Harmony H-27 Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar (1967)
Harmony H-27 Model Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar (1967), made in Chicago, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, maple meck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case. Item # 7563
This fairly imposing 4-string is one of the more obscure but interesting of Harmony's 1960's instruments-the H-27 "Deluxe" bass. This large and somewhat flashy instrument sold initially for 199.50, twice the price of the more familiar flat-topped H-22 that had been the company's only bass offering since 1962. The H-27 was introduced in mid-1966 with a fully arched, laminated multi-bound maple body, huge single-sided Fender-like headstock with a laminate tortoiseshell celluloid overlay and two special design DeArmond bass pickups with double adjustable poles for each string. The bridge is an elaborate fully adjustable metal unit with an integral tailpiece block mounted to the face in place of the H-22's simple wooden fitting. The 30" scale neck has a bound rosewood fingerboard, the tuners are Japanese-made covered-back bass machines. The body has no pickguard but mounts two tortoise-celluloid topped finger rests, a single switch and individual tone and volume controls for the two pickups.
The H-27 has seen only one well-known endorser; it was the "other" favorite bass of the Small Faces' Ronnie "Plonk" Lane (alongside his original Harmony H-22) and he once told the tale of getting the first one into England, straight off the trade show booth at the 1966 British music fair. "Plonk" used one extensively in 1966-68, both live and on record, and he can be seen in a number of period clips with this model. The H-27 was not as successful as its lower-budget brother the H-22 and is far less well known now but on its own merits is a very interesting and underrated hollowbody bass with a huge but well-defined tone.
Overall length is 46 1/8 in. (117.2 cm.), 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 15/16 in. (4.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 30 in. (762 mm.). Width of nut is 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.). This bass is very nice overall; the finish is clean and unfaded with only some small chips and dings. Complete and original, with all the hardware intact including the oft-missing bridge and tailpiece covers. The only alteration is the original small plastic strap buttons have been replaced with stouter metal ones, and the original forward button is now mounted to the back of the heel…and one tuner has a couple of changed mounting screws. The rear pickup has an added wood riser underneath-Harmony mounted them directly to the top-this could easily be removed if desired but it actually helps get a more balanced sound from the pickups so we have left it in place. Shrinkage to the heavy celluloid headstock face veneer has caused the tip of the headstock to warp upwards slightly but this does not affect the instrument in any practical way. A very good player with excellent neck and frets, a fine example of this fairly rare bass. Includes a perfectly fitted period Victoria hard case that appears to be original to the bass, if not standard Harmony issue-this is the only one of these we have ever seen with a hard case include at any rate! Excellent Condition.
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