Harmony Roy Smeck H-7 Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1956)

Harmony  Roy Smeck H-7 Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1956)

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Item # 8229
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Harmony Roy Smeck H-7 Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1956), made in Chicago, two tone lacquer finish, maple body with acrylic fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This striking late-Deco lap steel guitar was one of the line of instruments that the "Wizard of the Strings" Roy Smeck endorsed for Harmony in the 1960s. With its clean lines and two-tone "tuxedo" finish, it's certainly a looker, and the Gibson-made P-13 pickup ensures it's a great-sounding steel as well.

The H-7 arrived just at the end of the lap steel craze, and thus is rarer than some earlier steels. It was sold both with and without console legs starting in 1955. This one has the sockets but the case has no storage for the legs, confirming it was intended as a lap steel. The pot codes date to late 1956.

Here's how Harmony described the model in 1955-6: "Endorsed and played by Roy Smeck. RCA-Victor recording artist. TV and Radio Star. A striking concept in Hawaiian guitar design, developed for Roy Smeck's professional appearances. Incorporates highly responsive pickup, special tone control, and volume control with extended handle for special effects. The two-level body was devised to ease of holding in playing position. Its sweeping curves are given sharp contrast and eye appeal by the gleaming polished black and white finish. Plastic fingerboard and handrest. Nickel-plated machine heads. Extension cord. $85.00. C7 carrying case, hard shell, $20.00."

We couldn't say it better ourselves; this is a great-looking, great-sounding steel and carries the "King of all Endorsers" name on its spiffy plastic bridge cover, along with a "UKE" designation that makes no sense. Looks to have been a stencil someone couldn't be bothered to re-design. Still -- cool, quirky, and great-sounding. What's not to love?
 
Overall length is 31 1/2 in. (80 cm.), 8 in. (20.3 cm.) across at the widest point, and 2 in. (5.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 3/4 in. (578 mm.). Width of nut is 2 in. (51 mm.).

This steel shows a few dings and dents to the finish but looks very little-played and completely original and unaltered. The original hard case, molded white plastic cord, and case key are included -- the case itself has some moisture damage and repair on the bottom edge and a missing latch but is fully functional. A super cool package straight out of the 1950s. Excellent + Condition.