H950 - Monterey Leader|
Acoustic archtop - Redburst, faux flame
Production year(s) : 1938-1972 (other years possible, not verified)
One of the most popular archtop of the sixties - more than 30 years of production time. Early models had a lower fretboard and bridge, and painted white bindings. They have a steel reinforced neck but never had an adjustable trussrod.
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Related to this model
44 comments | Add your comment !
- Mumperino - 2006-03-07
I bought a 63 H950 about a year ago and have been playing it plenty. It is in very good shape and could be played easily fingerstyle but i chose to set it up for slide playing and i have to say that i prefer it to most of my other guitars for that kind of playing. I know that it is not a top of the line model, but it has a very cool old time dry woody sound that i find appealing, plus they look cool!
- abark023 - 2006-09-01
I recently inherited a Harmony guitar Monterey model from my father. Thteguitar sounds great but the action is too high. The serial number is:
5067H950, and I would like to know more about when it was made etc. It has no pick guard and does not show evidence of ever having one. From the photos on your Website, I estimate the guitar to be made about 1950 give or take some years. Could you please assist me? Thanks
- Johnny Fields of Rattlesnake Inn - 2006-09-03
what a great sounding guitar!, I use it for slide guitar and plan to find a suitable pickup for it so i can use it for live performances, this guitar was in my family for many years, its been to Ireland and back,and was given to me a year ago. It has such a beautiful full tone and original sound.
- firstname.lastname@example.org - 2006-12-10
I just purchased my H950 and the back is loose. I am in the process of fixing it. It is certainly a sharp looking collectors item.
the number inside of it is 3323H950. Is the 3323 the number that represents that it was the 3,323rd Monterey made that year?
- hecknaw/randall smith - 2007-07-08
bought a 55/60's model H950 , being from 1955 myself it was the only guitar that could take me back to my youth. having taken my grandfather's H950 out from under his bed and framin' on it when i'd go to visit.having found the right one i can say it's everything i expected and more.i know that there are serious collectors out there who could't give two hoots about Harmony and that's OK !! they are not for everyone. only those who enjoy a fine looking guitar,good sounding guitar and a guitar that is built well should consider owning one!this guitar is 50yrs young and will no dout (if taken care of!]be around when i'm gone. if giv'n the chance to get a nice one take it. if you have the ability to restore do it !!!
- - 2007-08-21
I got a Monterey model from my father who was playing it in the late fifties - early sixties. From this site I was able to determined the prodution early to the Fall (or first Quarter) of 1957. Was this model produced with a reinforced neck has per some of the pictures I saw on your site? Mine doesn't have the inscription on the from or the neck. Was these 2 models available for this guitar or was it only available on later models?
I'm about to have it rstored I looked forward to playing it again in the near futur.
Thanks for your help,
- musician-fishin - 2007-08-24
I won an ebay auction F-44 H950 as an investment ! Now that I've had this guitar for a week or so, I can say that I'll never sell it. I now know what is meant by that "woody sound". It sounds so nice. Not so loud, but very mellow and balanced...."woody" describes it best. I'll bet the age contributes to the sound too.
I never had an arch top acoustic. I do have an H39 which is quite "thin" sounding unless plugged in and then sounds great. So, I'm very happy that I found such a great guitar as this H950, and would highly recommend it to anyone.
- Marquis - 2007-10-25
I've got the tenor version (3891H950) & it sounds wonderful! I won it on ebay from a guy who said it hung on the wall of a bar for many years. All that booze must've made good climate for the wood cause it rings loud!
- The Rapscallion - 2008-01-23
I recently purchased a H950 in a clothing resale shop looking pretty as the day She was born. I couldn't believe what I was looking at, especially where I found Her. When the clerk told me it was mine for $20.00 I almost wet myself. There is not a mark on this instrument save for the fingerprint stains. It must have sat in someone's closet for years and years. The date stamp inside was 445H950, so I'm assuming She was made in April of 1945, according to the info i received from the Harmony Website. This arch-top, arch-back guitar is the coolest instrument in my collection, and will forever stay in my family's possession.
- LeRoy Valleau - 2008-08-24
I just found a Harmony Monterey H950 In a dumpster. It look like it was in bad shape, But all the parts were there. I worked on this guitar for two months cleaning it and now it looks like almost new. The body has no nicks at all and there is hardly any wear on the neck or frets, nothing is broken, and the tuners work well after polishing them and getting some rust off. I found out that this guitar was made feb. 2, 1958, this guitar plays and sounds really good. I'm real lucky to have found it or should I say the guitar is lucky to have found me.
- BadMojo - 2009-01-03
I got my '64 H950 as a Christmas present from a very good friend. Apparently his mother bought it brand new and only played it once back in back in the day. It has been in the case since. It came with the original case and set of LaBella Silk&Steel strings. It is the best present I've ever gotten!
- maddmatt - 2009-01-27
I have a H950 that my Dad bought around 1955. I can't find the stamp for the exact year but I did see FPV stamped inside. Not sure what that means. The guitar used to sound great until all of the kids started banging it around. Now it's in pretty rough condition and I don't know if it's worth fixing. Could be around $500 to have it fixed.
- SuburbanJake - 2009-09-12
Man let me be the next to say this is a bad ass guitar! Mines a 1956 Faux red and still kickin it. Its been to Vietnam for years and aint got a scratch on it. It was sitting for 32 years in a case in some dresser thing and it STILL was in tune with no bowed neck or anything. Definitely gonna be played until it can't take anymore. Then, it's gonna be put in a glass case on display!
- Jeff Kirk - 2009-09-22
I just found one at a junk sale in Toronto. Dated F-48.
It needed some love.
I replaced the buttons on the tuning heads, filed a few frets, a little wood glue here and there, now it plays and sounds great.
Sweet earthy tone. If you find one with a straight neck, pick it up.
- email@example.com - 2009-11-05
I have just inherited my fathers H950 which he bought in used 1954 for $15 dollars. What a sound. It is all original and was originally set up as a slide guitar so the edge of the fret board is a sharp as the day it came out of the factory.
- Jay - 2009-11-11
Wow, I must say I really like my Monterey! I bought it used from a local store and it just has a great feel to it!
- derekmscott - 2010-01-12
this guitar is a very good guitar for me because i am only a beginner. it has a nice neck and body style for me and the neck is just the right size. it is a real good guitar.
- http://mygrimreaper.blogspot.com/ - 2010-05-01
I just bought a 69 or 70 monterey in red and black. the guitar was at a yard sale i bought it for $5.00. the neck had been stepped on at the base and split the side open in 2 places. neck block broke, fretboard broke, back split and top peeled open. over all the guitar looks to be in new condition other tan the damake. no fret wear and no body scratches. took me about 5 hours total to fix it completely. great little guitar looks incredible. again not a very expensive guitar but try and buy a arch top and back guitar that sounds this good for under $2000.00. not going to happen.
- Kendob - 2010-08-15
Just picked up a possible monterrey with the serial # 9496h950 and then there is a possible letter or number after it but it is blacked over with the same color as the stamp. The thing that makes me confused about this guitar is the headstock is not a monterrey headstock. It looks like the regular harmony headstock.
- brandinicole17 - 2010-12-26
I have a 1940 H950. Its not in perfect condition but its been in my family years and i love it. it sounds wonderful! My Grandfather bought in a paw shop when he was 17 for $25.00 and never let go of it until he got really bad arthritis and could no longer play, he then gave it to me. I cherish this guitar more than anything else i own, but I need to sell it for a new running car. I don't know what to do about selling it. Where to go, what to ask for, etc.
- T_O_A_D - 2012-02-24
I have a 4780H950 It belongs to my Grandfather, He passed away in a car wreck in 1954. No one knows for sure when he purchased it. My Dad and Aunt were kids then. And Grandma has long passed as well.
I had a broken Bridge, and the lower inside strut for the top had come unglued.
I manged with great care and determination to get it back up and glued in its original place without disassembling the body. My best guess is it was purchased after the war. Any information would be appreciated. Now that it works, I'm going to try and learn how to play it.
Nice site thanks for hosting it.
- Sandy of Lake Orion, MI - 2012-03-29
Weeeee-doggie! My 66 year old boyfriend just told me last night about a guitar he had in his basement cubbie hole that he got when he was in Jr. High. I couldn't get down those steps quick enough; the excitment of opening up that old guitar case!!! A 1956 Harmony Monterey in mint condition, minus rusted strings, that I swear were just about in tune. Being a guitar player, I can't wait until we get some new strings and get it conditioned. Loved reading all your comments below.
- Nick O' - 2012-04-17
Snagged an H950 on eBay and I love it. The date stamp has disappeared over the years but we're placing it somewhere after 1939 but before 1944 based on the bindings, logo style etc. It's virtually all original including tailpiece and pickguard. The seller replaced the bridge and endpin very tastefully but for a 70 year old guitar it's in remarkably good nick, and plays like a dream. I'm a player not a collector so tone was more important than appearance to me, but I'm sure any collector would be very excited by this guitar too.
- Roxxie Jean - 2012-05-24
I snagged a 950 Tenor Guitar at a thrift shop for $10. I had no idea what a tenor guitar was until I found her... She has a stamp inside F hole: 7435H950 no S or F. She has a few cracks and needs some TLC, but she is AWESOME!
- mangusta - 2012-09-15
It makes sense to me that the first two numbers of the serial # is the year of manufacture, the third the month, the 4th is either the production # or day of the month,or the last two could be the production # . We inherited one #6627H950, which we know was purchased new in summer of 1966, been in the case since buyer passed in 1976.
- stratomaster96 - 2013-05-12
I've got a '65 that looks almost mint. Ended up taking the pickguard off because it would rattle. On this one I can actually get the action very low, but I prefer it higher for better tone. With Elixir 80/20 12s this baby sings the blues!
- gen - 2013-05-24
just found out someone gave me a 1954 as my first guitar. It's destroyed... neck's almost ripped off, can't tune it. But hey it was my first guitar, 8 guitars and 6 basses later, i still own it. but i've got my eyes on a Godin 5th avenue to replace it. seems like the perfect mix of great vintage archtop look and craftmanship at least they,ve got trussrods!
- Seaners - 2013-06-11
I found mine a few years ago at a local shop. An old friend of mine found it in the acoustic room and showed me. I bought it right away. It has just a few nics and dents but over all it is in great shape.I've always wanted an electric/acoustic arch top so I installed a P90 pick up into it and the guitar sounds amazing through my amp! Great stuff them Harmoney guitars.
- Steve - 2014-03-26
My dad brought us up to love music and we enjoyed hearing him play his Harmony Monterey that was set up for slide style playing. He passed it down to me and I've changed it back to play like a regular guitar because I can't play it the other way. What a rich sound it has. My dad bought the guitar used in 1942 from a friend for $10 dollars. I still have the original case and all the parts to set it up to play slide, as well as the original strap which was just a string.
- radicalsquare - 2015-07-18
Just recently got from ebay a beautifully preserved H950 in a case WITH a mint condition DeArmond "guitar mike" monkey bar pickup for just over $300 (people often ask more for just the pickup these days!). One pinky-fingernail-sized nick in the paint (probably from rubbing onto the cases' edge) and a few tiny edge nicks, no checking, only light scuffs. Upper tuners are stiff but the action is 3/32'' at the 12th fret with just one note on the 10th fret buzzing. I can refine the action even more by deepening the outer slots on the nut (the nut has a flatter profile than the curvature of the neck, making the outer strings higher up than hey need to be). Only the first 3 frets show any kind of wear. I'm not overwhelmed by the tone but it has a nice full sound, much better than a plywood Kay I had, and very easy to play for an acoustic. With the pickup it sounds very good through a tube amp though.
There seems to be confusion about dating these guitars. The first 3-4 numbers before the "H950" are not the month and year, they're some sort of serial description. The year is stamped in a small rectangle near the "H950" serial number. It's often hard to read, but mine says "F-58-E" above "Made in USA". "58" should be 1958, while "F" might mean Fall; no idea about the last Letter.
- Michael - 2016-02-02
Wow. Ive had one for 4 years and never guessed it was worth that much!
- Michael - 2016-02-02
Wow!, ive had one for 4 years and never guessed it was worth that much!!
- Kirk Bales - 2016-03-18
I found a beautiful red burst H950 that's a 1960 according to what I can find about the serial numbers. My uncle gave me one of these in the mid 60's as my first guitar, and always wanted to find another one. Has a great sound. Nexk heel was lifting, so local luthier put a screw in to lock it in and stabilize it. I replaced stock tuners with some Stewmac restoration tuners that are a perfect match, but work much better. Love having my old baby back!
- - 2016-07-22
i was given i badly water damaged H950 serial # 2211 build date S 57 only missing the pick guard. ive taken the top and neck off and started a planed full restoration.Sad to say i wont e able to reproduce this cheesy fau french rub sunburst i love it.The only two modification im making are installing a dual action truss rod and replacing the fret board with a salvaged Les Paul fret board.there is something about this mass produced cookie cutter f\b arch top.I guess those who play one of these old Montereys know they rock
- Muhammad Adriansyah - 2017-02-15
If u sell this guitar, can u please contact me for the price, Thank You
My Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Georgette Blackburn - 2017-08-13
I've got what we think is a 950, however the only stamp I can find inside is USM. Anyone have one with this.....
Email me email@example.com
- Rootes - 2018-02-04
I just purchased an H950 with Harmony on the headstock. The model number and F65 are on the inside. It is a four string tenor. I don’t see that in any of the pics above. But I have one. It’s amazing!
- Patrick - 2018-02-11
I bought this guitar last year from a thrift store in our little town, it came with an old blue alligator, case inside was this red faux flame F-65 H 950 Harmony Monterey Archtop guitar with a weird pickguard with 2 built in pickups with the Kent WC-54 and three knobs it also has a very small jack hole like a headphone jack for a Walkman and it had a huge broken hole beside the neck with a broken piece of wood screwed to the neck and it was a dirty, dusty thing, I paid 45.00 bucks for it . I took it to my friends place who just happens to have a great guitar store with his twin brother and they took it and took it apart and fixed everything and reset the neck and now it plays like it was supposed to back when it was made , I love it . Turns out the pickups are quite rare with the 2 volumes and tone control made by Kent for Archtop guitars only .
- Don Mcmahan - 2018-04-28
I recently acquired a F70 H950. its in really nice condition apart from the neck joint. You can slip a piece of paper into the gap at the base of the neck heel. a previous owner took the brass adjustment wheels out of the bridge to lower the action and put light gauge electric guitar strings on to lessen the tension on the neck...in spite of this it still sounds pretty good... I am looking forward to resetting the neck and getting some proper strings on it.
- Tim - 2019-01-21
I found my H950 - Monterey Leader Acoustic archtop at a Flea market over 20 years ago. The inside is stamped 12711195G.
Anyone have a clue as to the nature of the odd numbering on this H950?
- Tim - 2019-01-21
Apologies ... the tag requesting no questions didn't appear till after posting previous.
- Michael Guthrie - 2019-12-16
Another thrift store find. In the mid 1980’s, I found my “Monterey Leader” in a thrift store. The neck joint was broken, but I was stunned by the style of this arch-top and the beautiful, rich finish. I took off the neck and repaired the mortice and the tenon, and re-glued the back around the joint area. I still have this awesome guitar which is great for: blues, jazz, finger picking, and like any arch-top it’s great for those old country favorites. I think it’s a 1940-42 vintage but can’t find the date stamp, however it has all the details of that vintage. Put on a set of nickel wound strings for that authentic tone! Old Harmony guitars are made of “old growth” wood and although they were put together in haste, these guitars, when fixed up, are truly stunning. Plus, anyone who restores one is helping to preserve this “National Treasure” .
- Rex - 2020-01-29
I have a 1958 Harmony Monterey Leader! I was looking for an F hole archtop, and found a woman selling this locally near Vancouver, BC, Canada! This one was abused, and has a crack on the back, and a chip on the neck. But the sound is amazing, and the resolution is incredible. Truly one of my favorite guitars!
Thank you for this page, it helped me identify exactly the model and name.
- Tyler W. - 2020-02-03
Just recently got a 1945 Monterey arch top with the fire stripe sunburst and a solid wooden war era tail piece. There are cracks coming out of the fholes and the years have started to sing the archtop in where the floating bridge sits. The cracks have been poorly fixed by someone sticking wood struts up in the fholes with their fingers and clamping em to be glues id place. I love this sing so much and it sounds amazing but I’ve been playing it hard and I have to place the bridge back in place after a playing hard enough. Im almost scared to tune it all the way up standard cause i feel like it might just crush the whole top in. If there is anyone here knowledgeable on fixing these please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org