H55 - Sovereign with neck pickup|
Production year(s) : 1958-71 (other years possible, not verified)
Pickup at the end of the fretboard - later was H655. Note the fretboard is longer, and soundhole is lowered if compared to the H1203 or other pure acoustics. Pickup looks like a variation of the P13 Gibson pickup. 4 screws hold it in place (two each side of the fretboard). Later models have a DeArmond pickup held with 2 screws (one each side of the fretboard), as seen on model H655.
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10 comments | Add your comment !
- JonL - 2006-06-17
I learned how to play guitar (many years ago) on one of these. Very nice guitar, except that over the years the top started to cave in. I brought it somewhere very reputable -- maybe Mandolin Bros, maybe Umanov, don't remember. They told me that an important brace in the top had been cut away to allow mounting the pickup. That was the cause of the deterioration and a repair just wasn't really worth doing. I may still have the guitar someplace in storage. It's been many years!
- rich - 2008-06-16
I have one of these. Not sure of its value. The serial reads 3H55 but it looks like maybe the numbers before the 3 were wiped away on purpose. Previous owner claimed it's a '59 but I have no way of knowing. Case is very old and appears to be original, but not much better than cardboard. Owner claimed these are very rare and not production models. Oops. Had again:) It's still a nice guitar, I'd guess no later than mid '60s so it has a nice tone. good accoustic to plug in for a novice. Like me.
- Don Knight - 2009-04-11
I too have one of these I bought 20 years ago in a pawn shop. It is one of my favourites. The pick up is better than any acoustic pick up model acoustic I have ever played. The solid top around the sound hole eventually broke away from heavy strumming. I had it rebuilt and still play it almost every day. I think I paid $125 Canadian and would never sell her as I could never replace that sound.
- SI Picker - 2009-08-19
Shedding some light on production dates, these were unquestionably available to the general public at least from 1962, possibly (probably) earlier considering the folk boom and the resemblance to Martin's 00-18E of 1959. My wife used to have one which, when it finally self-destructed after a basement flood in her folks' house, I gutted for parts; pot codes date from June 1966 and the original owner was playing this guitar when we all met in summer '68, so there is no doubt that it was in regular production well before the 1971 date given. Electric tone was so-so at best - in all fairness, however, no better or worse than some contemporary Gibson J-160's - but it was great-sounding acoustically; in its day this one could lay down a rhythm line that would cut through a New Christy Minstrels-size group with no problem, then transition smoothly to fingerstyle behind a solo voice. It was, unfortunately, seriously underbuilt, which is why not too many of them survived - the sides in particular were, quite literally, paper-thin and prone to cracking if you even looked at them the wrong way. Of all the instruments we have owned over the years (60+ and counting) this was far and away my wife's favorite, and even though I replaced it with a Martin 000-16RGT a few Christmases ago she still speaks fondly of her old Harmony; if I ever found an original in decent shape (or the "new" Harmony decided to produce a reissue) I'd grab it in a second.
- Aceman - 2011-01-14
I still have my H55 which I purchased in 1969, and am still playing it to this day.
The pick guard did fall off some years ago. I saved it but never did have it put back on.
Even after all these years, it still has a great sound and plays very well.
- Carl Croce - 2011-02-20
I own the H-55 pictured on the bottom line of photos and the last one on the top line. I guess Francois got those photos from the Auction. The guitar came to me with a beautiful crack free body and a dent free neck and headstock. It's all original with plated Waverly tuners and DeArmond pickup. The top has a lot of character with crazing in the finish radiating down from the bridge. Unfortunately the guitar arrived with a loose and almost hand detachable neck, which is currently being remedied by my good friend Jim Millinchuk in his shop in New Hampshire. When I get her back I'll let you all know how she sounds. What I can tell you is that I also own an H-655, the younger brother of the H-55, which is currently in perfect condition and plays like butter. Unplugged it sounds loud, woody, and bluesy. Plugged in the DeArmond single coil pickup rocks the house and does everything I want it to do. I can make it sound like the acoustic version but real loud, or I can add all kinds of effects you wouldn’t expect to hear from a grand concert flat top. These are great stage guitars.
- jerry - 2011-03-25
i have a h55 acoustic / eletric and it doesn't have pinnless bridge . the one i have has pins. is this normal or has the bridge been changed / thank you
- Bill - 2016-04-03
I have a h55 but the pick guard was glued does not have any screws or screw holes. Did they come with and without screws?
- Mark D - 2016-09-07
I have an old Harmony Sovereign H55, late 50's-early 60's electric/Acoustic (early model with P13 variation pickup) I got awhile back. Top was in tough shape with cracks and a neck block that had come loose. I sent to a friend in California and he stabilized/repaired the cracks and re-glued some loose bracing and added a lateral neck block brace and did a neck reset. It still has some belly in the top in the under fingerboard mounted P13 pickup area, as they eliminated the top brace to make room for the pickup under the top as well as sound hole lowered some on this model. It sounds amazing, but i may still add some braces to get some more of the belly out of the top as it bothers me..lol, and action of course is higher at the high frets. it also got a neck re-set. The tone/volume is truly awesome...acoustic or electric....I love My H55 !!! My new go to acoustic
- John - 2017-06-17
I bought my H55 from a buddy in 1974 for $40. He had just bought a Gibson SG and didn't want the Harmony now that he had a real electric. I was pleased to take it off his hands. I played it for years but then life took over and it got put away, moved from house to house, improperly stored, etc. Pulled it out this year and the pickguard had fallen off and the action was really high, and the belly was a bit concave. Took it in and had the neck reset, the pickguard put back on, and a few other things done. It plays beautifully now. I'm going to start playing it regularly again. It's a great machine and it deserves to be heard.