Here’s a guitar with quite a back story. It was built a few years ago in Sydney at the workshop of Lockwood Guitars, which is owned by respected luthier Arjuna Lockwood, who worked for many years with Gerard Gilet, whose guitars are regarded as some the best hand built acoustics ever crafted in Australia.
Arjuna oversaw the work of Sydney musician and wood craftsman Handasyd Williams, who painstakingly hand built most of this guitar from scratch.
From Handasyd Williams –
“This Harmony Jet Set Sovereign 1264 is basically a rebuild. After obtaining an original USA Harmony neck and headstock a few years back I began to build an entirely new body, fretboard, bridge and inlay around it. What you are seeing here is a guitar that’s about 1/4 original, and the rest had been built to the highest degree by Arjuna Lockwood (Gilet Guitars) and myself here in Australia.
High grade maple back and sides, AAA Sitka spruce top, Cambodian rosewood fretboard and matching Cambodian rosewood hand carved bridge. The rosette inlay around the soundhole was also custom made from scratch too!
This guitar has the same time and expertise put into it as any high end custom Lockwood or Gilet, and literally sounds way better than any of the original 1264’s that were built in the 70’s. It is fitted with an LR Baggs LB6 acoustic bridge pickup.”
And what a fine guitar it is.
We have had the good fortune to list some fabulous acoustic guitars here at PREMIER GUITARS in Sydney. And we have put this one up against a number of current listings in order to gauge its place in the pecking order. The consensus is that this Harmony Sovereign rebuild more than holds its own against models from a number of big name brands. In our opinion it surpasses quite a few quality acoustics that regularly fetch way higher prices.
It has a rich and harmonically complex tone and a powerful projection which can only be achieved through the use of top quality timbers and careful craftsmanship. It has a thick lower midrange, and an articulate top end that is not too bright – perfect to sit just right in a recording mix, or cut through with authority live onstage.
The work is to be commended. A top of solid AAA grade Sitka spruce from the wood library of these aficionado luthiers, solid maple back & sides, an intricate hand crafted rosette, hand carved rosewood bridge, beautiful binding work and multiple layer thin nitro finish. This guitar is a statement and the tone speaks for itself.
The original USA made Harmony Sovereigns were generally good guitars, although they varied in consistency. If you could find a good one, you were on to something – like Ryan Adams, Buck Owens and many others who have famously used this model.
But this one is a special beast. It is the result of a vision of two talented craftsmen, and way too many man hours to calculate in bringing this Harmony dream to reality.
This one is a dream realised, and at a selling price way below any big brand equivalent instrument.
Comes in a form fitting hard case in good condition, but with one latch not functional.