Harmony H79 Twelve-string Archtop Guitar

Produced from 1966 to 1970, this 1967 example (example 1 – see also example 2 below) of the Harmony H79 twelve-string electric guitar in original condition.  One of the rarer Harmony models, the H79 shares many similarities in general body shape and construction with its six-string brothers the H77 and H78, but with notable differences that make this guitar a purposefully built 12-string machine. The neck profile depth and width are unique to this model. Also note the original floating bridge with two bone saddles and a nickel harp tailpiece. All photos of this this instrument (B0592) are copyright Mike and Mike’s Guitar Bar, Seattle, WA.

The DeArmond Gold Foil four-vee single-coil pickups are unique to this guitar too, with a footprint that’s larger than those seen on Harmony’s six -string guitars, with individually adjustable pole-pieces.  Both pickups are the same height, with flat, riveted chrome bezels.  The neck pickup is screwed directly into the body, with no gasket, unlike those supplied with the Fender Coronado instruments.  The bridge pickup is seated on a timber bezel, the underside of which is contoured to align with the curved body at this point.

The neck profile is  a deep “baseball bat” C shape that  was chosen by Harmony to add mass and structural integrity, given the increased tension of the twelve-string design. The scale length is 24 1/4″ and the bound rosewood fretboard features pearloid block inlays and original slender fretwire.  The original bone nut is intact, measuring 1 .75″ in width.  On the headstock, the guitar retains the original ‘6 + 6’ open back Waverly strip tuners.  A three-ply B/W/B plastic veneer with the Harmony logo and some subtle pinstriping tops the headstock.

Individual Volume and Tone knobs serve each pickup, with a three-way pickup selector switch. The underside of the pickups is rubber-stamped with ‘Rowe Ind. Inc.’ and an April 5, 1967 date. This matches the 1967 date stamp on the body visible through the F-hole.  The hardware is all original, with stock black milled-edge barrel knobs with flat gold insert showing one black dot.  Note also the the uniquely Harmony three-piece F-holes, the B/W/B diamond switchplate surround, the floating rosewood bridge and the unfaded deep Cherry nitro lacquer finish.