Harmony Meteor H-70 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar , c. 1959

Harmony  Meteor H-70 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar ,  c. 1959

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Item # 6837
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Harmony Meteor H-70 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar, c. 1959, made in Chicago, serial # 3165H70, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original two-tone chipboard case.

This is a very early example of a Harmony classic, the H-70 Meteor. Introduced in 1958, the Meteor was the first of the thinline cutaway designs that were Harmony's bread and butter electric instruments for the next decade and is a fairly classy guitar despite its humble reputation. The H-70 in sunburst finish sold at $170 in 1959. With two great-sounding DeArmond "Golden Indox" pickups (introduced with this model), the Meteor is a very good-sounding instrument.

The laminated maple body is 15 3/4" wide and 2" deep at the rim with a single rounded cutaway and a laminated spruce top trimmed with subtly fancy 5-ply binding. The Meteor is wired to the scheme Gibson developed in the early 1950s: tone and volume knobs for each pickup and a single toggle for selection. The slim bolt-on neck is multi-bound with pearloid block inlay and is equipped with the "Torque-Lok" trussrod, an under/over double rod adjusted at the headstock that is actually quite effective. The internal date code on this guitar is illegible, but the vibrant sunburst on this early has more red in it than later examples, and the guitar dated to the first year or two of Meteor production.

The Meteor has an interesting rock and roll pedigree. Rolling Stone Keith Richards' first "serious" guitar was a sunburst H-70, which saw extensive use on all the Stones' early records (including their landmark first album), first tours, and TV appearances. Lead guitarist Dave Davies cut The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" in July 1964 with his natural-finish Meteor -- the scraping, drivingly distorted tone he achieved remains uniquely arresting even today. Davies bought the Meteor (his first "real" guitar) at Selmer's "on the hire Purchase" before the Kinks even had a permanent name. The guitar was popular with many teen combos both in the UK and US in the 1960's and is still a solid performer today, one Harmony's all-time best designs.
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 15 3/4 in. (40 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 in. (610 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

All original; some light wear, but overall a very nice example. There are some small dents in the lacquer on the back of the neck on the first few frets, but no major finish loss. The most notable wear is some light pick scrapes to the top. The metal headstock logo was re-glued at one point, and it has some distortion to the letters -- it's a bit "Bizarro World" looking, but still legible! This guitar has maintained a beautifully bright and unfaded finish, the hardware is very clean, and everything is original with no alterations. A super nice example of a very early Meteor; includes a very nice heavy-duty original chipboard case. Excellent Condition.