Dating harmony sovereign guitar
It was not until Mike Bloomfield started playing vintage electric guitars with Paul Butterfield that I began to see any demand for vintage electrics.From that point onward, however, the market for electric guitars rose rapidly as numerous musicians took up collecting and playing these instruments on stage.It was my observation that the rising popularity of rhythm & blues in the mainstream market had an enormous impact on this trend.During the early and mid 1960s new Martin, Fender and Gibson guitars were typically sold by dealers at full retail list price.Harmony and Kay made playable acoustics and electrics, but the neck dimensions, action and general playability left much to be desired.Electric Harmonys, Danelectros and Kays not only were not comparable in physical playability to Fenders or Gibsons, but they did not sound even remotely similar.I still have vivid memories of going into the big Lyon & Healy retail store on Wabash Avenue in Chicago and seeing their limited selection of new Martins behind glass where you could not touch one without permission.
While student model American guitars by these companies were better than the Japanese guitars of that era, they still were not remotely close in playability or sound to Martins, Gibsons and Fenders.
Similarly, Gibson offered a few model acoustic guitars, no Les Paul models, and SGs only in Junior, Special, Standard and Custom.
Fender offered the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Musicmaster, Duo-Sonic, Precision bass and Jazz bass, each in one standard color and with a few custom color options, but nowhere remotely near the variety offered in their catalog today.
By the time I opened my shop in January of 1970, the market was significantly different from that of 1963, but not so much as to be unrecognizable.
In 1970 the most desirable vintage models were bringing somewhat more than equivalent model new ones, but not so much more as to be a radical difference.