Museum: Other Acoustic Guitars

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1930's Harmony Roy Smeck Grand Concert

The "Airplane Bridge" Harmony Roy Smeck guitars were built in the early 1930's with a design inspired by Charles Lindburgh's historic trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. For many of us vintage guitar nuts, these airplane bridge Harmonys are high on the list of "Coolest vintage guitars of all time."

This example is a 14" wide Grand Concert model, built with tightly figured mahogany back and sides, a ladder-braced red spruce top, mahogany V neck with a 12 fret body joint and slotted headstock, and, of course, that bridge.

The guitar is feathery-light, and has the unique and wonderful tone that happens when you mix a light build with ladder-bracing. There is a lot of color, expressive mids and round trebles, pop and articulation, but all underlain with a wonderfully rich compliment of overtones and built-in reverb.

And it plays perfectly. Perhaps we should have started with that. This guitar has just enjoyed an extended spa treatment at our repair shop where it received a neck reset, a new ebony fingerboard (20" radius, Martin-style fretwire, properly located frets, and no finish touchup), and new bone saddle. The nut, tuners, pins, and rope strap are original. 24.9" scale, 1-7/8" nut width, V-carved neck, 2-1/4" string spread at the bridge.

The guitar is in excellent condition, and is without cracks or body repairs, although there are a few scratch-lines in the back that looks like cracks. The bridge plate has a very small maple patch over the holes, and instrument's finish is completely original. You'll notice that the rope strap is tied through a ¼" hole that was drilled through the middle of the headstock -- the guitar's only flaw, sort of.

A particularly cool guitar that sounds particularly good, and plays particularly well.

And there's no Brazilian rosewood or Ivory on this guitar, so we can ship it out of Canada without hurdle.

With period chipboard case.

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