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SOLD!! 1955 Harmony Stratotone H44 Gold Solidbody Electric Guitar

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In the mid 1950’s, solidbody electric guitars were really taking off, faster than major manufacturers could produce them. Guitars like this Harmony Stratotone H44 were very popular, as they were more readily available and cheaper than the models produced by Gibson or Fender. Harmony, based in Chicago, Illinois, mass produced thousands of guitars a year for the rapidly growing American guitar market.

In its metallic copper or gold finish – a bit redder than the gold used on the early 1950’s Gibson Les Paul models – the Harmony Stratotone H44 appears in photographs of Ritchie Valens, who also played a Gibson ES-125. At the time of his death on February 1959 in a plane crash that also claimed Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson (‘The Big Bopper’), Ritchie Valens had several major hits, including La Bamba. He was 17, but what he wrote and performed was very influential.

The Harmony Stratotone H44 is a real product of the American 1950’s aesthetic, with its metallic finish, ‘Stratotone’ name and atomic themed graphic on the headstock. It is built as a ‘neck through’ model, likely of poplar, with extra wood added to create the body shape. There is one pickup, in what is known as the ‘Hershey Bar’ design, with a plain cover and two rivets. For controls, there is a single volume and tone control, and a slider switch that slightly alters the brightness. The fingerboard and floating bridge are rosewood. The finish is quite worn in expected places – on the neck, the various layers of colour, primer and wood are clearly visible. The original fibre (cardboard) case is included.

Because of its neck-through construction, there are lower limits on the available action height on guitars of this type. Very frequently, and very successfully, these are often used for slide styles, as is the case here – additionally, the nut is shimmed a bit to still allow fretting, but not encourage rattle or clatter from the slide.

Price: $1799.99 CAD
  • Year: Current
  • Finish gold
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, built around or before 1955 at the Harmony plant in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Brand New
  • Date Posted: 18/09/2017

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

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