H1215 - Archtone|
Acoustic archtop - Sunburst
Production year(s) : 1944-1971 (other years possible, not verified)
One of the most popular archtop models. All birch construction (solid woods). Top grained to ressemble spruce, faux-flame on sides and back. Double faux-bindings lines on body edge, then triple line from about 1958. New model number H6415 in 1972. H1213 and H1214 are similar with different finishes.
167 images in database
mouse over image for file name - click to enlarge
|All solid woods|
|Body depth||3"1/4||81 mm|
|Neck at nut||1"3/4||44.8 mm|
|Neck at 12th||2"1/4||56.6 mm|
Related to this model
55 comments | Add your comment !
- John Provich - 2006-12-11
My Harmony Model H1215 Arch Top/Back is #677 and has the date 5-65 (plus something I cannot distinguish to the right of the date numbers) stamped in it. It is playable, but the neck stock is beginning to separate from the body at the back.
It is amazing that so much original paint decorating technique was executed in the manufacturing process to give this model H1215 it's faux (more expensive) wood appearance.
Labor must have been a lot cheaper than wood when this guitar was manufactured, or Harmony had some very fast decorators. All-in-all my guitar is an interesting piece of Americana and American .
If my guitar was manufactured in 1965, was anyone of that era really fooled by the faux wood decorating? Did that technique in itself give the guitar a tawdry look and accelerate the demise of Harmony guitars?
- Mike Dill - 2007-02-04
I own one of these, a 1960 model, when I bought it, it had been refinished with goopy red Minwax, and had Gibson Klusion Deluxe tuners. I refinished it in black , built a pickgaurd, used an old bigsby aluminum bridge on it, and put an old Kay pickup on it. I've played it for an number of years here and there, it's a great blues guitar.
- Samantha Bee - 2007-03-03
Is it possible for the guitar to be stamped with one model but look like another? The serial number on mine is 8523 H1213 but it looks identical to one of the H1215s that there's a photo of on here. Mine's black except in a circle around the f-hole area with the wood finish and three white bands that circle the body.
I'm not exactly sure of the date but I know it's a late 60s model because that's when my grandparents bought it for my uncle.
- François - webmaster - 2007-03-06
Yes Samantha, it's possible to have a model stamped with another model number. I can even say it's not rare between analog models. The H1215 and H1213 guitars are the same model except finish (color), so they mixed some parts at the factory...
- fiddleguy - 2007-03-23
I just got one of these, model 0029H1215. It might say 55, but I'm not sure. It's in good condition, except for the bracing separating from the top, looks like all original equip.
The interesting thing is the headstock. It has the atom/note logo, characteristic of the Stratotones. Also the Harmony font is similar to the Stratotones (i.e. no extended curve from the H). But the headstock shape is from the 1215, the smooth curve, with rounded shoulders. Anyone ever seen anything like this?
- Joseph Towns - 2007-05-07
My Harmony Model H1215 is stamped 5128H1215 I know the the letter and the last 4 digits are the model number ,but what are the first 4 numbers,is this the number manufactuered.? also it is stamped F-66AP,I know the F-66 is the year,but what is the AP,just want to find out all I can,thanks and thanks for the site.
- Ben - 2007-06-17
ohh love this site. I just found out what model i had and everything because of this. Its a shame mine is pretty much unplayable :( I got fret buzz just about everywhere and the nut where it meets the second string doesnt hold the string in anymore :( Gonna get it fixed up eventually if I can though and i'll finally beable to hear what it sounded like :) It was passed down to me from my mom.
- Redhouse - 2007-06-20
Can anyone tell me what year they stamped "Steel Reinforced Neck" with "Made in the USA" directly under it in white on the headstocks?
- spudsongs - 2007-07-01
Well I am so glad to have found your excellent website Francois! Now I know that I have a model H1215 that was built in 1964, the year the fab four landed in the USA. Inside it says F-64, does that mean February or is this just a year ID? What are the four numbers before the model number? If it's the production number it would mean that I have the 7425th unit made! Ha! It looks very nearly like the last photos on your page. Now i can order the correct pickguard replica! BTW, had our local luthier reset the bridge and end and string this baby with D'Addario XP lights and by gosh, it rivals my Guild D4 for its loud sweet open sound! This is one very cool guitar, and I am darned glad I went ahead and bought it for 60 bucks! The faux spruce stiations and now yellowing painted binding just add to the character of this wonderful piece of Americana from my youth!
- Harmonee - 2007-09-08
Just got one similar to one listed in the pics, has a pin stripe around the edges on the top, no name on the pickgaurd.
But it came with the book, which is dated 1937. with a picture of the exact model on the front, making me believe this is a 1937 harmony H1215
- Lori - 2007-10-03
Love this site!!!
I have a model H1215 its my dad's guitar
but ive been playing wit it since i was a little girl :) i take better care of it too than he did... but im confused it was made in 1964?
- Jason - 2007-10-10
Very cool site. I got my 1957 H1215 for free when I purchased a 4runner 2 years ago. It had some guitars in the back and I ask if they were part of the deal, well they weren't, but 3 weeks later the woman I purchased the truck from called me up and said that she had a guitar for me. Well she sure did! What a cool guitar. I usually play my Breedlove, which is the greatest guitar I have ever played & one to check out if you get a chance, but I love to pick up this Harmony and disappear into the past. It just has a one-off sound to it that keeps me wanting more.
- llibra52 - 2008-02-29
I have a harmony guitar stamped f45 4143h1215 and have no dating info. can anyone help. this site is awesome. Thanks even if you can't help. it was great reading about the other guitars.
- singtao - 2008-04-02
My buddie drops by this evening with a guitar that was left in an apartment that he manages. It's an H1215 from F-58.(first half or fall) 50 or 49 1/2 years old. Previous owner put a set of sealed grovers on it and removed the pickguard. It's been played tons, lots of wear on the neck and a heafty crack in the top running about 3 inches from bass side F hole to head. Action sucks but it's solid. I may manufacture a bridge that'll let me bring it down some, or just raise the nut and open tune for slide.
I have an es 125 from 62. This guitar doesn't compare, but I'll try and keep it making music. My 16 year old saw it and headed to my bench to find a pick-up to intsall. He's thinking an old filtertron or p-90. Anybody had any luck with pups in these? The bracing might be a problem. I'll take any advice. Gnome sang?
- Pmb - 2008-04-09
My Harmony has 843H1215 on the inside of the guitar and 843H125?? on the back. The back worped and fell off years ago.
Could anyone explain why there would have been differant numbers on the guitar.
- hajc - 2008-04-19
Very good site to find. Have 49 H1215 ARCHTONE. Good shape for 59 year old guitar. Action high by good finger pickin.
- Mike H. - 2008-04-29
I just recieved an H1215 from my mother-in-law. She played it when she was a teenager. She is 78 now! It is marked F46 in the sound hole. So I'm thinking it is a 1946 model. The bridge was in 5 pieces when she gave it to me. I have repaired the bridge, cleaned it up and put strings on it. It playes pretty well. It has 2 metal shems under the nut to avoid fret buzz. two of the tuners' plastic knobs broke off when I was tuning it. The body is in good condition and the neck is pretty streight. Quite a gift. Mike H.
- Gitarzan - 2008-05-05
I have just purchased #242XH1215, with a manufacture date of F44, or the fall of 1944. I will send pictures to whoever responds. Jim N - Winnipeg, Canada
- Nate - 2008-10-03
I have a H1215 F47 playable
- Jeff - 2008-10-08
I have a 406H1215 Harmony guitar which my grandfather gave me in the mid seventies. I have no idea what year it is but it was the first guitar I ever owned. Though I have since bought another guitar I recently began playing my Harmony again and had a flood of memories return. Granddaddy went to be with the Lord on my 19th birthday in 1983 but I will always be grateful for this wonderful gift which continues to provide joy and music.
- Vambo Vic - 2008-10-27
First, I'm so happy to find your website-fantastic!
I worked in a record store in the early 70's and found this guitar in the stock room with no strings and a loose pick guard.I convinced the owner it was no good and bought it for $10.00.I'm confused with the stamp inside ,it reads 1216H6415-it has the H64
headstock and painted white bindings.This guitar has been by my side ever since-"my couch guitar".It really sings and is great for slide-who would have known!
- Cameron Booth - 2009-02-02
I am a garbage man by trade.I live in northern manitoba Canada, plus I am a drummer in a band ,and I find all kinds of things old that people just throw away
today I found a 1945 harmony archtop with the stamps inside 4231h1215 f-45 it is in all original condition, well played, a couple of cracks in it.missing pick guard.but I think it is restorable.
- UNCLE REMUS - 2009-03-06
Found my harmoney at an estate sale it had two strings the nuts were frozen the metal parts were rusted and the paint finish was flaking off 90% of the body.I sanded the paint off found out it has a solid wood body and top with a popler neck, I finished it with four coats of clear finish, added new nuts, the bridge tale was cleaned up and looked new,it looks great. It sounds great also but it buzzes from the sixth fret down.I can still get a lot of music out of him,did i mention that he is around fifty yrs old.But just like my H1215 I'm not as good as i use to be, but I'm as good as i can be right now.Cost of buying it $3 cost of fixing it $80. Cost of playing it priceless.
- John Taglieri - 2009-04-10
I jsut got my Harmony H1215. Found it in a pawn shop in Utica, NY. I picked it up for $75. It's from 1965 and is in great shape. It needs tuner bushings, a pickguard, and a new bridge base, but otherwise, it's in great shape. No cracks, no bad dings...nothing! It's in top shape and looks great! I cant wait to get the new parts on her and some new strings so I can put her through her paces and see what she really sounds like!
- Ryan - 2009-05-18
I actually got one of these babies from my uncle a few years back and learned on it. It wasn't in the best of shape but it was in good enough shape to play and learn on. I just got done restoring it after stripping the paint and everything off, staining it with a red mahogany, putting a bone nut in, redoing the bridge, chroming the bridge tail, putting in new kluson tuners, a new pick guard, and sealing it with gun stock oil. I have to say, it's absolutely gorgeous now and with the lower action it has become one of the best sounding guitars I've ever heard. Nothing better then giving an new life to something that brought you so much joy. I have no idea on the year however because it has no year stamp inside. All it has is 6169H1215.
- WHAT YOU SAY - 2009-07-09
AAAA LA MALDRE YO TENGO UNA IGUUUUUUUAAAALITAAAAAAA
- JWright - 2009-07-16
I bought one of these at a flea market 18 years ago for 10 bucks. The top was cracked and the strings were 2 inches from the fretboard. But with a few repairs it plays and sounds great. I just made a cool tone discovery with it the other day. I had been using modern bronze acoustic strings on it and it sounded thuddy, so I switched to lighter electric strings and now it sounds more alive than ever!
- gwenniecat - 2009-07-22
I had one of these. A 50's era one. It played so well. One day parents gave it away. Thirty plus years later, I'm still pissed. Thanks to this website, now I know what I have and will start looking for it. What a great site!
- Justin Fan - 2009-09-03
I have a Fender acoutic (Made in China)and today I now own Harmony MADE IN THE U.S.A.) 5377H1215, no date stamp, I wish I knew what year it was made. I've been working on teaching myself to play but haven't really practiced enough. So I am no guitar expert. I probably paid too much - $155.00 - he knocked off $20.00. It looked in very good shape and neck is on good and there is some wear on a little of the fretboard. There is small round mother of pearl fret markers and Steel Reinforced Neck made in the U.S.A. on the peice above the neck. It has a great sound, I really like it. It is a present for my husband. Well learn to play together now.
- Tim Boyle - 2009-09-05
Awesome site, thanks for putting it together.
I have a '62 H1215 (1430H1215) that I really love. I used to have it set up as an open tuning and played it with a bottleneck glass slide, but I got the idea to set it up with classical strings and it's the coolest! The reduced tension solves a few issues and it has a very mellow tone. Thanks for the info!
- Colin - Harmony collector - UK - 2009-09-26
I recently got a '49 1215 Archtone that's just as it came from the factory. I couldn't believe it - no dust inside, no dings, absolutely no fret or fingerboard wear, low action, a solid neck join and it's never had any polish on it. It's immaculate. I have owned it for just 6 months and probably played it more than all it's previous life. Oh! and it sounds pretty good too. It should be in a museum.
- Ryan Owad - 2009-10-20
I have one i obtained from a friend. It has the same date number as the first comment S-65, and is #556. It was did not have a pickup in it, but i put a single coil in it, remade a nut, and cleaned it up. It sounds good for blues, although i guess i ruined the originality of it.
- Chris Freeman - 2010-01-14
Cameron Booth gave me the 1945 H1215 that he found. I have a test setup happening and the action is amazing. With new strings and a temporary nut it is really quite playable. I just recorded it and it has a great bluesy sound. Perfect for the song I was doing. Thanks for the site, really helpful, and thanks again Cam!
- Brian - 2010-01-16
Mine says 3242H1215 with a stamp near it that says 65 & Made in U.S.A. My dad bought it when he was a teenager and he still had it when my two older brothers and I were growing up and we put it through hell. I had to change the tuning pegs and the neck is separating from the body but it sounds great. I'd like to go back and find the original tuning pegs if I can, then try to get the body fixed.
- C'ville Picker - 2010-05-02
I have one of these dated 1947, and it has real binding--not painted. My original Harmony--long gone--was the same model from the 60's with painted binding. Not much sound, but still my favorite neck in the world.
- Serge - 2010-05-04
I recently bought a 1963 in excellent conditions. The only thing missing is the pick guard. I am searching for one... It plays great, I really love the nice rich sound of the arch top !
- Noel - 2010-09-17
Sometimes, you don't know what you've got until it's gone, and you get it back.
My dad bought me a Harmony 1215 (F63) back when it was new and I just couldn't (wouldn't) learn to play it. It had these thick stiff wound strings on it that cut my fingers and I didn't stick with it. Thank God the guitar never ended up in my folk's attic. Something like thirty years later I eventually gave it to my nephew who didn't learn to play it either. Then it came back to me, still in its original canvas gig bag.
It looked solid but still had those horrible strings on it and had lost its pick guard. There are two guys at the music store where my son was taking drum lessons that have over ninety years of guitar playing between them, and week after week I sat there looking at racks of guitars and listening to them play. So, I had my now 46 year-old Harmony 1215 completely cleaned, the action was lowered (how the neck stayed straight and securely attached is still a mystery), it was restrung and they replaced the pick guard (look on eBay for reproductions).
I raced home with a beginner's guitar chord book and got started ... and, it cracked at the left-side f-hole. Sigh.
The cracks are repaired if still visible, and when anyone plays it who knows what he's doing the guitar sounds wonderfully soulfull or jazzy. I bought a Cord Earth 200 to learn on and eventually a Memphis Les Paul that I put Seymour Duncan 59 Hmbuckers in and rewired, just to horse around with my son with (Wipeout, anyone?).
But, I just can't leave the 1215 alone. I hope to play blues and western swing on it someday. It's old, beat-up, scratched, cracked, and ... wonderful. If I could only keep one guitar, it would be this one.
- makepeace - 2010-12-19
great website, very cool guitar. bought one a couple of months ago from the US and got it transported to me in South Africa. I see this page says no questions, but I'll just do the human thing and break the rules like everyone else has, hope its not too much of a problem ;).
What material are the fret position inlays? Plastic/abalone? I want to refinish, but I'm scared that if I use paint stripper it will eat the fret markers.
- phil - 2010-12-28
my is phil,im from canada,came across this guitar that my dad had probably bought from a auction,model h1215 #399 5-62 and some kind of symbol beside that which i cant really make out.this guitar needs some tlc for sure but pretty cool
- Noel - 2010-12-29
I want to add a couple of comments to my earlier post. The strings we put on my 1215 are bronze flats; very warm and jazzy, and they elimminate the sometimes harshly bright overtones of other strings. Second and most important, I just learned that accoustic archtop jazz guitars use action height to control volume; the higher the action, the louder the guitar. In other words, these were made with high actions to better project the sound. I raised my action back up to factory height and wow, much fuller sound, still very warm, and the bronze strings are just as easy to play as when the action was low down.
- Open D - 2011-01-22
I received my first guitar from my Grand Father in 1993. It was a very solid, yet slightly bent, Harmony F-cut Guitar, stamped 1902 H1215 GLC. It was one of the guitars he played as a life long musician. He always played the old Harmony and Gibson Guitars because he thought they sounded the best. I know Harmony was good about stamping the year inside, so I "ASS-U-ME" it's from 1902, making it a pre Sears & Roebuck model. Being pre Sears I'm also "ASS-U-MEing" it was hand made and the GLC are the intitials of the maker. The logo is different than the above photos. It's the old logo with solid letters, not broken from the stencil. I've been looking for information on this guitar for years, so if anyone knows what this unusal stamp really means, please post. There are a few scratches, cracks, dings, slightly bent neck and a missing pick guard. The intonation is amazingly correct, with incredible harmonics and vivrantly rich sound. Over the years I've learned to prefer finger picking, with a wine bottle neck slide. I keep it in a low open D cord to ease the tension on the neck and accomidate the slide style picking. It's a real gem that makes even the most serious gutar player drool. To me it's priceless, along with the smile my Grand Pappy gets from hearing me play it! I've traveled and played with it extensivly and it still is as solid as the first day I received it. Of all my guitars it's by far my favorite!!!
- firstname.lastname@example.org - 2011-07-28
Por lo que veo, primer comentario en español. Conseguí una h1215 en una tienda de reparación de instrumentos y la compre por unos 60$ americanos, osea, un regalo. Según la habían mandado a reparar y nunca la reclamaron. Le faltaban algunas piezas del clavijero y el cordal por lo que le puse unas partes que tenía en la casa, suena sencillamente fenomenal, es irreal pensar en tener un instrumento de casi 50 años y no me costó casi nada, es casi el precio de unos 5 almuerzos en Mc donalds para que se hagan una idea, osea un regalo. LARGA VIDA AL ROCK&ROLL.
(I DONT SPEAK ENGLISH, BUT I'LL TRY TO TRANSLATE)
First spanish post.
i found an h1215 in a guitar - repair shop and i buy it for 60 american $, an gift. The owner told me the guitar was in the store for repair but never reclaimed it. It have lost some headstock parts and the tailpiece and i repaired it with some parts in my house. The sound is simply awesome, is unreal to play an 50 year old instrument and the price was a gift, almost the price of 5 lunchs on mc donalds, an real real gift. LONG LIVE TO THE ROCK & ROLL!!!
- Shawn - 2012-02-29
I have one of these guitars. Obtained it "gently used" in 1963 when my brother and I were in college at the University of Houston. I have used and loved this guitar all these years. the serial number is 1819H1215 and it has a date of 5-61, followed by H8. I don't know what the H8 stands for, but will keep researching. I love my guitar, it holds so many sweet memories for me. Now I just proudly display it in the music room in my home.
- old mark - 2012-03-05
Just got my " new" Harmony H1215 Archtone from California today 3-5-12. It's a single stripe stamped F57, SN is 4837. it is very solid, and all there, but has 2 cracks in the top that I will glue shortly. It has a beautiful finish, and I have no doubt it will be a good player when I'm finished getting it in shape again. It looks like it was in a cellar for a few decades, but the neck is pretty straight and still tight to the body.
Can't wait to play it.
This is my second Harmony archtop, and it my newest, 10 years older than me.
- old mark - 2012-03-18
THe above guitar turned out very nice- and it is actually 10 years YOUNGER than me. I have several pics of it I will put on the discussion board.
- DJ - 2012-03-31
I am the original owner of my H1215. I remember in seventh grade buying it for $39.95 back in 1967. It still sounds fine and have started to replay it again and again. Took two years of guitar lessons on it as a child. Always had a strong vibrant ring to it and has seen a few scratches over the years. Would not part with it no matter what. Have had many other guitars but still have my original! Keep 'em playing...
- Sean - 2012-05-13
I've got one of these! I've always wondered exactly what model it was, and this site has ended my search. I got mine off of ebay a few years ago. It was kind of a risky buy; I don't remember seeing to many photos of it or any video or audio samples, but I got it all the same. It came with Nylon strings which were wound up so tight that the tuning heads wouldn't budge. I was bummed, thinking I paid for a junk guitar, so I took it to the shop to get some new tuning heads, and I was told that the strings were supposed to be steel! So I got some Elixirs, put them on, and I've been loving it it ever since. It makes all the best sounds at all the right times. It's got a super warm tone, and a wonderful smell. I love my harmony.
- hawk - 2012-08-25
I remember giving my dad a guitar for his birthday that was wrapped in a pillow case. Dad knew my son was learning to play and asked him if he wanted his old one. It looks like it was made in 5/63, H1215. My son is so proud to have it cos it is papa's. It sounds beautiful. Very special treasure from a very special person.
- Joe Lo - 2013-06-12
I was given a 3623 H1215 F-66. It was my grandfather's. He passed away over 25 years ago. It's in great condition. He used to play old Italian songs on it when we were kids. :)
- crank! - 2013-07-10
I've read that it was common to find mis-stamps on Harmony guitars, so this might be the case. I have a guitar that has the paint and headstock graphics of a 1215 but is stamped 954. It's from '62. Is it possible it's a mispainted Broadway or do I most likely have a mis-stamped Archtone?
- Mitch- Chicago - 2013-12-12
Mine is S -1961! Plays like a beauty, someone took great care of it before me. One small crack in the back but doesn't affect the sound quality at all. Must have been made in those couple of years when they still used the old Harmony logo and also started stamping "steel reinforced neck" on the headstock. The sound is great, action is perfect, heel is tight. I can capo at 7th fret and still get accurate frequencies and hit great chords with hardly any stress on the fingers. A beautiful guitar then, and a beautiful guitar now! She was made in Chicago 50 years ago, and now she has a very happy home there once again.
- John - 2014-01-04
I found a H1215 model in a empty storage locker of an apartment building I lived in back in 1989. It is missing its bridge and looks like it spent too many years in a damp location and is beyond playable. but It looks good on the wall.
- Treehugger - 2014-01-28
Just bought a 1949 H1215 from the original owner. Near mint condition with original case for $100 on local Craigslist. Been sitting in a closet for decades, but everything is straight and almost no wear on the body or frets. Gonna throw new strings on it today. Heckuva deal.
- tyler - 2014-03-16
my journey and love of archtops began when i found a 1936 m5 recording king it was a beautiful guitar and the sound was amazing then for my birthday my wife found me a harmony archtop h1215 its a 64 i love playing it its a good conversation starter i plan on handing it down to my son when he gets older unless my daughter is more into playing
- Seth - 2014-07-21
I recently purchased a '54 model for $325 outside of nashville and it's amazing. Both of the E strings buzz when you play them open, but have killer intonation up the neck. i found some evidence of refretting, but otherwise looks to be all original (came with original case and leather strap). I'm just blown away how fast this plays. I pit against my brand new The Loar LH300vs and though the tone is night and day, the playability is remarkably similar. Obviously someones been taking good care of this baby for the last 60 years because hot damn, haven't spotted any major issues yet.