H-88 Stratotone Doublet Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony (1957)

H-88 Stratotone Doublet Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony  (1957)

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Item # 8345
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H-88 Stratotone Doublet Model Solid Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony (1957), made in Chicago, black sparkle lacquer finish, hardwood body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black gig bag case.

The Harmony Stratotone H-88 is the far rarer twin pickup brother of the highly regarded Stratotone H-44, one of the most sought after of all Harmony electrics. These were the Chicago company's first solidbody guitars, released hard on the heels of the first Les Pauls and offering a budget alternative to the Gibson and Fender models. This H-88 is not branded but the stylized "A" emblem on the headstock indicates it was made for Alden's, one of Harmony's major wholesale accounts. The gold sparkle-over-black finish on this guitar would go on to be a classic for the Sears Silvertone instruments made by Harmony and later Danelectro.

The H-88 shares many features with its far more common sibling, the H-44. The overall layout of a small single cutaway solid body with huge, round profile neck is the same; the finish and pearloid block fingerboard inlay are different. This model features two great-sounding pickups with concentric tone and volume controls and a 3-way selector switch for a much more versatile sonic spectrum. This particular H-88 was made in 1957 (according to the pot date codes) and sold for $134.50 that year, an exceptionally good value in a double pickup solidbody. Definitely funky but chic, the "Stratotone Doublet" is one of Harmony's best 1950's offerings, even if it is not well remembered by most guitarists today.
 
Overall length is 36 in. (91.4 cm.), 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This Stratotone shows some typical finish wear overall, mostly to the body and headstock edges and the back. The rest of the instrument is nicely intact, including most of the tiny gold sparkles that are often rubbed away!. The hardware and electronics are original and complete, the thin single-layer pickguard has some repaired and re-inforced cracks in the control area that are now completely solid. A repro jackplate, new switch tip and strap button on the upper bout are the only alterations. The frets show a little wear, but overall a good playing example of this funky-but-chic Chicago-made classic. Very Good + Condition.