1953 Harmony H44 Stratotone
Vintage 1953 Harmony H44 Stratotone electric guitar
Harmony's H44 Stratotone model debuted in their catalog in 1952, only two years after the Fender Broadcaster and the same year as the Gibson Les Paul Model. While Gibson's solid body electric guitar was an upscale rebuttal to the more simple Fender Broadcaster, Harmony's H44 Stratotone took simplicity even further. It featured a unique neck through design with glued on wings that didn't require a hand fit neck joint. Not only that, but the single pickup with switchable on/off tone knob kept costs down as well. Despite its comparable simplicity, it sold successfully at the $72.50 price point. Popular players used it to great effect including Ritchie Valens and Carl Perkins in the 1950s and later Blake Mills and Kristian Matsson (Tallest Man On Earth).
Make and Model: Harmony H44 Stratotone
Year: 1953. No serial number, potentiometer codes indicating the 2nd week of 1953 (134302)
Specifications: Single cutaway, neck through Poplar body, "lustrous, copper-bronze coating" finish, single DeArmond pickup, switchable tone pot on/off. 25 1/4" scale length neck, 1 3/4" nut width, .86" neck depth at the first fret, 1.2" depth at the 12th fret.
Originality: All parts original except the frets and few various screws!
Condition: Very good with loads of cool wear and vintage vibe. It's never had any breaks or crack repairs.
Playability: Excellent! It’s a dream to play. The neck relief and pitch are excellent after the professional refret. This one plays like a modern electric guitar with proper neck relief and action.
Notes: This killer '53 Sratotone has just emerged from the closet where it's been stored for decades. I wanted it to be a fully playable vintage guitar so I opted for the professional fretboard plane and refret for optimum playability. We were pleased to find that everything else on the guitar was ready to play after cleaning and set up. Check out the original case AND the original plastic strap that it came with in '53. I'm confident you'll love this killer playing 1953 Harmony H44 Stratotone!