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Harmony (String Instruments) H44 Stratotone
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Harmony (String Instruments) H44 Stratotone

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"Vintage or Re-Issue, a unique guitar to own"

Harmony (String Instruments) H44 StratotonePublished on 09/13/12 at 13:39
A vintage original Stratotone would have been made in Chicago USA. It would have been made of all maple, and had a semi-hollow body design. The same goes for the more modern korean made re-issue models, all maple, semi-hollow design.
The Stratotone is an interesting guitar, the original harmony models are some of the best out there. They featured the early version of the "Hershey Bar" pick-up and simple controls. You would have a volume knob, a tone knob, and a rythym/treble switch.
They were very small body guitars with an unusually wide tapered neck which definitely made them an odditiy then, and still does today. Surprisingly, these guitars are very well balanced body/neck wise. The......
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A vintage original Stratotone would have been made in Chicago USA. It would have been made of all maple, and had a semi-hollow body design. The same goes for the more modern korean made re-issue models, all maple, semi-hollow design.
The Stratotone is an interesting guitar, the original harmony models are some of the best out there. They featured the early version of the "Hershey Bar" pick-up and simple controls. You would have a volume knob, a tone knob, and a rythym/treble switch.
They were very small body guitars with an unusually wide tapered neck which definitely made them an odditiy then, and still does today. Surprisingly, these guitars are very well balanced body/neck wise. The extra wide tapered neck is also really fun to play on once you get used to the style.
The Stratotone was available in a single pickup version, the H44, or a dual pickup version, the H45.
The newer re-issue versions are available in the classic copper metal flake paint job or the classic high gloss black (tuxedo) paint job.
The industrious collector of Harmony made instruments can also find many different Stratotone models available for purchase that were simply built by Harmony and then marketed, branded and distributed by several other companies. The Alden Tuxedo, or the Airline Tuxedo for instance, are both some of the more common H44 models that float to the surface nowadays. (Plenty of Harmony branded H44's and 45's also pop up as well!)

UTILIZATION

The Stratotone's design is reminiscent of a scaled down les paul body type. The single cutaway provides ample access to the upper frets and overall is a really comfortable guitar to play.
Vintage and Re-issue Stratotones share a unique tone. I just can't call it muffled, that would be wrong, but to say that it is overly thick to the point of absurdity would be closer to the mark.

SOUNDS

I play my Stratotone through a vintage Fender Princeton amp. I typically set the low tone knob way low, the mid about 12o'clock, and the high about 3-4o'clock. I always play the guitar with the Rythym/Treble or Lead switch set to Treble/Lead. Also Volume and Tone knobs are set to max, all the time.
The overall sound is an interesting mix between vintage and modern. It has a sort of "radiohead'ish" sound.
It mixes quite well with my original band's quasi-classic/modern rock sound and it also blends very nicely with some of my solo electronic/organic music.

OVERALL OPINION

I purchased both my re-issue and my vintage model for about 250-300$ a piece.
The overall sound vs. the price is...well it's unique. What can I really say? Both have a tone that you simply cannot find in ANY other guitar.
Your choice of string thickness, setup preferences, and amp choice are going to be huge factors with this guitar.
I'm a long-time Harmony enthusiast, so, yes I've played as many as have come close to me. (close enough to grab it and say, "hey, let me jam on this for a bit") The Stratotone is it's very own and very unique animal.
I'd buy either another re-issue or another vintage model in an instant if I didn't already own both.
Both the vintage and the re-issues are readily available from private collectors, music stores, and ebay.
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Harmony (String Instruments) H44 StratotonePublished on 02/19/10 at 12:12
The Harmony H44 Stratotone is an electric guitar made in the late 1950's. There are a number of different models of the H44, but the one I've used was made in 1959. The guitar only has a single pick up, with volume and tone knobs to control your sound as well as a tone switch. The H44 is unique in both sound and look...

UTILIZATION

Playing the Harmony H44 Stratotone is a real treat overall. The neck is thick and wide, making it easy to wrap your hands around and to get a good grip on it. It is also one of my favorite electric guitars to play slide on because of this wide neck. The guitar has a very small body, but it seems like the neck is normal size. It is about an average......
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The Harmony H44 Stratotone is an electric guitar made in the late 1950's. There are a number of different models of the H44, but the one I've used was made in 1959. The guitar only has a single pick up, with volume and tone knobs to control your sound as well as a tone switch. The H44 is unique in both sound and look...

UTILIZATION

Playing the Harmony H44 Stratotone is a real treat overall. The neck is thick and wide, making it easy to wrap your hands around and to get a good grip on it. It is also one of my favorite electric guitars to play slide on because of this wide neck. The guitar has a very small body, but it seems like the neck is normal size. It is about an average weight and has a very cool finish and look to it. Getting a good sound from the H44 is easy if you can play, although there isn't too much room here to control your sound.

SOUNDS

The overall sound of the Harmony H44 Stratotone is thick and wide sounding. I've used the guitar with both a '65 Fender Deluxe Reverb and a vintage Gibson amp, and it sounds great with both of them. I have generally used it with some overdrive as well as some delay (a T-Rex Dr Swamp and Replica), which gets me the perfect sound for some slide or other lead parts. While not the most versatile guitar out there since it only has one pick up, I find that the sounds that the H44 can get are milky enough where I don't mind it too much.

OVERALL OPINION

I haven't seen all that many Harmony H44 Stratotones out there other than the one that I've used, since these are more than fifty years old now. The price of the H44 probably wouldn't be incredibly expensive, granted that you could even find a used one of them out there. However, if you do get the chance to try one out or to record with one like I did, I know you'll at least be able to appreciate it for the unique guitar that it is.
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Tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Harmony (String Instruments)
  • Model: H44 Stratotone
  • Category: Other Shape Guitars
  • Added in our database on: 02/19/2010

We have no technical specifications for this product
but your help will be much welcomed

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Other categories in Solid Body Electric Guitars

Other names: h44 stratotone, h44stratotone, h 44 stratotone, h44 stratot 1, h44stratot 1, h 44 stratot 1

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