CMI – Chicago Musical Instruments – at one time produced more instruments than all of their American competitors combined, mainly under the Harmony brand but also under Airline, Alden, Barclay, Heathkit, Holiday, Regal, Silvertone, Truetone and some other names.
The range of pickups supplied to Harmony by DeArmond was correspondingly wide. Some pickups were used on a number of different instruments, but some others were used on one instrument only.
Basic ‘Hershey Bar’ type bar pickup: The basic chrome soapbar pickup, also referred to as the ‘Hershey Bar’ pickup, for surface-mounting onto a pickguard by means of solid rivets, or for recessing into the guitar’s body, by means of woodscrews. This particular model has hollow rivets which are used to secure the pickup with woodscrews.
This is the basic chrome soapbar adjustable pickup with an extended bottom plate, for recessing in a pickguard or surface-mounting (Photo copyright Guitar Parts Cave)
This Silvertone-branded attachable pickup with mounting assembly and V & T controls, uses a basic chrome bar pickup (photo coyright Roger at Music-Treasure.com)
A pair of pickups riveted into a Stratotone H46. The bridge pickup on the left is slightly raised, and the neck pickup is flat against the pickguard. The raised, dimpled central section of the pickup is purely ornamental and has no discernible effect on it’s sound.
A pair of recessed pickups riveted into a guitar manufactured by Harmony but not marketed under that name.
This is a view of the underside of an attachable pickup for a flat-top roundhole guitar. It comprises a basic chrome pickup, as in the first picture in this section, riveted to a metal frame, secured in place using a clamp. The Volume and Tone controls are clearly seen. This arrangement was later used by DeArmond for their attachable pickups manufactured for Fender (see the Fender section).
‘Diamond-grille’ type: The ‘diamond-grille’ pickup, available in chrome with an integral bezel, for surface mounting.
S-grille type: grille’ pickup, available in soapbar style, or with an integral chrome bezel, for surface mounting. This was finished in chrome with a gold metallic foil insert. This particular version was constructed using two hollow rivets, to enable it to be secured to the instrument’s body by means of woodscrews
A Harmony Vibra-Jet H-66 with the original finish removed, fitted with two S-grille pickups with integral bezels. Note that the pickup at the neck is flat against the bezel, whereas the bridge pickup is raised above the bezel to compensate for the string height difference (photo courtesy of www.gearlicious.com).
Four-scroll type: The ‘four-scroll’ pickup, also known as the ‘moustache-grille’, with adjustable individual pole-pieces, with an integral bezel and a gold metallic insert.
The ‘four-scroll’ pickup, soapbar version.
Four-scroll soapbar in a white plastic bezel, also known unofficially as the Model 6812. The stamped number seen on the underside of the pickup appears on most of the existing examples of this pickup, but not in any DeArmond or Harmony literature. The bezel comes in three different heights, with either a concave of flat bottom (see photo at left above). This pickup is not recessed, although its appearance indicates otherwise. A black version of this bezel is fitted to the S-grille pickup in Harmony’s electric archtop F-hole mandolin Model H35.
Two-scroll types: The ‘two-scroll’ pickup, also known as the ‘moustache-grille’ and described in Harmony’s literature as ‘The Deluxe adjustable’ pickup has the dimensional appearance of a recessed humbucker with black plastic mounting rings, but is in fact a single-coil surface-mounting pickup. The coil is centred on the pole-pieces and timber packing is inserted to fill the otherwise empty space. See lower side of upturned pickup.This pickup is finished in chrome with a gold metallic foil insert. There are two versions of this two-scroll pickup. One with six adjustable poles, was fitted to Harmony guitars models H60, H60LH, H64, H72 and H72V.
Another version of the two-scroll pickup with no visible poles was fitted to Harmony guitar model H68. The black bezels shown in the three photos above were also supplied with DeArmond’s first retro-fit humbucker, the Models 2200B and T.
Other guitar pickups:
This pickup was fitted to the Harmony guitar models H75, H76, H77 and H78. The pickup was available in one height only. To maintain the same distance between each pickup and the strings, each pickup was mounted on a rosewood base of a different height, as shown. This base was also used where a pickup with a flat base, as that shown, was fitted in an archtop guitar. The upper side of the timber base is flat to fit the pickup, but the underside is precisely contoured to fit the archtop’s surface.
This pickup, with six adjustable poles and four V-shaped slots infilled in gold, was fitted in the Harmony 12-string guitar model H79
This ‘multi-diamond’ chrome pickup, as a soapbar and white plastic infill, was fitted in the Airline Harry Volpe guitar and other guitars by Silvertone. This particular version has two hollow rivets, allowing it to be screwfixed direct to the guitar body.
This version of the ‘multi-diamond’ soapbar pickup is infilled black, rivet-fixed to the pickguard of this Airline guitar
This version of the ‘multi-diamond’ pickup, infilled black with ariveted integral bezel, seated on a rosewood base and screwfixed to the guitar.
Regal 265 Guitar fitted with Hershey Bar soapbar pickup raised decoration and black infill. This is the currently the only guitar seen fitted with this particular pickup.
This single pickup is installed in a Guild M-65 Freshman archtop
This pickup has the same overall dimensions as the Model 2000. The top of the white plastic coil former is flat. The poles are individual pin-magnets, each fitted with a threaded oversleeve secured by adhesive which enables pin height to be adjusted. Note how the pins project below the pickup. One pin is shown. This pickup was fitted in Guild guitars.
The below pickup in a Guild Capri
The below pickup in a Standel 420-S
This pickup has the same curved design on the top of the white coil former and the same type of pole-pieces as the Model 210. It is suitable for installing in archtop electrics or solid-body instruments. It requires a recess beneath, as the photos show. The adjustable pole-pieces are individual magnets with bonded threads. These were fitted to some Guild and Levin instruments.
This pickup is the same as the one above except that it has a black coil former. It was not fitted to Harmony-branded guitars.
Regal 270 guitar fitted with one 210-style recessed pickup with black coil former.
Harmony bass pickups:
The Harmony bass model H22/1 with the white ‘Batwing’ pickguard was fitted with this chrome pickup with an integral bezel and two gold and two white inserts (photo copyright Icecoach22).
Soapbar version of above pickup in unidentified bass.
The Harmony bass model H27 was fitted with two chrome pickups with integral bezels, eight adjustable poles and four gold slot inserts (photo copyright Chuck’s Guitar Shop)
The Harmony bass model H25 was fitted with two chrome pickups with integral bezels, four adjustable poles and four gold-infilled V-shaped slots.