530, H540, H545, H550, Steel guitars: H1, Roy Smeck H7


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1965 Holiday Harmony Silhouette Sunburst

1965 Holiday Harmony Silhouette Sunburst

Hampton, Virginia, 236**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$900

1965 Holiday Harmony Silhouette Sunburst. Condition is Used. Shipped with UPS Ground.... more
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Vintage 1969 Harmony Rocket Electric Guitar USA

Vintage 1969 Harmony Rocket Electric Guitar USA

Cleveland, Ohio, 441**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1500

Here is an all original 1969 Harmony Rocket electric hollow body guitar, made in the USA. This rare guitar is in excellent condition for its age. It has some wear, nicks, and scratches. The neck is straight with good action. The frets show no real wear. All of the pickups work. It has a master volume, and three tones, with an on / off for each pickup. Included is the original soft shell case. This is a great guitar for any player or collector!
Please feel free to ask me any questions!
USA ... more
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Vintage 1950s Harmony USA Roy Smeck Lap Steel Guitar Body Neck Husk H7 Project

Vintage 1950s Harmony USA Roy Smeck Lap Steel Guitar Body Neck Husk H7 Project

Mobile, Alabama, 366**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$300

Vintage 1950s Harmony Roy Smeck lap steel guitar body / neck. Typical vintage wear but looks pretty good for being sixty-something years old. Some lovely finish checking. The photos do a much better job of showing cosmetic condition so please view them carefully. Original tuners and plastic control plate are included but have some damage. 4 of the 6 tuner shafts are bent. Two have minor bends, one has a noticeable bend and one is very bent (please see photos). Plastic control plate is ... more
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1972 Harmony REBEL Sunburst H82

1972 Harmony REBEL Sunburst H82

Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$890


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1972 Harmony H82 Rebel in Sunburst. It has a great playing neck with great frets. It's all original and 100% complete with the exception of the tremolo arm. The original soft-shell case is included and has a tear along the side of the case. This guitar is in great condition with some nicks + dings, minor finish checking and other minor cosmetic wear. Everything remains structurally sound with no cracks, breaks or... more
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Vintage 1960 Silvertone 1429 By Harmony Sunburst

Vintage 1960 Silvertone 1429 By Harmony Sunburst

Los Angeles, California, 900**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1256

This rare beauty has it all. The three DeArmond silver foil pickups have amazing tone, and with the three toggle switches they get an amazing amount of tonal variation. Has modern tuners that work very well. The action is great and plays like a dream. The finish maintains its luster while having some crazing. There are a few scuffs and dings to note though and I did my best to get detailed photos of them. Feel free to ask any questions. Thanks!
... more
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1962 / 67 Harmony H49 Jupiter stratotone

1962 / 67 Harmony H49 Jupiter stratotone

Appleton, Wisconsin, 549**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1500

NOT a final price. price is a place holder!!
1960s Harmony H49
Putting out feelers for this old and rare harmony beater
This guitar sounds absolutely amazing. Nothin' quite like that DeArmond Goldfoil tone, great for every genre and playing style
Known issues:
The wiring is intermittent. the bridge pickup cuts out at times, and the tone pots do not appear to be working
The truss rod is damaged, it appears to be a the weld specifically is broken, but I'm not an expert. It's ... more
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1957 Harmony H62 Hollowbody Electric Guitar w /  Original Case.  VG+

1957 Harmony H62 Hollowbody Electric Guitar w / Original Case. VG+

Portland, Oregon, 972**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3199

1957 Harmony H-62Very Good+ Condition
No issues, straight neck, huge tone
Original pink plush chipboard case is somewhat tattered but is stable enough to use for transporting the guitar
The guitar weighs 6lbs 8oz
The neck has a very round and chunky C shaped profile that fills the palm with generous shoulders while still being very easy to chord. The profile measures .910" deep at the 1st fret, tapering to .999" at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is a dark cut of this ... more
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VINTAGE 1965 HOLIDAY ALDENs HARMONY H19 SILHOUETTE ELECTRIC GUITAR DEARMOND PUs

VINTAGE 1965 HOLIDAY ALDEN's HARMONY H19 SILHOUETTE ELECTRIC GUITAR DEARMOND PUs

Hays, Kansas, 676**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$899

WOW!! No player wear the frets and fingerboard look NEW!!
This is a VINTAGE 1965 HOLIDAY H19 SILHOUETTE ELECTRIC GUITAR with ROWE Industry DeARMOND PICKUPS. Made in the USA by HARMONY for ALDEN's catalog company. This guitar is in amazing condition with a couple dings on the bottom near the strap button and a body blemish under the neck front. Due to normal shrinkage of the pickguard one of the screws will not tighten up. Includes the original chipboard case you see in the pictures. 100% ... more
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Vintage 1957 Harmony Silvertone H-62 Archtop Guitar Body Neck - Refinished

Vintage 1957 Harmony Silvertone H-62 Archtop Guitar Body Neck - Refinished

Mobile, Alabama, 366**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$700

Vintage 1957 Harmony Silvertone H-62 Archtop Guitar Body Neck. This listing is for the body / neck, truss rod cover and switch plate. No other parts are included. These guitars came with Gibson P13 pickups and were one of Harmony's high-end models. Guitar was refinished sometime in the past. Note that the burst on back of the neck doesn't match the burst on the front. Also, the back of the body is black. If I was keeping it, I would consider going all black (Espanada style). Truss rod ... more
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~ 1952 Harmony H 50 Archtop Electric Hollowbody w /  Gibson P-13 Pickup Sunburst

~ 1952 Harmony H 50 Archtop Electric Hollowbody w / Gibson P-13 Pickup Sunburst

New York, 100**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1695

A stunning vintage circa 1952 Silvertone Model H50 arch top electric hollowbody in original Sunburst finish
This is an early example with deluxe headstock artwork and original Gibson made P-13 pickup
Pickup sounds just incredible. Super warm and fat and thick, great for Jazz and killer for Rock
Neck is straight and the guitar plays well all the way up and down with a good action
Comes with nice vintage original hard case, too!
A stunning vintage circa 1952 Silvertone Model ... more
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Vintage Teisco / Harmony Electric Guitar - Japan  #R5493

Vintage Teisco / Harmony Electric Guitar - Japan #R5493

Pleasant Hill, Missouri, 640**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$300



FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED
SINCE 2007
SAME DAY SHIPPING
ORDERS PLACED BEFORE 12PM CST (M-F)
30 DAY RETURN POLICY
WE WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY
Condition Specifics
Vintage guitar, Actually unbranded, but looks like Teisco, Harmony. The neck is straight. Electronics have been checked and work. The tremolo works. The guitar tunes and plays. The tuning machines have been upgraded to a more modern style. The ... more
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1964 Harmony Alden H45 Stratotone Black Tuxedo Semi Hollow Electric Guitar

1964 Harmony Alden H45 Stratotone Black Tuxedo Semi Hollow Electric Guitar

Lockhart, Texas, 786**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$549

1964 Harmony Alden H45 Black Tuxedo Stratotone Semi Hollow Electric Guitar  
Cleaning out the collection  
Internal stamp has overspray from the factory, so not legible, but pots and pickup stamp both date it to 1964  
All original. Left the original tone cap in, all pots are smooth as butter  
A few dings here and there, as to be expected on a 59 year old instrument, but in fine condition  
Includes original chipboard case, which has its share of dings, ... more
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1960s Harmony Rocket Electric Guitar Model H56

1960s Harmony Rocket Electric Guitar Model H56

Framingham, Massachusetts, 017**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1000

Harmony Rocket Electric Guitar Model H56 (USED)
Our Notes: Mid to Late 1960s Harmony Rocket guitar, model H56. This guitar is in very good condition for its age. Both pickups function properly as well as the volume and tone pots and select switch. This model features a trapeze tailpiece and floating bridge. The number stamped inside is: 3975H56. The action is very good, the tuners are in very good condition. Missing are the pickguard and truss rod cover. The Volume and Tone knobs are not ... more
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1960s Harmony ROCKET H53 Hollow Body Electric Guitar

1960's Harmony ROCKET H53 Hollow Body Electric Guitar

Greer, South Carolina, 296**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$800

1960's Harmony ROCKET H53 Hollow Body Electric Guitar.... more
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Vintage April 1960 Harmony H-45 Stratotone Electric Guitar W / Case USA

Vintage April 1960 Harmony H-45 Stratotone Electric Guitar W / Case USA

Elmwood Park, New Jersey, 074**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1250

Up for sale is a Vintage Electric Guitar, Very Good Overall Condition As Shown, Please see photos for details, Plays & sounds great, Neck is straight, Low easy to play action, All original for the most part - the original 50K pots are frozen and have been replaced with new 50K pots - the original pots are included and date to April 1960 - as well as the serial number inside the guitar that dates to April 1960 - I could not get a clear picture of the H-45 serial number inside the guitar, ... more
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Harmony Alden 1964 H45 Stratotone Black Tuxedo w / Hagstrom Padded Case

Harmony Alden 1964 H45 Stratotone Black Tuxedo w / Hagstrom Padded Case

Wichita, Kansas, 672**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$645

Harmony / Alden 1964 Stratotone Black Tuxedo with Hagstrom deluxe hardshell padded bag / case. Smoke free home studio, very good condition (no major dings or buckle rash, standard light scratches & scuffs for a 60yr old axe), set up to spec with new EB 9's, 20 old style frets with minimal wear, 10" radius neck is perfect with nice action (No buzz), the pick up has been replaced with a Duncan Designed HB103N neck pup, rosewood fretboard, 44mm nut, weighs 4 87 lbs , plays & sounds great! ... more
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Harmony Rocket H54 1966 Dual Pickup - Redburst w / Gig Bag

Harmony Rocket H54 1966 Dual Pickup - Redburst w / Gig Bag

Lansing, Michigan, 489**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$675

This 1966 Harmony H54 Rocket Dual Pickup (original DeArmond "Mustache Gold Foils " ) Hollow Body is in good cosmetic condition, 100% original, and is freshly set up with low action up and down its straight neck. No dead spots and tons of life remaining in the frets
The top has faded a little to an almost "amber burst" and the Harmony logo has worn off the original pickguard. (You can see the outline by holding the pick guard at the correct angle and light ) There's some significant checking,... more
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1960??s Alden / Harmony Stratotone H45

1960??s Alden / Harmony Stratotone H45

Santa Fe, New Mexico, 875**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$650

1960??s Alden / Harmony Stratotone H45 for sale!


This is a great sounding vintage guitar. This is a semi-hollow body guitar and it gives the guitar a warm tone perfect for blues, rockabilly and jazz.


The guitar has been professionally set up; includes refret, neck adjustment with leveling for intonation (since the neck is non-adjustable), pinned bridge, and glow in the dark fret markets added to side of the neck.


There is slight chip on ... more
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Harmony Stratotone Electric Guitar Ca Mid-1960s With Case!

Harmony Stratotone Electric Guitar Ca Mid-1960's With Case!

Yuba City, California, 959**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$800

This Harmony Stratotone electric guitar is a classic from the mid-1960s, complete with a protective case. The guitar has a solid body with a brown and beige color scheme, and a flat top soundboard style. It is designed for right-handed players, with a mahogany body material and six string configuration.

The guitar features a pickup and volume knob, making it a great option for performers and musicians. Its brand, Harmony, is known for producing high-quality guitars, and this model is... more
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1969 HARMONY REBEL H81

1969 HARMONY REBEL H81

Oberlin, Ohio, 440**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$425

1969 Harmony Rebel H81 single pickup model. Plays well. All electronics work. Great sounding gold foil pickup. No tremolo bar. Volume fader replaced. Neck straight with decent action (2mm at high E, 2 25 mm at low E 12th fret). Repaired crack at bottom of lower bout ( see pictures) and two bent tuners (tuner plate shows corrosion. Tuners works fine but might want to replace). The usual range of nicks and scrapes for a 55 year old well used guitar. Set up with flatwound strings and ready to play.... more
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Find more Harmony guitars for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 5 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Rick garibaldi Comment left 27th January 2017 09:09:10 reply
I have a Harmony Guitar Sunburst color with a clamp-on Bridge it looks pretty old the number inside is 4 337 h605 I can't find that are anywhere on any site or anything I'd like to send you a picture but I don't know how to do that on your page share thank you.... Rick
Jace Comment left 23rd June 2015 07:07:38 reply
What about the later Harmony branded guitars (EG H-802, which I believe was made by Teisco)?
Carol Carter Comment left 9th March 2015 19:07:32 reply
I have a 1954 Harmony Electro Banjo that I am interested in selling. Evidently it is rare as I have found little information. I have found that it is model #H281. It is copper/bronze and in very good condition. If you can give me any other info including value estimate and best place to sell I would be grateful.
bobby phillips jr Comment left 7th December 2014 06:06:16 reply
My great grandfather's vibratone H1113 acoustic guitar I cant find info about anywhere - I have figured out it's made by Harmony but still no model H1113 my serial number is 654H1113.would like to know all about it. Thanks bobby.
james w. smit Comment left 8th March 2014 00:12:13 reply
looking for price and availability for a 1966 harmony H72v(that's the one w/the bigsby vibrato)

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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

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1981 Gibson Marauder

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1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

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It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of £47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.