1962 Harmony Roy Smeck Stratotone
Model H7208

Manufactured by Harmony in Chicago, USA, in mid-1962.
Similar to Harmony Stratotone H49 Jupiter, but different pickups and controls.






Neck and Bridge pickups are similar to some models found on some Harmony/Silvertone Rockets.

Controls are Neck Volume, Neck Tone, Bridge Volume, Bridge Tone

Rotary pickup selector switch is a 4-way:
1 - neck (full on)
                  2 - neck + bridge (in phase)
  3 - bridge (full on)
                      4 - bridge (slight attenuation?)

The tones are rich and meaty, quite spectacular. Position #1 reminds me of a dark-sounding P90, really
full and fat sounding. Position #3 is almost as aggressive as a good Tele bridge pickup, while position #4
is just a tamed down version of this. #2 is somewhat like the middle position on a Tele, or 2/4 on a Strat,
the neck sound dominates, but the bridge brightens it up a bit...it's the most polite sound on the guitar.

     

Above are shots of the front and rear. There's a little flame in the top if the light hits it right.
The back and neck are finished in an opaque black, differing from the H49 Jupiter which was sunburst.

The pick guard is unique and the points often break off (2 of them in this case).



Another weakness of this hollow Stratotone design is the thin side walls.
There were several cracks here already so I installed a Les Paul style jack plate that is rock solid.



Very interesting pickups. The originals in this guitar read open on the DMM indicating a broken
wire inside. I disassembled them in a repair attempt but was unsuccessful (more on this below).

These replacements are from another Harmony guitar from 1964 and are the correct style for this
model. They both read about 10.25K ohms and are LOUD. Since the originals were rivetted to the pick
guard, I needed to use a drill to remove them.

The new pickups are screwed directly into the body of the guitar. All the original holes
in the pick guard were used so it looks fairly original. During pickup installation, I also
installed new 500KA CTS pots and Orange Drop tone caps (0.015uF neck, 0.022uF bridge).

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Here's one of of the original pickups taken apart. From L to R:
rivets that held the enclosure together, the chrome cover, paper insert, bobbin, brass spacer.

    

[Left]  This shows the pickup with the cover removed. The shield from the cable is soldered to the steel baseplate,
and the hot lead
is connected to a copper strip. The coil is covered with the tan-coloured tape.

[Right] This shot has the same pickup tilted up slightly. I've removed the tape and copper strip. The RED arrow
points to the thin wire exposed from positive end of the coil (almost impossible to see). The pressure of the copper
strip against this small wire is the only connection on the + side of the pickup! I tested this connection and it was
good - so the problem was elsewhere.



This photo shows the ground connection for the start of the pickup coil. I think the negative end of the
coil should be connected to this point (there's a blob of solder intended for something), but I couldn't confirm
whether it was actually connected or not.

The top of the bobbin is just thin black plastic and if you pry it up you can see the wire coil undeneath.

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Finally, here's the original Harmony alligator case...