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)
The table above 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 comparable 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.
Electric bass advertisements originally published from 1967 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Harmony advertisements
Harmony H27 - Harmonys Fine Electric Guitars (1967)
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 model...
Harmony H27 - You plug it in, it turns you on (1968)
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. U...
Double Cutaway ... Double Pickup, De Armond Designed
Styled and electronically equipped to meet highest professional bass tone standards. The Ultra-Thin hollow body with arched top and back is of selected laminated maple, with handsomely polished shaded and highlighted sunburst finish. The appearance is enhanced by contrasting edge bindings and inlays. Ultra-Slim maple neck is full scale, 30 inches from nut to adjustable bridge, Torque-Lok reinforced. Shell pattern celluloid headpiece. Ovaled rosewood fingerboard has bindings and inlays on all edges, and inlaid position markers on top and side. Large chrome plated individual tuning keys, heavy nickel plated covered tailpiece, and precision 6-way adjustable metal bridge for accurate timing and sustaining power. Twin Golden Tone pickups, designed in cooperation with De Armond, have paired magnetic polepieces under each string to permit more complete responsiveness. Tone and volume controls for each pickup. Lower, upper, or both pickups activated through selector .switch, giving a great versatility of bass voicings. Modern flat wound strings, quiet and smooth for fingering comfort.
|No. H27||Electric Bass. Size overall 15 3/4 x 45 in.|
Rim 2 inches deep
|No. C27||Carrying Case, extra||$27.00|
All clips recorded with a M-audio mobile-pre external sound card. Flat wound strings
Listen to Harmony H22 soundclips here
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