Harmony Monterey

by claesgellerbrink

Harmony Monterey, Made in USA 1950's 784H1325A late 1950’s Harmony Monterey H1325, made in USA

A couple of weeks ago I came across a really nice looking Harmony Monterey H1325. The only way to date these guitars is by the second stamp inside, if you can find it, giving the year and month. Unfortunately I can just see 784H1325 and the second stamp JAN in mine. I assume it’s from the late 1950’s judging by the head logo and the lack of trussrod since that was introduced in 1964. It’s a really nice playing and sounding guitar, not as loud as my Levin archtops, the 1951 Levin Royal or 1946 Levin Model 32, but still a very nice guitar. Harmony guitars were mass produced in Chicago during this time and even though they are made from solid woods they feel a bit low budget, in a good way, I guess that’s why they are so damn awesome and look so rock n’ roll.

Harmony Monterey, Made in USA 1950's 784H1325Harmony Monterey, Made in USA 1950's 784H1325

Harmony H1325 – Monterey
Acoustic archtop – Brown shaded
Production years: 1952-1972 (other years possible, not verified)
Spruce top, birch body – Grand Auditorium 16 1/2 in. Unusual sunburst pattern in bands. Neck has a trussrod from 1964.

Harmony Monterey, Made in USA 1950's 784H1325There was a lot of cleaning to do and two cracks that needed to be glued. One large on the upper bout and a smaller one on the top and then I glued down the heel a bit better which got the action down. Except for that it was in pretty good shape for being around 60-years old and all original.

Harmony Monterey, Made in USA 1950's 784H1325The original case has these awesome looking shipping stickers on it, I presume from when the guitar left America for Germany by boat in the 1950’s carried by the first owner.

Harmony Monterey, 1959 Harmony catalogueThe top left looks very much like my Harmony Monterey, having said that, the model number inside mine is H1325 which match the bottom left. Taken from a 1959 Harmony catalogue

Harmony H162, 1959 Harmony catalogueI also got myself two late 1960’s H162 from the US that I need to restore. First of all they need a neck reset but then I was actually thinking of removing the back and X-brace at least one of them. Taken from a 1959 Harmony catalogue.