H54 - Rocket 2 pickup|
Electric hollowbody - Sunburst then red in 1963
Production year(s) : 1959-1967 (other years possible, not verified)
2 pickups - Single cutaway - H54/1 is the double cutaway later (1968) model. From 1966 "Golden Tone" pickups change to the "double mustache" version with adjustable polepieces screws, and necks have a trussrod.
56 images in database
mouse over image for file name - click to enlarge
|Body depth||2"||50 mm|
|Neck at nut||1"3/4||44.4 mm|
|Neck at 12th||2"||49.3 mm|
Related to this model
49 comments | Add your comment !
- Hornet - 2006-01-29
I got very lucky. Spotted My rocket in a junk shop window. Offered for sale by original owner(Woman) It was her first electric and she babied it. My Rocket is not red,its tabacco sunburst. It plays like it looks,a dream. As for value this guitar has its own sound and feel and should not be compared with other guitars and other brands. Rather it should be enjoyed for what it is, one fine guitar with its own sound.
- Sandman - 2007-02-24
I bought a '65 H54 on a whim about a year ago on a well-known web-site.... Although I also have a '66 Tele and a '71 Les Paul which I love, I can't seem to lay down this Harmony! It looks so retro-cool (time-worn finish and playing wear doesn't bother me) and is light as a feather, and the sound of the old DeArmond pickups is irreplaceable. Love these old Harmonys!
- Pigboy Z - 2007-03-20
I bought my double pickup cherry burst (beautiful color) Rocket last summer off the internet. Never having played one I wasen't sure what I was getting. But boy was I surprised! I can't put it down. I use it for a practice guitar at home and turn heads when I take it out for gigs. Its a bit unruley, tends to feedback until I find the sweet spot on volume and tone . After I get that dialed in I got a full spectum tone monster. Dark basses and bitey trebles.
- BabyGrand000 - 2007-05-14
I from the states, but live in Sweden now, i had a friend bring over my Airline Rocket on a visit. He found it for $300 in a Chicago music shop. I loved this guitar immediately. It's got a nice chunky neck and, as a mostly acoustic player, i really loved the way it's hollow body resonated when strummed. I've had trouble with the intonation and upon bringing it to a local guitar repair guru, was told that it wouldn't be worth the money to do make any adjustments. I tried some heavier gauge strings and it was fine. Recently though, it fell out of a faulty gig bag as i ran after a bus and got it's but kicked by the asphalt. I think the intonation's been worse since this, but i don't know. I still love this guitar and wish i knew more about how to refurbish it better. Also looking for replacement parts if anyone's got any tips. The pickguard is pretty cracked and i need to replace the pick up selector switch (destroyed in drop) email@example.com
- e33train - 2007-08-30
I just received this guitar from my dad who had it in the garage for many years. He took it apart 30+ years ago for some strange reason so I do not have any kind of wires or pickups for it. Is there any website that I could go to so I could find the correct wiring for this model?
- Bohonkie - 2007-11-25
I found my Rocket (H 56-1, red burst with vibrato, S-1969) on e-Bay. I paid $125, but the lady who shipped it from Pennsylvania used a plastic case with no padding inside. As a result, the pickguard was broken (by the neck, below the screw). I repaired it with a small metal brace from behind; you have to examine it closely to tell. When I told the lady that next time she should use some padding, she graciously refunded $25. After restringing and adjusting the truss rod, this guitar plays great! Other than the repair, and the bridge missing a corner piece, the guitar is in very fine conidtion. I wanted one in the late '60s, but no way could I afford it. The quest is over!
- Kerry Ayres - 2007-12-18
I own the two pickup version from 1966 in Cherry Red. Plays and sounds very good; tuning is sometimes shaky; had a pro install a Bigsby which looks and sounds cool. Dearmonds really cut through the mix. Original two tone chipboard case is failing. Any ideas where to find a correct fit modern replacement? F-holes have red paint overspray inside them. Email me at ayres at mindspring.com
- Rocket - 2008-01-02
I got my 1967 harmony rocket from my grandpa who got it when it first came out. It is all orginal and still sounds amazing. I love this guitar. It is my 5th guitar and im only 18.
- Jimmy Razor - 2008-03-28
I purchased my first Harmony Rocket, an H53, at a 1997 guitar show for $60.00. I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, needing money for the down payment on a house, I sold it in 2002. Missing it badly, I just picked up my second Rocket, an H54. However, it has an H56 vibrato. It shows no signs of ever having the standard trapeze tailpiece! I am curious about this design anomaly.
- - 2008-04-08
Jimmy, all the Rocket guitars were made on the same line at the Harmony factory, and these serial numbers glitches are not rare... You will not find a flat top number in a Rocket, but a H54 in a H56 is not surprising.. Bodies were stamped early on the line, before they were finished, or having a vibrato. In other words, if your H54 has an original vibrato... It's an H56 !
- Mike - 2008-08-01
I love my H54. I bought it from a lady who ran a classified ad selling it for $40. She had 2 H54's. I bought the one with adjustable pickup height. I wish I had gotten the other one too. I've had hard times and thought about selling. Most likely I'll still be using it for many years.
- Ty - 2008-08-13
Back in high school about 1964, some friends decided to form a rock band and asked me to join. Problem was, I didn't have an electric guitar and couldn't afford one. Fortunately, I had an aunt who was able to finance an aspiring rock star. I picked a cherry red Rocket II from a catalog (probably Sears)and before long, our band became a reality. I used the guitar all through high school and beyond. Loved it! I rarely take it out of the case anymore and it has been plugged in only one time in the last 38 / 40 years but I believe it will still wail.
- Ike&danny - 2008-08-24
We have recently come into possession of a Harmony rocket that is Labeled as a H56. However, it seems to be a H54. All pictures that we have seen have identified it as a H54. Its very weird and we're wondering if there was ever any rumors of misprints in the serial numbers. We are still researching this but would like some help if anyone knows anything. Thanks.
- - 2008-09-01
To Ike&danny : yes, it's definitely not rare to see "misprints" serial stamps inside Harmony guitars, between similar models. They were made on the same assembly line at the factory, and of course the body was the same before routing the holes.
- David Dureault - 2008-12-07
I got my Harmony Rocket about 30 years ago.
It was free. Some goof that had trouble playing it without constant feedback, got bad at it and smashed it on the floor. He abandoned it. I got it from my cousin who new the guy, my cousin didn't have any use for it, and I feel an urge to give instruments a good home.
The guitar suffered a crack in the side of the body where the plug-in is located.
I fixed it and being young and naive I removed the red finish from the entire guitar headstock included. I almost changed the pick ups and wiring, but luckily a wiser man told me it had amazing wiring like a Gretsh and I should leave it alone. I trusted him and learned to play it load and without feedback, unless of coarse I wanted it to.
It's a fantastic guitar with a beautiful feel and sound. It goes with the Harmony Patrician I found at a garage sale for two whole dollars near the same time period.
- speeder - 2008-12-29
I just got my Harmony Rocket as a hand-me-down from my grandpa. Its an H54 2-pickup single cutaway, not sure the exact year but I'm guessing very early sixties. I love this guitar it sounds great, and the retro look is magnificant. My Uncle "Frog" played this guitar in a bluegrass band for many years, so it has great family history behind it. I am trying to track down a record from that bluegrass band now, but it is quite obscure. Anyway I love this guitar and will play it till I pass it on down the line.
- lostinspace - 2009-01-02
I got blessed with a brand new Red H54 Rocket and composite case for Christmas in 1967. I was eleven years old and only knew three chords so drove everybody nuts for months! By sixteen I was a lot better and got to play my Harmony in a country rock band. At the time I didn't know just what a fine piece she was, but now forty years later, I've never played a thousand dollar Strat that plays any better than it does. She's a little scratched up from years of use, but she still polishes up nice and plays just like new!
- Matt - 2009-02-08
Hi fellow Harmony owners. Glad I found this site. I'm borrowing my dad's Rocket hopefully on a permanent basis as he doesn't really play much anymore. I love this guitar and it's inspired me to learn to play better. I love the sound it makes. I assumed it would have a kind of soft jazz sound until i got an amp and you can play anything on it. It's an H54 but I'm not sure when it was made though. It has no date inside. It's sunburst yellow with the 2 DeAlmond pickups so maybe pre 65.
- Gene - 2009-11-09
Bought an H54 new in 66 (that $135 was a heap of money for me back then!) and preformed extensively with it for 8 years. It then sat idle for many years. I "rediscovered" this guitar a few years ago and even though I have many more expensive guitars now, I still break it out and perform with it on occasion - I used it this past weekend, Nov. 7/8, 2009, side by side with my Les Paul. Great action and great 60's sound.
- Rocket Man - 2009-12-21
I had been looking for as much information on this old rocket I fixed up for my grandpa (don't worry, it was mainly cleaning and re-soldering pots), and found this website. I have an H54, but I must disagree with the posted manufacturing dates, as mine indicates that it was made in '68. I know this remains unverified, but I have it right here (though errors have been reported in the labeling of these guitars...)
- Mr. twiddle - 2010-02-01
Finally got my H54-1!! Been wanting one for years and recently picked mine up at a shop around the corner from my house. Can't wait to get sound from the bridge pickup, although the neck pickup gives me the sound I've been searching for. What a relief...that voice in my head that's been singing to me is now in my music room!
- SV - 2010-04-11
Found mine helping a family friend clean out a basement. It was given to me for free. Has original wammy bar, overall good conditon, guitar works well. Took it to a shop to have it cleaned properly and the guy was very suprised considering where it was found - under boards and rubbage - 1630 h54
- BOBBIEJANE - 2011-02-07
you rocket junkies out there how lucky you are. They play so stunningly it is hard to believe. I have had about15 rockets, only 2 tobacco burst the rest red. The last one i had was ftted with a bigsby with an accomadating nickel bridge, all decked out and plays like a dream. paid $300.00 for it and sold it for 700.00. Love the rockets give me a rocket any day ofthe week and i will take it over a martin bobbie
- Tom Moore - 2011-02-15
I've got a H54 (SN 5548H54, S-66)but the neck does not have a truss rod. I've seen pictures showing some Rockets with what appears to be truss rod covers above the nut. What gives?
- Mark - 2011-03-29
My first guitar in 1960 was an H-54. I stupidly sold it back as trade on a Fender Strat (stupidly sold that, too). I recently acquired an H-54 with a datestamp of S-61. I'm so happy!
- TParshall - 2011-04-15
I found a Harmony Rocket reddish brown sunburst (two pickups) in a St. Vincent DePaul thrift store four years ago. It was on sale for $12.50. That day all electronic items in the store were 50% off. I got it for $6.25. It had been well taken care of but also well played by whoever owned it. The fretboard has finger grooves in it. It still plays great but one of the pots is a bit mushy. I will find a good tech soon to clean up the electronics.
- Ol' Fat Wayne - 2011-04-16
- Paul-in-Tacoma - 2011-04-20
TParshall... my most awesome Harmony (exact same model) was GIVEN AWAY cuz I was on vacation and was not back in time to pay rent... so landlord GAVE it away.
OH... we went to court and I won.... but have not seen my guitar since ! (This happened in late 80s)... but I had that Harmony since the late 60s.
I want it back ! (not that YOU have it... but if you're from Tacoma ! heheheh)
- Gizmo - 2011-07-15
I found my '65 rocket (two-pickup with a trem, gold-foils and no trussrod) in the trash walking around brooklyn one night. She was pretty beat up, covered in stickers, and a little bit water damaged... Luckily the previous owner had pinned the bridge, so that was still there. The tuners had been replaced with "w. Germany"-stamped Schallers.
I had a new nut carved for it out of bone (the original slots had worn very low), shimmed the neck, and unpinned the bridge. I gig with it regularly now. The old girl's got soul. I love my rocket!
- Dan G. - 2011-11-05
I traded an old squeezebox (mini accordian) for an h54 tobacco sunburst 2 pickup single cutaway model believe to be from 66. nedded some help getting it to playing shape (and well worth it). Still 80% + original had to replace bridge, 1 vol. pot and pickguard. Use a taylor hard case that fits pretty well since a factory 1 is almost impossible and not cheap to find. the body was in good shape with no major dings some finish scrapes but i love this guitar and the sound is awesome!!! Since it is not as wide as a gibson 335 type an acoustic guitar case might be an alternative to finding an original case (a little snug though). thanks 4 listening and wishing all happy harmony ;)
- Oldguy - 2012-12-19
My first yank' was a 63/4 rocket. What a pig it was, broke strings nightly with no apparent reason,and generally played like it was, a cheap catalogue replica of a proper guitar.Would I want another? no way.
- MayhemMike - 2012-12-23
I just acquired a Harmony "Barclay" two pick up with trem. Tobacco burst. I was always skeptic about paying money for an instrument that originally resided in department store catalogs. Then I bought a 1961 Airline T&C. Wow! IWhat finally swayed me to dive in to theis level of guitar, was an old aquaintence who stated, "even toy instruments were built with care and effort back in the day". Blown away by the Barclay Rocket. It renders many of my other guitars useless. Now, I'll try to buy every Harmony Rocket version I can find.
- Duran - 2013-07-25
I have a collection of Rockets. My dad got my first one for me when I as I was in high school. It was in a pawn shop with an asking price of $129.99, but we got it for $99.99. I named her Marilyn, and I STILL have her. I got the others from an internet auction site. I am still going to buy more. I also have Harmony solid body guitars, which my girlfriend got for me. All of these guitars play better than newer Fenders and Gibsons. Oldguy, maybe you just don't know how to play well, so just stay away from this site. I love all of my Harmonys!
- Mike Biss - 2013-12-12
just picked up my first vintage guitar. its an all original 67 rocket with an original case. im only 16, so this is the best thing ever.
- Parker - 2014-01-09
H54 tobacco sunburst, two pick up gold foil de Armand's, single cut out.
My grandad bought and sold guitars as a hobby throughout his life. He always had martins and fenders and Taylor's and such all over the place. As a little kid, I asked him for an electric guitar. He showed me a flying "V" in metal flake blue and a brown and yellowish hollowbody and said " learn a song and play it for me and you can pick the one you want" I did and I picked the the hollowbody. Years and years later I was at a friends house and a few friends and I were jamming out on one of their Gibson les Paul's and I told him its the nicest action I'd ever felt OTHER THAN what I grew up playing on. He wasn't happy hearing that so the next day I brought over my rocket and settled the dispute. He wants one now. I love this little guitar.
- TWENTY6HUNDRED - 2014-04-23
I had one of these back in the late 80's and kept it into the late 90's when it succumbed to an accidental smashing. Fast forward to 2014 I purchased one off Kijiji that is a resto-mod. Half restoration half modification. Anyway I love these axes and plan to acquire two or three more.
- Crowfoot - 2014-05-28
I have a 1966 model H54 that is stamped H56 it has the original trapeeze tailpiece & never has had a vibrato.
- hobowally - 2015-03-02
I got my H54 in 1968 in a pawn shop in Winnipeg Manitoba for $40. She "Sally" as my bros and I named her was originally red but was stripped to a beautiful natural finish by our dad back in the late 70's after some water damage , The multiple woods make its very cool looking and is real head turner.I still have ,love and play her regularly both at gigs and at home.I recently rewired a few longtime nagging pickup and pot problems ,reinstalled pick guard and sourced original decal logo . I find this site very helpful in filling in details and history about these instruments so a big thank you to it's originator. I think the Rocket will always be one of those very few special guitars that come along and just work and keep on working.
- St James - 2015-06-28
I recently came across an H-54 lol thought marked H-56 all pics and pick ups prove it oo to be mismarked, except for the build date of early 66 which shows the new neck with Truss Rod and new MOUSTACHE.pick ups and a trapeze with rosewood bridge, a gorgeous RED BURST. Thanks to this site I was able to find the build date of March6 1966
I had originally went to look at a 3 pick up,model but after seeing this in such mint condition and play like a dream, Imcouldnt pass and added this great H-54 to my collection now of a single,n dbl pick up BOBKAT!s a great 57 Silvertone ESPANADA and a single pick up Archtop Roy Smeck.
amazing how for 40 years of my caterer playing blues searching for that early Electric tone is higher end brands with Vintage amps, it took the purchase of the ESPANADA to open my eyes to see that tone was hiding behind these great guitars, that by today's standards would cost $1500.00 easy with the quality of build and electronics.I,ve not had so much fun playing In awhile in for what I paid for these I couldn't get a used low end Gibson or Fender....Open up your ears guys these r not just low end guitars anymore they r rapidly becoming very popular and rising Fastest on the Vintage Market, I hope anyone reading this will do their homework n go out n get the model that fits your style best, one thing I want to find is a H-54-1 double cut model .....If u don't have at least one of these great guitars,,,, trade or sell of one guitar n get a couple of these...you,ll be quite happy you did..St James
- tom Holdren - 2015-12-26
found my H54 in a trash can in the Alley it was raining I grabed it upreal quick'''it was missing theBridge'and looked awful'' bought a Bridge polished it new strings it looks & sounds great even has gold tunners ''I,ll see youin my Dreams sounds as good as any guitar I,ve played'''it plays & looks like new'''I can,t believesoome fool threw it away'''
- Terry M - 2016-02-21
I have a Harmony Rocket H54 I bought new in 1968 and will be selling it
- Spyboy49 - 2016-06-26
My first ever electric guitar was a 1962 H54 Harmony Rocket in red burst. I think it cost $64.00 new w/case. Unfortunately 3 years later the electronics failed and naively I allowed my "guitar teacher" to take care of getting it repaired. He never returned it claiming it got "lost in shipping somewhere". Fast forward to 1998: I stopped into a vintage guitar shop in Virginia Beach and bought another H54 for $225.00 that I won't part with. I have pictures of my original Rocket being played by my bandmate at a recording studio session prior to losing it.
- james wolfe ` - 2016-07-30
i have a rocket that i want to rebuild it went thru hurracane ike and was sucked out of house and found it in a tree the fret board has to be replaced and the neck put back on fret board cracked needs abunch done to it looking for a luther that can do the work i live in livingston tx if you know of anyone in the area that could fix it would appreciate any info phone is 936967-0667.
- Daniel Green - 2016-09-22
Does anybody know what make and model new hard hell case wil fit these Rockets?
- Glen Cleeton - 2016-10-27
I lo-o-ove my baby. She's so mean to me ;)
I have an ebony Silvertone H54 with a red pick guard. Well worn before I adopted it, it saw a yeoman's labor in Harvard Sq. during the mid 1990s
As to what hardshell case fits, they are a perfect fit in a Gibson E335 case
Still trying to figure whether it is an H70 in disguise but the pick gaurd seems more an H54.
- JoeyD - 2018-12-06
The Harmony Rocket H54 was given to me on December of 1958 for Christmas. & it still a good guitar & I still have the original case.
- Dan T. - 2018-12-29
I and the H54 were lucky to find each other, I found it in a music store parts room along with a couple other guitars, an H1311 with the fret board split away from the neck, I can't remember what others were saved that day, four in total though, all had been stripped of their electronics, bridges, and any other useful parts and slated for the trash, though this H54 had some missing parts it wasn't long before I had fitted new ones in and got the old guitar back playing again, it's got a new life in my studio now sporting mini humbuckers with a coil tap circuit which makes it great for doing several different sounding guitar tracks with only one instrument, it's for sure a feedback monster, sit in front of an amp and make it squeal, it certainly is a cool guitar! The order of today is working on an H53, it's way cool having two of these guitars sitting together, I think I'll bring mine when I deliver the H53 and have a little jam with them!
- spyboy49 - 2019-03-11
I bought my original Rocket around 1962-63 for $75.00 brand new with case. I played it in my LI garage band for over a year. The electronics quit and I had to send it away to get it fixed but it was ultimately lost in shipping and I never got it back. I played a few other low-end guitars while it was away and finally bought a 1964 Gibson SG Standard for $254.00 to replace the Rocket. So fast forward 30 some odd years and I'm on the road in Virginia Beach and an appointment got cancelled. To kill some time, I stopped in a vintage store and spot a Rocket. It was similar but not the same year as my Rocket. It was a 1966-67 H54 and played really well. I couldn't let it go. I had the guy ship it up to LI and I've had it ever since. To this day, the thing still plays and sounds good though I have to fool with the bridge occasionally to get proper intonation but ah...it brought back the memories. Hey, gimme a break! I was 14 years old, played guitar, was in a band that actually got paid gigs and I sounded like Lennon when I sang "Twist and Shout"! Anyway...
- Mathy Yung Boi - 2019-06-12
My Dad had a Harmony Rocket (sunburst) and it's part of my earliest memories of guitars and of life. I play it through a Line 6 Spider III and recently through a Crate half-stack. I love it. The strings are some old light gauge D'Adarios. The fret board is thin and sometimes the string slides off but I like that, it enables some experimental sounds. It's really banged up. The wiring is super feedbacky so I used an extra string and grounded it to the strings by tying the bridge pick up to the metal string holder thing. Still love this guitar. Nostalgia aside it's the best sounding guitar I've ever owned (better than PRS SE Opeth, Jackson rr94, and shits on all Fenders). If you see one GET IT!
Sounds great from Metal to Jazz and has the kind of light action you'd need for technical playing. The bridge is ultra comfy for easing in palm muting with highly sensitive dynamics. I wish this guitar was alive so I could F these f-holes and make more :D