H1260 - Sovereign|
Acoustic flatop - Natural
Production year(s) : 1958-1971 (other years possible, not verified)
For years the H1260 was the flagship of the harmony brand. Large 'jumbo' size, 16"1/4 wide.
40 images in database
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|All solid woods|
|Body depth||4"3/8||110 mm|
|Neck at nut||1"3/4||44.8 mm|
|Neck at 12th||2"1/4||56 mm|
Related to this model
88 comments | Add your comment !
- D 48 Degrees - Ben in Australia plays his Sovereign H1260, recorded in 48 Degrees C.
- John Link modifies a H1260 - Check all his pages about the structural description, disassembly, and the modifications he plans for his H1260.
- rlspt - 2005-08-02
This is my favorite Harmony model. It seems to have the boomiest bass of any Harmony. I've had them with the Harmony brand, also Regal, Airline and Silvertone, in various configurations. If i were limited to choosing one Harmony to own, this would be it.
- nfodgr - 2005-11-10
The opening notes of Stairway to Heaven were recorded with a Harmony H1260 Sovereign...
- clayton peacock - 2006-01-14
I love this guitar !! i've owned it for about 11 or 12 years now ? and it has just sounded better and better the more i play it !!.
i believe it dates from around 62-65 ? and when i got it it was virtually mint. i've played and played it and never had any problems. lovely rich tones, strong bottom end and clear, sharp high end.
i play mostly a style like john fahey's mid 60's stuff and it's ideal for that....a fingerpickers dream.
- - 2006-08-04
Got a fine 1963 H1260 on ebay. It's in great original condition and doesn't need the neck reset you always read about. Huge bass response, bright and tight highs, excellent balance; fat and wide neck, just like an old J-45. This guitar has all the character of a fine solid wood vintage steelstring. And it's louder than my D-35. The serial number is the strangest part of this jumbo Sovereign, it says H7032 instead of H1260.... Does anyone know why??
- Jeff Irion - 2006-08-05
Mr.VanDemBelt, My sovereign has the model No.4515W7032 (no H). I purchased it new in 1969 or 1970 with the help of a neighbor who was in the Dallas Symphony. Its tone has only improved. I was told that it was made with excess inventory Fender jumbo bodies usually found on Guitars costing much more. I paid about $170.00. I have not been able to find anything more as to identification.
- - 2006-08-06
There is always a rumour about Harmony guitars with Gibson bodies... That's the first time I read the story with Fender bodies... I'm sure this is untrue. At this time Harmony made guitars for Fender, not the reverse. Fender was not an acoustic guitar maker. As you can check on this page, some H1260 were branded and sold by Fender (many H1260 are disguised with Regal, Silvertone, Holiday, Airline brands..).
For René's H1260, Harmony may have used a back prepared for one other brand, and already stamped H7032 (7032 is the model number of the Montgomery Ward same guitar, sold under the Airline brand). We saw this glitch in numbers on many other samples.
- Pine - 2006-11-15
In 1969 and 1970, a number of Harmony guitars were marketed by Fender, using both the Regal name as well as Fender's name. I had a Sovereign H-1270 12-string which had "Fender" written on the headstock, and a Fender-style floating bridge, obviously a Harmony product. Someone mentioned the date-stamp bearing the "country of origin" as being illegible on a Sovereign; Sovereigns and all other "real" Harmony's were built only in Chicago... Later, non-Chicago-built imports will say "SINCE 1892" on the label or on the headstock... Pine
- Boogie Bruce - 2006-12-07
I had the pleasure of owning the H1260 Harmony Sovereign Jumbo model guitar in 1964 and '65. Though in those days it was known as the "poor man's Martin", it's quality and sound deserved a much better reputation. It made a terrific blues guitar and I bought it for $40.00 at a music store in Van Nuys. CA. after having seen bluesmen Mance Lipscomb and Lightnin' Hopkins play them onstage or in photos. Later, I added a DeArmond-type pickup.
After I moved to San Francisco in '65, its neck was run over by a car after letting me off after a gig and the peg head broke off. I was never able to successfully re-attach it and finally gave it away to some kids. I've been looking for another one ever since but they're rarely seen in good condition; at least around the Central Coast of California.
- Larry Heagle - 2007-04-04
My first really good guitar was a 1260 that I owned in the early 1960's. Lately, even though I have two really nice Martins, I have the urge to find another one! I just had one shipped in, but the top was too bellied to save the neck. Even so, it was difficult to ship it back as it sounded just as wonderful as my first! So I continue my quest to find a 1260 that is in decent shape!
- Larry (again) - 2007-04-27
I finally found a 1260 in average to good condition. Cleaned it up with Murphy's Wood Soap, put on D'Addario phosphor bronze strings and I am stunned with the beautiful voice of this aged beauty! I can't put it down.
- Paul Nelson - 2007-05-14
I have owned a H1260 since 1971 when I bought it from a friend who says his parents purchased it for him in 1958. I paid $ 75.00 for it and find it to be all I ever needed. Every time I consider looking at a Martin or Gibson I choose to stay with this excellent old guitar. My wife had the top refinished and refretted for my 50th birthday. I am now 61 and my adult childlren all guitar players just have to sit down and play it for hours when visiting. It has these strange numbers 7599H703 which doesn't match anything. Any ideas??
- carvalho - 2007-06-03
Just given a Sovereign H1260 - serial number 3259H1260 - beautiful, old guitar - can't wait to get the bridge repaired - looks like a bad repair job failed to glue it down properly - ANY WAY to determine what year this guitar was made ??
- Jim Sutton - 2007-06-21
Bought my 1260 new in 1960 or 61 S# 1111H1260. Played Country & Western 57 through 64. Put the guitar under the bed so to speak untill early fall of 2005. Was moved to get it out and play for the Lord after the 41 year lay-off. Had to adjust the neck a mite but the guitar is as good as it ever was. Don't have any clue as to its worth, it is in excellant original condition.
- steve - 2007-08-13
I have a Sovereign 1260 which is missing two of the screws on the string winders on the back of the machine head.
Does anyone know where I can some more.
Guitar is in very good condition and I feel lucky to own such an instrument.
- Stratocaster - 2007-09-29
I came across my Sovereign 1260 and fell in love. I ended up pestering the owner until he finally sold it to me. Mine is really beat up and has some nasty cracks on the sides, but it sounds just fine. I've played some pretty nice guitars, but you have to go with what you feel. This one feels right for me.
- Kurt - 2007-10-05
I have a 1260 that has no serial number or headstock logo but has the rectangular bridge of the Airline 7032. I picked it up two years ago for $225, and after a year of playing it, I sold my Martin and my Seagull because I had stopped playing them. The neck is perfect; I put in an ivory saddle which seemed to brighten it up a bit. It sounds wonderful and plays beautifully.
- handsoffmyharmony! - 2007-12-02
I bought this guitar at a garage sale this past summer for $25. The elderly, original owner played the hell out of this thing (he said he played it nearly every day for 40 years), and after listening to it, you can see why. This guitar flat out sings! There is a dry, organic, woody texture to the sound, almost as if you can hear the wood of the guitar singing to you, the kind of sound that only 40 years of constant playing can produce. The top is well worn, with heavy finger wear on the top by the bridge and on the pickguard, it has minor scars, nicks and scratches in all the right places, the finish has aged to an amber honey color, and it is all astoundingly beautiful. I usually use light .046 mm picks for acoustic work, but for whatever reason, one day I decided to use a quarter for a pick. Low and behold, I think I've found Nirvana. Used this way it has an even more woody sound with a slight amount of deep boxiness that is deliciously percussive. Finger picking is blissful, just sit back in your favorite rocking chair and play yourself to sleep. Whenever I play this guitar, most people comment about how good it sounds, regardless of their age, or playng experience. The only downside to this guitar is that for whatever reason the lower E-string, and only the lower E-string sounds wooly and anemic, which is out of character with all the other strings which are gloriously clear, balanced and proportionate in sound.
- lowbrass - 2007-12-28
I have a 1260 I bought from a college friend in about 1969. Paid $75 for it. It's in near new condition although a neck reset is in its future. The sound is still super. Who'd have thought that that purchase, which at the time was only a way to get a guitar upgrade in my budget, would have turned out so well. I still play it, although I had to get a Seagull for amplified playing.
- GNParent - 2008-02-04
I Bought a brand new Soverign at Uncle Sam's Pawn shop in Oklahoma City back in 1965. In those days it was said that if you played 20 Soverigns you'd find one that stands out. (Apparently quality control left something to be desired in the Chicago factory.) That one stood out among all the otherwise identical copies in town. I think I paid a little over 60 bucks and have never played a Martin I'd trade it for.
The neck and body warped back in the early 80's and I had Don Teeter rebuild it for me. Now it sounds better than it ever did and the action is unbelieveable.
Don is a big believer in pin bridges, so he replaced the original bridge with one he carved as only he can do. (I also have an almost identical harmony with the 'Fender' label on the headstock and it has a pin bridge from the factory-so I guess Fender demanded a pin bridge too.) Along the way I fitted mine with Schaller tuners and replaced the broken pick guard.
There are two features of the Soverigns that I think might contribute to their remarkable sound. One is the ladder bracing under the soundboard. They are built in some ways more like a classical guitar than the X-braced dreadnaughts they resemble. The other feature is the old-growth sitka spruce they used in the soundboards. The annual rings are small and close together when compared to anything produced recently. I understand that the 'better' manufacturers rejected these boards because they felt they could control the top better with bracing. I have my doubts.
In any case, I have no desire for a better all-around folk singer's guitar.
- FolkHouse - 2008-02-28
I recently purchased a near-mint Harmony Sovereign Jumbo H1260 for $225. Plays great, nice action, straight neck, etc. This guitar has a pin type bridge instead of the string-through bridge, which I've not seen in photos. Anybody know a little history on this? Personally, I much prefer a pin bridge anyway, so this is definitely not a bad thing!. Thanks!
- Gentle Giant - 2008-03-03
I stumbled across my 1260 in a second hand music shop in Birmingham UK in 1980. I was in the shop armed with a stack of cash and my eye on something famous. I only picked up the Harmony because none of the other guitars did it for me. As soon as I sat down with it, I knew it felt right. One chord was enough to quicken my heartbeat, and I was not leaving the shop without it!
It sounds best with Ernie Ball Earthwood Extra Lights, and my heart still beats faster every time I put new strings on the ol' girl.
One tip: if, like me you do not use a pick and the scratchplate falls off - leave it off!! It will sound even fuller and richer. I fingerpick and frail, so the top is now showing signs of wear, but I love my Harmony and if the house were to catch fire it would be the first thing I would rescue (as my wife once ruefully remarked).
Phil H., Hereford UK
- alfsboy - 2008-03-09
I have owned my 1260 (I think) since new in about 64. The pecking order was Martin, Gibson Epiphone, then the Harmony Sovereign, no other Harmonys, just the Sovereign. It always sounded best with Epiphone heavy strings. They lasted 2 weeks and then the tone went. It accompanied me round most London Folk clubs playing mainly Bluegrass style New Lost City Ramblers and folk stuff. It also got very wet, very cold, very hot, very filled with beer, used to hide gear (police soon got wise to that one) and then kicked downstairs by a drunken but probably discriminating music lover at a Party. The side split and splintered and when the police finally allowed me back in (it was that kind of party !)I picked all the tiny broken bits of mahogany off the floor and went home and glued it all together again using cascemite and compressing the top and bottom together. Amazingly it worked, no tone loss. It's all a bit worn out now and I last played it in the eighties when I went back to electrics. The fret board is worn out as are the frets. I found a new fret board on Ebay, Original Harmony old stock unbelievably, and I will perhaps get a luthier to install it. In the meantime I am looking for new tuners but I may fit Grovers as I have some around. I will get it all fired up and then judge whether to go ahead and get it refurbished. I am sure it will sound better than the 500 quid guitar I played recently. I am now removing 42 years of Tobacco crud . YUK!!!!! sure glad I gave up. I really should have polished it at least once. It is a good indication of just how well built it was. Most of the time I didn't even have a case or even a bag most of the time. Great times, great guitar yes I would have preferred a Martin though its value would have made life far less fun.
- Johnny Ladd - 2008-05-20
Harmony Sovereign Just what I have been looking for. I was given mine as a gift some eight years ago, the truss rod was broken and so the neck was baly curved -completely un-playable with a action hight at the seventeenth fret of 1/2". I destrung it and it kicked about the ouse for all that time until I decided to get a new truss rod. I found the right type (double rod) on eBay and started to fit it. I used my wifes good iron to loosen the hide glue bonding the fet board to the neck and removed the old truss rod. I had to rout out the slot a little to accomodate the new rod and soon had the fret board cleaned up and hide glued it back on. I used a length of dexion angle-iron to keep the neck straight whith four clamps while it set. I left it in the clamps for a while to let it all settle and removed all from the clamps sighting down the neck it seemed pretty straight and so a new set of Adagio 11s were fitted and tightned to near pitch only half a turn on the truss rod and the neck was as straight as the road to the nearest Pub. Tuned up to pitch and WoW!!!! I struck full cord open Emaj with my thumb and my now favourite guitar sang loud clear and sustained. I checked the intonation and all was good save the low E which was a little flat soon taken care of with a little filing to the saddle until it was near enough. Next move will be to sort out the dull and dusty finnish with some french polish if I can put her down and do without the string on for long enough. Trebles are crisp and clear Mids are good but with a little vibratto they're great and Oh Boy those Bass tones are just beautiful. Strumming sounds warm and full, Finger picking is clear and precise, Plectrum and flailing just have to be heard to be believed. I have been playing guitar and mandolin for 42 years and have a good collection of instuments G's Les Paul, F'r Stratocaster, Freshman FA1DC12, Freshman FA1AP, Unknown Luthier's Classical guitar, Old EKO 6 string, Barnes and Mullins Mandolin circa 1945, Suzuki mandolin 1961, and a Barnes and Mullins G Banjo 2005, but my Sovereign is tops for player satisfaction and my wife likes it too. I played semi-pro from 1971 to 1989 but only play at home now, I wish I had this guitar when I was gigging!
- Janeen Herren - 2008-07-24
I recently acquired a harmony sovereign guitar that is stamped on the inside with H126 as part of the serial number and was made in the fall of 1971. Would anyone know if this be a 1260 model?
- trainsandmusic - 2008-08-08
In late 1962 after 6 lessons or so at age 12, I wanted my first guitar to replace the Stella we were renting. I wanted a Harmony Sovereign because it looked like a Martin which the Kingston Trio played, but even then, my parents were hard pressed to afford it, so I ended up with a natural top Kay for $40 new. Fast forward to 5 years ago, and many Gibsons and one Martin later, and there is this 1260 from 1963 laying on the floor of a basement of this woman who works with my wife. After much cajoling for 6 months, I get it for $100, get the neck reset and omigod, this thing is just so wonderful to play and hear.
- gray-haired picker - 2008-08-10
Back in the mid 1960s I referred to my girlfriends by the guitars they played. Harmony Sovereign still has hers in a closet (darn). At the time I usually played a refinished Stella 12-string (made by Harmony) and a Harmony classical. When I was at her place, I didn't bother bringing my own guitars - just a flatpick, thumb and fingerpics. I had a 1407 hollowbody electric until a semi-adopted daughter kept it. My Harmony girls still are special. Oh, yes, I still play, but not Harmonies. Darn. Lost my heart to them, though, and the girls who play them.
- takeabrake - 2008-09-06
I've owned several H162 in the past and always wanted to rebrace the top with X bracing. Well I did that this past spring.I took off the back and cleaned all the excess hide glue from the interior. I reshaped the back braces, then removed all top braces and replaced with a set of Martin unscalloped, radious braces. I left the main X 5/16 in and made the tone bars 1/4 in. I then fully scalloped them, put the back on and replaced the bridge with a Martin belly style 2 1/4 string spacing. I radioused and straightened the fingerboard, refreted and installed a bonenut and saddle. Then I V shaped the neck leaving the with alone. How did it sound, well I just sold my Martin om28. this new and improved harmony is my favorite guitar, great bass, sweet trebles and the sustane is. I wish I had done this years ago and can't wait unitl i finish the current one I'm redoing awsum
- sixstringsinger - 2008-10-07
I recently won a 1260 on ebay for $253. It is absolutly incredible! It is perfectly aged as mentioned by others a honey amber tone. It is so punchy and loud. The action is great, the tone out of this world. I couldn't believe that I got it for such an inexpensive price. Mine has a metal bridge along with the standard bridge. The sellars didn't know why it was there either. I also have a D35 Martin and it stands right along side of it being a ladder brace guitar But I love playing this baby. My 1203 needs a neck reset along with my H165. I love each and every one of my Harmony's, the understated guitar!
- Annalee - 2008-12-12
I have been playing and recording acoustics of all shapes, sizes and brands for over ten years. I bought a H1260 at a pawn shop for $50. A $100 neck reset later and I've never heard a better acoustic. I've heard these called "Martin killers", I consider this THE BEST acoustic I've ever heard. I have friends with $2K+ jazz acoustics, and they always run straight to my Harmony when they come over.
- dayinthelife - 2009-02-12
Mine just came! I got it for under $400 with that amazing DeArmond Pick-up installed!
I LOVE THIS GUITAR!
So much so, that I'm now selling my much more expensive (and tonally inferior) Martin D-18...
Don't know what else to say: I'm in love!
- - 2009-02-20
bought one on a fluke recently, just to have an acoustic layin around and im VERY VERY PLEASED. now i want another 1260 just to restore!!!!!
- Old Folkie - 2009-03-11
I've had my H1260 for forty years now, and knew the original owner before it came into my hands. Although I have gigged with a Guild D40 since 1976 (a bargain buy at £200.00) I couldn't bare to part with my Harmony which is now fitted with Grover Machine heads. I know that my Harmony was £34.00 new in 1960 - although it cost me nothing. I still love playing the old guitar in open D tuning, and for my money it is the best fretboard I have ever put my hands on - a superb sound and a great fingerpicking guitar!
- Reverend James - 2009-04-26
Bought my H1260 brand new in 1963 for $85. I've since bought a premium Martin, but opted for a 000 body size because I already had the old friend with a great big voice that sounds like 46 years of experience. found a great luthier and spent $250 on a neck reset for the Sovereign, and the action is the best it's ever been. It's a real joy switching back and forth, playing both every day - what a stable!
- crash - 2009-06-24
This model was given to me by a friend. It had a bad reglue on the bridge. After visiting this site I decided to have a pro do the job right,it is now the flagship of my collection ! It just sound so sweet
- Colin - Harmony collector - UK - 2009-07-21
Bought a 1260 on ebay UK recently - quite cheap as it had an unplayable high action - otherwise OK. I reset the neck, dressed the frets, put on a set of Martin lights and WOW! This thing is loud. Clean, bright highs and full booming bass – like a J200. Get one if you can - but I'm keeping this one! Only thing is, I can't find a date stamp inside.
- Osozarco - 2009-07-27
I bought my 1962 H1260 used from a downtown L.A. music store in 1969 and it sadly spent much of its intervening life neglected. I fell heavily back into music a while back, joined a band, and re-discovered the phenomenally big, balanced sound of the Sovereign. I was going to lower the action for fingerstyle but instead strung it with mediums and put it in open G for slide. Now it gets played more than my '29 National Duolian. The bridge has stayed put but the pickguard is trying to escape and the finish has checked pretty much all over, though it isn't telegraphing any actual wood damage. The neck has stayed very true. If the resale value was a little higher I'd consider a complete re-finish.
- jiho - 2009-08-21
This was truly a remarkable instrument. I had one 1966-1982. In the end the neck was warped and the pick guard had fallen off. Sigh. The best description would be: boomy. In fact, I struggled to get anything but bass from it. I favored metal finger picks with a plastic thumb pick for that reason. The action was too high, yet I favored the heaviest possible strings. To get good mid-tones, even, I had to fret up the bottom strings. I gave up trying to get good highs. D-modal tuning was utterly stunning on this guitar.
- Reinhard - 2009-08-30
Purchased new in Buffalo New York in 1970 SUNY UB - playing, singing, drinking beer, smoking some ?? and laughing with fiddles and quitars - am I Steven Stills ?? only guitar I have owned - now I play chords while my son Ben plays Irish folk songs - fiddle music with my son Ben - making music with your son - that is the best - he says - try to keep up with me dad as his fingers and bow race away
- Mike Walker - 2009-09-11
I have a 1260 which I believe is from 1963 , anyway , I have had it since about 1968 and I have never been able to see a serial number stamped inside. It was my 2nd guitar and I used it for a couple of years until I started playing electric guitar in bands. I did not use the Harmony for about 5 years and when I tried it again , I could not get it to sound good or stay in tune so I put it away (still strung!) for about 10 years until I unpacked it again and removed the patches of rust that were the strings. I cleaned it up and restrung it , and wow it sounded superb. I still use it to this day and recently used it for some live performances on account of it's big volume. It has never been adjusted or set up , it has simply sorted itself out over 40 years. It plays superbly and sounds excellent. It shows several knocks and dings but I cannot criticise the inherent quality of construction of these guitars. My theory is that if the wood was matured like a Martin , then the period of unplayabiliy would not have happened and that the Harmony has been 'seasoned' as a complete instrument and not as a piece of timber.
- colin - Harmony collector - UK - 2009-09-26
I now have two H1260s. I had to reset the neck on both but my second one sounds even better than the first. A friend also has one so with my son and me that's three together - the sound is amazing. I'm still looking for another.
- lowbrass - 2009-11-04
I first posted in December 2007 and noted that a neck re-set was in order. Had it done and it came out well, action is back where it should be. Just a super sound.
- Richard Bell - 2009-12-02
An ex-girlfriend bought me a Harmony Sovereign Jumbo way back in 1969 as a birthday gift.
I had earlier picked it out at National Music on 101st in Edmonton.
The day she arrived I named her Clara and she's been my friend and writing partner for 40 years now.
I still have her and she's in pretty good shape after years of touring in the 70s, only a few cracks
Over time she has shown up on few recordings and both musicians who've played her and engineers who've recorded her loved the way she sounds.
My son plays her today and uses her to do solo gigs and to write songs. Even today he gets comments from other players about that outstanding Harmony tone.
We've talked about having Clara refurbished and getting her few cracks repaired.
Perhaps we can keep her making music for another 40 years.
No I will NEVER sell my Clara for any amount of money, so don't bother asking.
- Phil Purdie - 2009-12-09
My girlfriend [now wife] bought a shop-soiled 1260 for me for my 21st for £68 in 1971 which I still play lovingly at gigs today. I am left-handed so I took off the scratch plate and replaced the nut and have played is successfully upside down for 38 years. It has had one complete overhaul [with neck realignment] and a few splits repaired and I have dug a depression with my plectrum below the strings, due to too rigorous strumming over the years! The original piezo-electric pick-up I fitted in the 70's still works well without a pre-amp but the guitar still sounds best, acoustic-style. Never wanted another six string.
- Juan HH - 2009-12-22
My late Grandmother played her Harmony for years and years ... she passed away in July, and it wasn't until late October that I finally felt comfortable picking it up.
Now, I'd only had a few lessons and maybe knew three cords, but I've taught myself several more and now I'm learning Christmas carols to play with my young children for my parents this week.
Everytime I hold it, I think about my Grandma and all the years she played it and I still feel connected to her ...
- bill y - 2010-03-13
My Mum gave me GBP25 for my 21st birthday way back in '67 and that paid for my Sovereign from Shaftesbury Avenue, London. The truss rod broke after a couple of years so I prised the neck off, had it welded and put it back. More recently I did a 'poor man's neck reset' by separating the back from the end block and regluing with the neck set back - the action's as good as new. I've used and abused this guitar through the UK, Middle East, Far East and finally sunny Queensland. It's been a ripper!
- MAX - 2010-03-31
Its funny that the first thing I hear is how bassy this Model is. I have literally convinced myself that this guitar will suffice as a Bass in my Acoutical recordings. Call it a Baritone maybe but I totally agree. Mega Bass!
- jeff - 2010-05-14
My favorite Harmony. I started with an H1265 in 1970. I had it totally repaired in 2005 at Dusty Strings in Seattle, and during that process bought an old Regal R235 on ebay which I reworked myself with their help. Thus began my hobby of collecting and repairing old Harmonys, mostly Sovereigns, six H1260s so far and counting. I love the vintage ladder-braced sound, although the X-braced ones are mighty fine as well.
Over the years I have collected a range of Harmonys from my fenderhead Stellas, H162 and H165, 1203 Sovereigns, and recently an Opus X and now an Opus V. But the H1260 is special.
I just finished fixing one I bought for 59 bucks in a Portland Oregon used guitar shop. The back was cracked so I pulled that off and repaired it, and I shaved the top braces while at it. Following the back repair, a neck reset and final setup, I presented it as a gift to the leader of the guitar club at my daughter's high school. This young lady always "stole" my Sovereign when the club met and performed, so now she has one she doesn't have to give back to me. She was totally geeked, I was overjoyed, and I hope she plays and loves hers as long as I have mine!
- Alan Clark Scotland, U.K. - 2010-08-27
Ihave recently purchased a 1260 from e-bay reckoned to be from around 1973, beautiful. I first bought a 1260 in McCormacks in Glasgow in 1967 for 49Guineas, which was 49Pounds and 49 Shillings before decimalisation. Two years later i swapped my guitar for a cassette recorder, big mistake.I'll be holding onto this one, I also have a Gibson J45, and a Martin D28,The tone from the harmony is much better than theseby far.Great to read everyones comments. Cheers, Alan.
- bilrux - 2010-09-23
As a bluegrass rhythm guitar, the H1260 blows the Martin D-18 to shame. A neck reset or other action-lowering modification reduces this effect somewhat, but it still has the most powerful and clear rhythm punch of anything in its class. I've used one of these to play Freddie Green-style rhythm with a large Count Basie-style band!
And, if you can stand playing up the neck, the high notes are sweet, rich, and accurately intonated.
I have an H1260 and a Silvertone version (identical, but with a very pretty "iced tea" sunburst), and they're both wonderful instruments. I also have a couple of older Martins, and while I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'd swap the Harmonys for the Martins, the Harmonys have a different voice and power that the Martins lack. I won't part with any of them.
It's also awesome sounding in dropped-D or DADGAD tuning!
- GTNJ - 2010-10-07
I have my father's Harmony Sovereign. The small date stamp says "F 62 and either a C or an E... But there is also an marking with a serial # that says: F-61 MO 1116 H126
So is it a 1961 or an 1962? This guitar has the burgundy tortoise shell pick guard.
- Boris of Coniston - 2010-10-11
I have just today bought a battered H1260 for GBP400
and man does it sound good. Comparison with other guitars is always difficult, because any character
guitar has its own unique sound, but this guitar has phenomenal volume, tone and sustain that lasts forever. It has had a neck reset and the action is wickedly low but it still has massive volume. It is such a joy to play that I can't put it down. I have played and owned goodness knows how many guitars from all the famous makers, but this humble battered beauty beats the lot. I suspect it is the enormous one piece spruce top and one piece back that allow it to resonate so freely. the spruce top looks like a really excellent piece of wood. you probably need to like the ladder braced sound in order to love these guitars, but having said that it makes some top end guitars sound ordinary . Fabulous and mojo too!
- jt1120 - 2010-12-08
Twas my first guitar. Loved it's deep sound, especially with the right strings. It was involved in a small altercation with someone's rear end. My mom sat on it. She felt badly so she replaced it with a Sigma Martin, but I still miss my first guitar.
- can of worms - 2011-02-08
I have just done a neck reset on an H1260.The serial
no. appears to be 3063. The strange thing about this guitar is that the name "Monterey" is emblazoned across the peghead.The neck is mahogany as used on the Sovereign,s & the body is definitely a Sovereign. It sounds great.
- Braden V. - 2011-03-24
Three years ago at work when I was 25 I saw a list posed by a co-worker about things she was trying to get rid of from a garage sale. One of the items was an acoustic guitar for $125 so I asked her to bring it in and let me play it. I played it for a few minutes and offered $65 for it and she gave it to me. A while later I was sitting around a campfire playing at a family reunion and one of my wife's uncles strummed my guitar twice and offered me $200 on the spot. I of course was surprised and told him no, but I knew I had to be something special about it. After a bit I decided to look into the guitar I purchased and I couldn't believe what I was holding in my hands. 1967 Harmony Sovereign H1260, book-matched, tight grained spruce top, huge solid mahogany back stained a dark wine color, gorgeous binding, minor bumps, and US made. It has never needed a neck re-set because it was stored without strings. It has an AMAZING action and I have only played one other guitar that matches it on tone, a custom Martin for $2,000+ at guitar center. I have since realized that I got the deal of the century and this guitar is not going anywhere!
- Willy One Shoe - 2011-03-29
I'd been playing a hollow body Gretch electric as a teenager in 1967-68. Couldn't afford an amp. So I traded the Gretch for a new 1260 (ser.# 9632H1260). The action had gone bad over the years and made my finger work preety tough. I purchased a new Breedlove and kept the harmony in a case under the bed. Two months ago I had the neck reset by Gruhn Guitar in Nashville. The Breedlove doesn't get touched any more. There's just no comparison!
- sideman - 2011-05-30
I bought my first Harmony Sovereign 1260 in 1962 in Berkeley from either Campbell Coe's or Lundberg's, paid about $40. It was stolen in 1963 in NYC. I found another 1260 in Berkeley used in 1969 and paid $75. I still have that one and aside from some crazing due to an overnight in the car below freezing it still looks and sounds great. It needs a neck reset to get the action back where it should be and the pickguard needs to be glued back on but not too bad for a 45 year old!
- rhomac - 2011-06-26
I bought a Harmony Soverign Jumbo new in 1970. I believe it was a 1968 or 69 model. I have played it ever since. I had Schaller pegs put on and the neck reset by Tom Dorwood in Halifax NS, later an L R Baggs pickup and some new frets. The action is slick but the guitar can stand out over anything played with it. i have a handmade Larivee that sits in its case, because this box can't be beat.
- Christopher - 2011-07-02
I bought a Harmony Sovereign in 1960 when I was just a kid and just loved it. I busted it in the late seventies and have not played much since. In the past few years I have been noodling around with an old Yamaha. A few weeks ago I saw a 1260 for sale in Calgary for $75.00. I drove down and got it right away. The body was in great shape - but it had neck and bridge issues.
I had the neck set and the bridge glued down - $475.00 and worth every penny. I noticed when I play up the neck the action is high. At first I blamed it on the neck set - but quickly figured out it is the pinless bridge. I appears that it cannot be lowered. Now I know why I see so many Sovereigns that have had the bridge changed to one with pins.
I an back to where I was years ago - I just love this thing.
- Christopher again - 2011-07-13
Re: the above comments - I finally made the decision to change the pinless bridge to a pinned one. What a difference. The action is just great and there is room for furture adjustment. Although I did not really want to get away from having a completley original 1260 - I think I made the right choice.
- Ollie - 2011-09-24
Christopher, I wanted to buy that one , but you beat me to it. Nice price. I picked up another one in Calgary, and it needed a reset. I just got it back and the action on mine is still high, too. I might change the painless bridge out, too.
- anonaplayer - 2011-10-05
just found one at a pawn shop for 100 and change...looks like it's been run over by a car but the sound was amazing!loove the design of the bridge..easy for restringing!And the width of the neck is perfect for me!whoooohooooo!
- Binky - 2011-10-21
I bought my Harmony Gutiar in 1967 it was new! I taught myself how to play gutiar with it! I traveled all across the usa with it! I Loved the Harmony and many people have played it though it,s life! I am about to give it to my 18 yr. old nephew who Loves to Play Gutiar! I know I am passing it on to the next Generation of Music Maker,s and it will find a good HOME!
- Dalebert - 2012-02-29
Fender did make their own acoustic guitars in the 1960s. I had 3 friends that worked there in the acoustic guitar section of the factory in Fullerton Calif. Dusty Allison, Roger Rossmeisl, and Phil Kubicki. The acoustic guitars that were made in the Fender Factory were of a different quality and design than the Harmony models that beared a Fender logo.
- Blackville - 2012-06-10
My Dad ordered the Silvertone version of this Harmony Jumbo for me at Christmas 1967 out of the Sears Catalog for about $60 ... I've owned it ever since, although, I'm ashamed to admit, that I never took very good care of it. Just recently, for the sake of nostalgia after 45 years, I have had it completely refinished and reconditioned top-to-bottom. It now looks better than the day it arrived. I plan to try very hard to keep it that way this time around!
- HarmonyMan - 2012-07-30
This H1260 is a 4004 production (4004H1260) Owned from 1968 from a pawnshop Wash,DC for $50 with cardboard case. Ten times better than that Martin that had one string, the Harmony had all six on it...and I could tell that Martin was a dead stick even with one string. Bought that Harmony in a flash. Still got it been cross the USA up and down the rivers and been across
Canada and through Alberta, and even Colorado. I reset the neck myself, had to glue on the stock bridge, glue on the pick guard, restringed with silk/steel and it is a joy to play now. The silk/steel string is soo much nicer and not the stress on the neck like the phosphor/bronze nor as hard on the fingers. Get one if you can...don't let the low price fool you...play one...you will see. Just 'cause your a star doesn't mean the neck end has to say Gibson...unless your gettin' paid for it. (so you see if you do the math...had this one for over 44 years...never regretted one day of it) Mel and Collie
- HarmonyMan - 2012-07-30
One more thing about the neck warping and producing too much string to fret distance..the truss rod comes out from the neck end after you take off the white plasic plate. At least on my H1260 and the 2 rods sometimes brakes apart at the weld (on the end oposite the nut...sometimes the nut will strip or the threads will strip off on the tightener rod...weld if broken apart...by brazing or arc (no solder...too soft)or get a new one...size is an issue and may need a reamer for the neck..so it is best to repair the original rod if possible ..see how it comes out so it goes back in the correct way (for taking out "string stress bow) oil (non-corrosive)the threads and be careful to not over tighten at first..let sit for a day or two (no strings of course) maybe sit in a high humidity place like bathroom...then tighten again and look down the neck...tighten until you see the neck bow a little up toward the fret side....put on the strings and tighten middle first then two outside middle...as you "tune up" the neck will pull a little back to straight...should work out OK..
depends if the rod was broke and the neck took a bad set...just a reset is not so bad...may take some patience if the rod was broken and more sighting down the neck...use a stainless nut if you can find one and a "long" one or double nut to add more surface area on the threads, a little oil on the threads and the "compression cup washer"(non-corrosive gun a sewing machine oil) a socket wrench that may need ground down to fit in the neck ..or ream out the neck area for the socket to fit..1/4 inch drive is adequate and tighten carefully...no your inch/pounds. Put a piece of dowel in the neck hole of the right length before putting in the truss rod so the nut ends up at just the right place for tightening...otherwise the rod slides into the neck too deep and is hard to retract Mel and Collie
- fogrider - 2012-08-02
Picked up a 1961 H1260 from a pawn shop a few weeks ago for $200. It came with a vintage DeArmond soundhole pickup. The body was heavily checked, there were a few cracks in one side, and the action was a bit high. Fixed the cracks, sanded the checks out of the body and re-finished the guitar with Tru-oil, reset the neck (installed a threaded insert in the bottom of the heel and added a 6mm screw from the inside of the guitar to reinforce the neck), new saddle. Completely detailed and set up.
Georgous guitar. Vintage looking wood, great sound, tons of sustain, arrow straight neck with low string action, and the pickup sounds amazing. What a score! Love it!
- HarmonyMan - 2012-08-18
I don't intend this to be a blog. But please understand that we all read about how someone changed this flat top. Particularily with the bridge..and pinning it rather using the stock "ball" or knurl ...I prefer the "ball" because of the pins that raise up the palm when holding the set in fingering. Also the holding of the palm on the bridge does muffle a little but with this tone carry it does not show much on this Harmony Model 1260...my main concern is that with the solid back Mahogany that to hold it too close and flat to the stomach does produce a mild reduction in the Johnny Cash low levels. So your choice...but my personal choice..leave the bridge stock.
Mel and Collie
- robert bass - 2012-10-22
556H1270 I paid $60.00 1971 a used 12 string guitar. It had too heavy of strings on it. Ted Hagen from Edmore mich. repaired adjusted the neck with a screen door rod on the external of the guitar. Ted added a DeArmond pick up mic.I mainly play celtic music 60s/70s rock. I looked and played other 12 string guitars and find no other that compares to the feel wide neck and sound my Harmony has.
Was there a amp that was sold for this guitar?
- Mark Hendrix - 2012-11-24
My Mom bought a new H1260 before she got married (59 or 60 model) I learned to play it when I was 19 never really liked it that much because the action was too high and I couldnt adjust it much because of the pinless bridge. When I was in college (many years ago) I took it to a drill press and milled down the bride and drilled six pin holes,lowered the bridge down to next to nothing (super low action, no string rattle). Recently I took it to a friends house (he had just bought a new Martin) he was quite disapointed in his guitar when he heard my beat up 52 yr old (cheap) guitar with dead strings sound better than his Martin........
- Rob F. - 2013-01-14
hi, for those of you wondering about the W7032 number it was a Harmony built for the Airline name brand, apparently this is not uncommon as I have a H6600 Regal Deluxe that that has a H1269 number stamped inside.
- kragarin - 2013-01-27
I had this same guitar as a kid. Wish I had it back. My friend recently bought one and the Harmony logo is in block letters whereas the one I had was in script.
- Humble Student - 2013-01-30
Few people mention that John Sebastian played "Younger Generation" at Woodstock on a Sovereign.
I actually found one in a trash pile at the curb in northern lower Michigan in the 90's, without a nut. I carved one (poorly...my first go) and found a great tone, and the scale fit my hands like no other acoustic I've played. Will probably do a neck reset and get a bone nut carved locally here on Long Island, NY.
My sovereign is all black...anyone know if that was an original option, or is this a re-issue/import?
- john watson - 2013-03-19
gentle giant, there's no way of knowing whether the harmony sovereign was mine, which I bought in about 1965 from the nearest shop closest to new st station, can't remember it's name, but the first model was no in tune on the top string at the twelth fret, so I paid a little extra and got the other model on sale in the sam shop. I taught guitar at selly park girls school night school for eight years, used it as a resident guitarist with the grey cock folk club 1975-1985, had it stolen about 1980 from the back of my car when I left it there by mistake, so if it's the one that got stolen, it's got a good home and I wish you well. I replaced it with a £200 yamaha, but good as it is, I still yearn for the harmony, an excellent guitar with a lovely bass and tone.
- Scrapman-Picker - 2013-07-04
I love this guitar and I think it represents perhaps the greatest value in all of vintage guitar-dom. Bought it for myself for my 40th birthday after unsuccessfully scouring Nashville for an affordable, vintage guitar with great warm tone and a big honking neck. After returning home to Pennsylvania USA a bit sad, Karma / Luck / The Almighty delivered me to Mark Ross - former guitarist for blues band "Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band." His old store, "Alley Cat Music" reopened and he's selling a lot of these wonderful "department store" vintage guitars.
While I tend to be a Martin loving, X-braced boomer of a player (boom-chucka and twangin'-rock with some funky), I have grown to just love the even, warm tone of this guitar. Mine is an Airline branded (model #7032) that I believe is from 1958. I would describe the tone and sound of this guitar as more Gibson jumbo with sorta-dreadnought thrown in, but it's more Gibson than Martin. Once I got used to this guitar not projecting like a Martin Cannon I really began to love it's warm, mellow evenness and a tone that I can only describe as nuanced. The big neck is a dream to play and I have always thought big necks are better for tone. Mine had to have had a neck reset at some point - it's perfect, action and intonation are spot on. Mine also has the original, non-pin bridge and it's awesome. I won't replace it because "if it aint broke..." and because a pinless bridge is easier on my palm when I'm beating on the thing. I've read the debates about switching it out and my original bridge will stay.
When I think about what I paid for this guitar ($500 including a very nice Fishman pickup installed) I'm amazed. When one breaks down the basic specifications of this guitar: Adirondack Spruce top, one piece Honduran Mahogany back and sides, fully bound, etc., as well as the nearly 60 years of age that have imparted such mellow beauty to the tone, the price to purchase this guitar is laughable. You can't even buy Honduran Mahogany anymore and Adirondack Spruce is not an easy find (the Martin D16 Adi is north of $2K - a fine guitar, but 4x what I paid and no vintage age). If this guitar said Gibson on the headstock, you can add a 6 to the price easily. If you find one of these guitars buy it. If it has issues, get it repaired (reset neck, fix bridge, etc.) You will easily have an irreplaceable, special, vintage guitar.
- Geno - 2013-07-29
I was playing in an all-acoustic folk group in 1968 with a Goya gut-string with zero volume. Found this 7771H1260 in a music store in Lawrenceburg, TN, in the fall of '68 and he took the Goya and my last $40, and I never looked back. I just took it out 2 yrs ago to pick and sing for the Lord, strung it with D' A's, and it sounds like a million dollars. My pro friends are impressed with the like-new condition, action and mellow sound. Kept in its original case all this time and neck is still near-perfect. Only cosmetics come from my great-grandson (aged 3) wanting to start an early career. Go, Soverign, long may you run !
- TxScrat - 2013-12-27
...THE MOST AMAZING $65.00 GUITAR EVER BUILT...
It's Dec. 23,2013. I'm shopping "Craig's List" and a new listing pops up for an Applause acoustic bass a few blocks from my home in Austin, Tx. One piece of a brace had broken but appeared repairable. It came with a HSC. $20 later I'm at home digging out claps and glue. An hour & a half later I'm waiting overnight for the glue to dry so back on "Craig's List" and a "Japan Alverez Dove" for $50, Same phone #, Nearly pissed myself rushing to the phone, no answer, leave a message. Two hours later phone rings, She just sold and delivered "Yari Alverez", (I wanted to cry.)Says she is still pulling stuff out of storage, has more, She says she has a Mandolin, a Uke, and Harmony Guitar with her and will stop by if I'm interested. The Uke and Mandolin are goners, (cracked, warped and split beyond my skills. The Harmony looks rough. dirty, dings, checking in finish on lower bout, crack in top from bass to sound hole that appeared minor or finish crack, rusty strings, pick guard missing action is barely playable, Tuners have been change out to sealed "Groover's", Strap Button replaced with metal, Strap Button added on heel of neck, heel cover missing and a wood screw countersunk into heel of the neck at an angle reinforcing the heel to the neck anchor block.
But,. The neck seemed straight, The original frets are not grooved and I thought if I could make it playable it would be good for a porch guitar. We hammered out a price and I cleaned and oiled the Harmony guitar. I swear I could hear it inhale it's first breath in years. Now that it was clean, it didn't appear the neck joint had any issue. I guessed the heel screw was a novice attempt to improve the action. (if it works, don't fix it)
After Christmas mania I took both guitars to Austin Guitars South but the luthier wasn't in ( I wanted to discuss repairs) The nice folks there told me they had one just like it on consignment. It was then I found the serial # on both guitars an they were both H1260's. Theirs was absolutely stock, with very few dings and scratches and average action. Mine had cleaned up to be about the same as far as nicks, dings, & scratches go. Surprisingly good. They were asking $650.00 for theirs.
I found a luthier, she examined my Harmony and we decided if I minimized the saddle, I could improve the action on my Sovereign.
100 grit on a glass surface. A new set of string and ""W-O-W"". Not only does the wood sing the resonance is so strong it seem to evoke a response in all the wood in the room.
Unbelievable, this guitar RETAILED for $65.00. Yes there are compromises in the construction. The binding isn't sanded perfectly flush on the neck so you can feel the seem,& mainly, the necks on these guitars seems to have been designed and set some what high. I think this was/is done so these guitars could be sold though dept. store and wouldn't produce fret buzz with no setup.
Many people compare their guitars to Martins, Gibson's, Taylors, Collings etc. Where there are one off instruments for the most part the major name brands are considerably sweeter and produce harmonics and volume that's hard to find on a budget instrument. My point is; I challenge anyone the find a sweeter louder more harmonic guitar for under $1000.00 regardless of the MSRP.
Finally, I have question. My serial# (5684H1260 1) stamped below neck brace. Letter "S" handwritten directly through sound hole. NO Date stamp. Any idea as to year?
- Dalton - 2013-12-29
Bought one of these off a lady that cleans out storage units for $5. It's in beautiful condition and is one of my favorites of my collection. Unfortunately with my work hours I can't afford to keep it. I currently have it posted on ebay so i can continue to pay my bills... So sad to see it go...
- Guitar Hoarder - 2014-06-20
I have an H1260 I bought for $175 with a production number of 2359 before the H1260. It has a nice pumpkin patina. I'm guessing it to be early 1960's.
- D. - 2014-08-31
Dad's friend gave me one of these guitars when I was younger, telling me he didn't have the space for it anymore. The action hurt my fingers compared to my electric and it was abosolutely filthy, so I kept it withoutreally playing it for years (too busy learning Sweet Child O' Mine and all that). When was older and more interested in tone, I finally picked it up again it sounded gorgeous: it sounds so rich and forgiving, with deep bass notes and mellow, ethereal high notes that make it sound 'glassy'. It had a clean up recently and now it's just the best guitar ever. The action's perfect, and everything sits well in my lap. It's got a lot of nicks on it and it's fun to look around it and wonder where it's been and what's been played on it to make it the way it is. My favourite guitar.
- koby miller - 2014-09-22
My step dad just gave me a Harmony H1260. He said "my step dad gave it to me, so now I'm giving it you." It has 7767H1260 and S 69 N(not sure on the 'N'). So it's a 1969;) also it has a dark distinct 1 stamped by the date stamp. That's actually how I found the date stamp, the 1 points right at it!
- rwAaahRu0JZi - 2016-05-09
Hey, you're the goto expret. Thanks for hanging out here.
- Uwe Hillmer - 2016-06-02
I have a Harmony 12 string.
It`s stamped number is 2382 H 1270.
Can`t find it in this forum.
It`s a very booming loud guitar.
I would say it`s a real gibson killer.
At least I`ve bought an Ovation 12 string Pacemaker. It`s impossible to compare. The
harmony beat it at all. Sorry for my unperfect english, I´m german. But I like Harmony.
- Robin - 2016-06-04
I just received a H1260 serial number 2180. It's in great shape. This guitar has not been played for over 20 years. The neck is is straight, the body is in great condition, all original as far as I can tell. I have to get some work done to lower the action. It sounds great now but looking forward to playing it once I get the neck done and new strings on it.
- Diane - 2016-11-22
Hi hope someone can help me. I have a mint condition H1260 that my husband purchased in 1968 or 1969. It's really hard to see the numbers inside, but from just the little bit I've researched this is it. The guitar I have is better than the one pictured on this site. My husband took good care of all his stuff. I'm just stunned. I can't even find a superficial scratch. Can someone please tell me the best site to list this at. Thanks
- sowtondevil - 2017-01-15
As a teenager in Britain in the 1960’s I became aware of US bluesmen playing the Harmony Sovereign H1260 from photographs on the sleeves of imported albums. I eventually saw a new one for sale in the window of Bells Music shop in Surbiton, west of London. But for me it was unaffordable. From that day I harboured a desire to own one but it took over forty years to fulfil that desire! My H1260 was purchased unseen on Ebay for just over £300. When it arrived it was unplayable due to excessive swelling of the belly, a very badly worn fretboard, and various cracks in the sides. It was a wreck! Undaunted, I removed and disposed of the fretboard, removed and renovated the bridge, and set about flattening the swollen soundboard. I also removed all of the original lacquer – right down to the bare wood. After careful steam treatment to flatten the soundboard, I added a NOS Harmony fretboard obtained from an enthusiast in Chicago, and re-glued the bridge in place. I colour toned the neck and body and re-lacquered the guitar in nitro-cellulose, to replicate as near as possible the original finish. This guitar now probably looks, plays and sounds better than it did the day it left the Harmony factory in the mid-1960s. I play it every day and am delighted with it. It is worth the long wait to fulfil that dream.
- Robert Scott - 2017-02-21
Back in the early 60s everyone wanted a 12 string guitar due to many of the popular folk players having them. They were in very short supply then and I think only Gibson and Epiphone (then really Kalamazoo Gibsons) were making them. So Earl Gourmaine who owned the Pick and Strum shop in Southfield, Michigan started having Harmony Sovereigns converted to 12 string models by adding tuning machines and installing a metal tailpiece. There was a local policeman who moonlighted as a guitar repairman who did the actual work. They looked a little weird but played just fine. I have never seen one since. I was lucky enough to pick up a near-new 1963 Epiphone Bard which served me well for many years. Traded it in on a Taylor 855 eventually. Wish I still had the Epiphone!
- Al - 2017-02-27
Hi. Last year i bought an American made H1260 from a buddy, he said it was made in 1973. Is this possible. The stamp inside is F for
Fall but i can't make out the year of manufacture.Comments and information appreciated.