Harmony H-22 Electric Bass Guitar (1962)

Harmony  H-22 Electric Bass Guitar  (1962)

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Item # 7932
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Harmony H-22 Model Electric Bass Guitar (1962), made in Chicago, serial # 3184H-22, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body. maple neck with rosewood fingerboard.

One of the 1960s' finest bass bargains, the Harmony H-22 "Hi Value" Electric Bass retailed originally at $99.50 and was the giant Chicago company's first bass guitar offering. The H-22 was officially introduced in Harmony's 1962 catalog, and it remained pretty much the same into the late '60s when the body design was altered to a double cutaway.

This 1962 bass is from the first year of production (the pickup is dated to September that year) and features a lightweight flat-topped fully hollow body mounting one excellent sounding DeArmond pickup down by the neck. The neck itself is thick but comfortable, with a 30" scale dot-inlaid rosewood fingerboard. This early example has a block rosewood tailpiece, originally covered by a chrome handrest (that incidentally was designed for Gibson steel guitars in the 1930s!). The bass' most distinctive cosmetic feature is the large white plastic off-center pickguard, which certainly gives it an unmistakable look! Controls are simple, with single tone and volume knobs and large "klunk" switch that works with the tone control for instant tone modification from dark to "baritone".

The H-22 was used extensively in the mid-1960s by both Muff Winwood in the Spencer Davis Group and Ronnie Lane of the Small Faces, and its aggressively thumpy tone can be clearly heard on many recordings. Popular up into the late 1960s, the H-22 has recently again become a much-used and sought-after item with new generations of players discovering its quirky charm, extremely easy handling, and excellent sonic qualities.
 
Overall length is 44 1/2 in. (113 cm.), 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 in. (5.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 30 in. (762 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This is a fairly well-worn but still fully functional and great playing example of this Harmony budget bass classic. There is some general playwear overall, with dings and dents to the finish. The most notable loss is to the lower region; it looks like the bottom edge of the bass was exposed to dampness for a time. The finish in area from the bridge down to the tailpiece area has flaked somewhat, as has the bottom edge.

Everything is solid with no warping or separations, but the finish still shows the effects. There is one cleanly repaired crack to the laminate side in the treble waist area. The wooden bridge is a modern replacement, and the pickguard and rosewood tailpiece block are exact replicas of the originals. All other hardware is original; the small rosewood finger rest and metal cover for the tailpiece are missing. While not the cleanest H-22 we have had, this one is a very good player and a nice gigging example of this very popular bass with a cool vibe. Very Good + Condition.