Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1959 Harmony Meteor H70 Electric Hollowbody Guitar

Here we have a 1959 Harmony Meteor single cutaway hollowbody guitar with Dearmond gold tone pickups(not gold foil as we discussed in the previous post).

This was the second year of production for this model as harmony began producing the H70 in 1958 and continued production in this form until around 1966.   This guitar has the woodiest(making up words here) tone I have ever heard.  The Dearmond Gold Tone pickups sound great and make this guitar a rockabilly riot.

The neck is fast and easy to play.  It is also slim, which leaves me in a bit of a conundrum - I love the sound of this guitar, but have always been a fan or thicker/meatier necks.  I've never been a fast player, so slim and fast never meant much to me.  This is definitely more of a players guitar as it is a little banged up in spots.  A previous owner had dropped it on the input jack area which created a bunch of cracks that seem stable for now.  No worries - she still sounds and plays good.

The good news is this guitar is all original and after benefiting from a little setup it will play as well as it did the day she came out of the factory.  It's hard to call any Harmony guitar rare as The Harmony Company pushed out millions of guitars from their factory, but you don't see that many Meteors around.  When this guitar was new it was advertised at a price of $170.00 which seems like a pretty penny for 1959.  That would make it one of their top of the line models for the year.

If you would like more info on just about any Harmony model out there, you need to check out

This is an amazing site of info and pics that will allow you to date just about any harmony product you may have.  A lot of hard work went into this site and we are lucky to have it as a resource.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Teisco Gold Foil Pickup/Ry Cooder Pickup

Okay --- just a little vintage guitar pickup clarification.

This is essentially what Ry Cooder's Gold Foil pickup looks like. 

These pickups are a slight variation in that the screws are center mounted.  On Ry's pickups the polepieces are top mounted(or bottom mounted - depending how you look at it) on the pickup.

Ry uses one of these pickups in the neck position on a strat as well as on a tele as far as I know.  Because of this they have been dubbed the Ry Cooder pickup, especially in Ebay land.  Problem is that just about every pickup with a little touch of gold in it(and even some without) are being called the Ry Cooder pickup.  Similar mistakes are being made with Harmony guitars and the Black Keyes and of course Airline guitars and Jack White.  Jack White's name is probably the most egregiously used name on ebay.  I can't tell you how many Airline guitars get tied to him that he doesn't play.  Folks will say anything to make a sale.  Anyhow, just thought I would throw this out there.  Buyer beware.

There is a ton of info out there on the net if you are interested in Ry's setup.  The gold foil pickups are a very unique sounding pickup.  They are very warm and mellow with lower output eliciting a real nice clean tone.  You can see why Ry and many others have chosen to couple them with different pickups.