Where can I buy a restored Harmony Sovereign 1260?

John Backlund

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Freeman Keller

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Old Harmonies turn up at yard sales and Craigs List from time to time. They usually need a neck reset, frets, bridge and bridgeplate work, sometimes some structural issues. A good repair tech can do the work but often it costs way more than the guitar is really worth. They are actually good candidates for learning dovetail neck resetting because the neck comes off easily. I've had a few cross my bench.
 

johnb

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I have one that a sweet young lady gave me when I was young. (long story from the South Carolina blizzard of '73 - I should write that song). Play in the first 3 frets and you're good. Beyond that ... it needs the neck reset and truss rod fixed.
A great sound when it was in better shape.
 

John Backlund

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Scott Baxendale does just that.
I just contacted a person at Stay Gold Guitars about a Baxendale conversion H1260 that they had ready to sell, but at a bit over $1900, as much as I'd like to own it, it's just more than I can pay for one. I'm not willing to buy a 'project Sovereign' at a much lesser initial cost either though, so I'm probably going to abandon the idea of ever getting a decent 1260, and just go on playing sad songs on my crappy Taylors.

On the other hand, I might still be able to scrounge up a 'neck reset' 1260 for a grand or so if I'm patient.
 

naneek

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I had one in the late 1960's, and want to own one now, but a nice, playable, example.
they are really sweet guitars. I love guitars like this that have a distinctive voice and resonance. It might be worth trying one out in person if it's been a while since you've played one, those jumbo bodies are tough to play sitting down. I hurt my shoulder last time I tried to play mine seated. I recommend a mariachi strap, or even the addition of a strap button.

they were made for a lot of different brands so keep that in mind when you are searching for them, there may be more options for a used sovereign jumbo. mine is a regal.

these were made in chicago, and the guitar shops in lincoln park in chicago always have a good stock of harmony and kay built acoustics. there are at least 5 decent guitar shops in that neighborhood, and they are really good at setting these up. most of those shops have websites now.

It's been a while since I visited the chichago music exchange, but 10 years ago they were well stocked, on the high end of reasonably priced, and did a great job setting up their instruments.

I would feel very comfortable buying one of these from any of the guitar shops in that neighborhood, even to buy it online.

Old Harmonies turn up at yard sales and Craigs List from time to time. They usually need a neck reset, frets, bridge and bridgeplate work, sometimes some structural issues. A good repair tech can do the work but often it costs way more than the guitar is really worth. They are actually good candidates for learning dovetail neck resetting because the neck comes off easily. I've had a few cross my bench.
I suppose the guitars probably cost a bit more now (like everything else), but I got one a while ago and put all that work into it.

(neck reset, frets, brace repair, they repaired a lifting bridge, and steamed just about every part of the guitar to rehydrate and stabilize the wood.)

I have about 650 total in that guitar, mostly the cost of the repairs, which seems reasonable enough to me. the luthier said the same thing as you though.

it's certainly not a high value vintage instrument, but I think they are very useful player guitars.

I'd probably expect to pay more than that for a new acoustic that plays this well and sounds this good.
 

naneek

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try subway guitars in berkeley, they will ship.
they are great, I would definitely buy from them online with confidence.

edit- or over the phone. they were low tech last time I was there. but very knowledgeable and helpful.
 
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naneek

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I just contacted a person at Stay Gold Guitars about a Baxendale conversion H1260 that they had ready to sell, but at a bit over $1900, as much as I'd like to own it, it's just more than I can pay for one. I'm not willing to buy a 'project Sovereign' at a much lesser initial cost either though, so I'm probably going to abandon the idea of ever getting a decent 1260, and just go on playing sad songs on my crappy Taylors.

On the other hand, I might still be able to scrounge up a 'neck reset' 1260 for a grand or so if I'm patient.
wow they really go for that much these days? let us know if you find something.

I'm prone to dislocating my shoulders and had a hard time getting my strumming arm over the deep wide body last time I played my Regal branded h1260.

If I ever give up on playing this guitar, I'd sell it to you for a reasonable price if you were still looking.

I'm not ready to admit defeat yet though haha. I've had it for quite some time, and it's one of my favorite instruments.
 

Boreas

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A good place to look for odd items are guitar shows. Usually every big city has one every year. I used to go to one in Indianapolis every year. People bring allotta used and niche instruments and parts and travel around the country peddling them. Toward the end of the show, you can get some deals on bigger stuff they don't want to haul back to the trailer again!

Some vendors will have boxes full of mixed parts that you can sort through and buy for a song. Much different that the single $400 "vintage" tuner you find on Reverb.

Plus you can learn a ton at these shows. Amps, cases, tubes - you name it. Oh yeah - they are a blast as well! Wear comfy shoes.
 

standup

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Athens, GA is my hometown. Several years ago when I was visiting my mom I got a little tour of Baxendale’s shop, briefly wondered about maybe taking his course where you learn his methods and rebuild a guitar. This may have been 8-10 years ago, now that I think about it, I was doing mostly freelance work and could have worked that out. But I didn’t. Fun to visit, though, and chat with Baxendale.
 




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