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H1260 Sound Demo Same Guitar Before and After - Hear It

What IDo

Have you ever wondered whether the guy selling you a "restored" Harmony Sovereign guitar has experience in this line of work? How many Harmony Sovereigns have they repaired? Any re-brace operations? Reset or bridge replacement?

The image below shows a fraction of the bridges I have removed from H1260 and H1203 guitars. I don't attempt to save the original bridges because they are not worth saving. I cut the original down to 1/16 inch and use heat to remove. What you see here are the remains of my bridge removal process.

So, yeah, I am experienced.

Mossman Repairs

I now do the Agony of D Feet repair and neck resets on vintage Mossman guitars. $300.

Our Prices

You may notice that prices are lower on this website than they are on eBay or Reverb. That is because there are no eBay or Reverb fees when buying through this site. And I offer an excellent guarantee: Satisfaction or your money back. I support my customers.

What I Do

I am a small shop specializing in vintage Harmony Sovereign guitar restorations.

I also buy or accept unplayable or wrecked quality acoustic guitars and make them playable again.

I do not install or repair any electronics. My arena is that heavenly acoustic ring.

I do not do cosmetic restorations, though my work is very neat. I leave the original finish intact as much as possible. I may do spot repairs here and there.

Our Goals

I restore the following Harmony built guitars Suitable for Rebuilding (made between 1958 through 1970)

Our brace conversion and restoration fee is $650 shipping to you included. Sorry folks, I am forced to raise my fee due to increased parts and material cost.

All numbers in parenthesis throughout this website are stewmac.com part or item numbers.

Standard items included with every X- or V-brace conversion and rebuild:

Note 1 - I can leave the original bridge in place and install a new bone saddle. Fee is reduced $40.

Note 3 - Customer may supply tuners as long as they will fit the Sovereign gear head. The fee is reduced $45 in this case.


Many potential customers want to know how good my finishing work is. I rarely strip a guitar unless it is one of my purchased instruments and then only if the original was really terrible. I prefer the original finish even if it is pretty well marked up. I prefer to keep that vintage vibe.


How Do I Charge Such Low Prices?

How can I charge such crazy low prices for all this work? I do not have a store front. I pay no rent. I have access to amazing stocks of mahogany, rosewood, maple, and other hardwoods. I have all the tools and equipment a luthier could ever need.

Warranty Statement     Shipping Details

FEEDBACK onmywork

Many cracks with message scratched H1260 2020-04-07

The guitar is fantastic. I strung it up yesterday and played it for hours. What a great huge tone it projects! It was hard to imagine that it would ever be playable again with all the cracks and damage it sustained through the years, but you have breathed new life into it, and I know that I will be able to play it for years and years to come with no issues. Thank you for taking on this project and for bringing this guitar back to life for me.

H1260 Customer Re-brace 2020-04-03

I recently sent Dave at Moonlight Luthiers an unplayable beat to heck Harmony Jumbo 1265 for the x-brace conversion and everything else he does to get these old Harmonies in playable shape. After receiving it back I was blown away by the care and craftsmanship that went into reviving this guitar. From the major items like new bracing and neck resetting to the little attention to detail items as well. Not only does it look much better, the sound and playability is on par with guitars selling for 3 and 4 times what this 1265 is worth. The neck and action are spot on, the tone and sustain from low E all the way up are amazing. It’s got a big booming voice but also finger picks with clarity and projection. It’s a true joy to play especially after knowing it wasn’t much more than a wall hanger. I highly recommend sending your old ladder-braced Harmonies to Dave for the conversion, you’ll be in awe at the transformation and it’s a bargain to boot.

Harmony H1203 Customer Re-brace 02/2020

I wanted to follow up after playing the guitar for a few days. In short, I absolutely love this guitar. I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Even strung with the 10’s you sent with the guitar it’s resonant, bright w/o being harsh. Plays beautifully.

Harmony H1260 Sold

David, I just purchased the 1260 #179. I’ve been working on guitars and tube amps for 35 years. Not professionally but it paid for all of my toys. I’m just really impressed with ALL your work, very nice. I love the frets you put in, high profile and thin. I can’t find anything like that anywhere. Where did you get those? They play so nice/easy but "not bumpy’.

Harmony H1266

And she’s beautiful! Thanks so much Dave. My old Harmony arrived today and I couldn’t be happier (well, I could be a little happier if I had that one piece of pick guard to give you). But it looks great and sounds beautiful. When I found that in my Mom’s closet and opened that old case, I thought damn, looks like the best I can do is just toss this. I’m so glad I took some pictures and posted them on Face book. It was there I found out I had a rare gem, and it needed to be restored. That’s also where I learned about Moonlight Luthiers. I can’t thank you enough. This is a great old new addition to my family of wood and strings. Now I’m just going to keep looking for a replacement for that pick guard. If I find one, I know a couple of luthiers around here that I’m sure could install it properly. Thanks again and a very Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family! A very happy, *owners name*

Requesting Future Work

Hi , wonderful work you do! My good friend recently purchased another Sov from you I think it’s # 174 , and the one he bought earlier also has the reverse v modification. They are both perhaps the most exciting , compelling guitars I have played in memory ! I’ve had Martins , Collings, Gibsons several very nice guitars two of my favorites were stolen, the older Martin and an older Gibson and since that happened I have been looking for something to replace that loss . ( that was more than 15 years ago !) I would really like to know what you have coming end of November . Also both of my friends guitars have a slightly wider neck than what is typical. Tell me if I am mistaken but typical is 1 n 3/4 s at the nut and I’m pretty certain Pete’s guitars both have approx 1 n 13/16ths at the nut and it feels just right for my hands .

Guild D-35 (10/19)

Hi Dave, Just a note to let you know how much I like this guitar. Don’t know how you do it, but it’s the best guitar I’ve ever played. I’m a one guitar man, and this is it. Thanks again. Best Regards, Donny

The best guitar I ever played. Do not hesitate from buying a guitar from these folks. Itís magic

Roy Smeck (9/2019)

Oh my. If youíre looking at this review to decide whether or not to purchase a guitar from this seller...go ahead and buy the guitar. I had been waiting for the right guitar to pop up from them, and I’m glad I did. The rebracing adds so much to the sound. All the other upgrades pile on to make this one of the best sounding guitars Iíve played, and not just for the price, which is more than a steal. Great packaging and shipping. Thanks again!

X braced H1203 Sovereign (2019-08-07)

Just got the Sovereign and am extremely impressed. My initial reaction is that it is EVERYTHING I could have hoped for out of this guitar. Crisp and articulate, it will make a great fingerstyle guitar for me. In all honesty it sounds BETTER than the Maton TE models I’ve played. (Although the TE is unmatched plugged in). Anyway, now a great admirer of your work.

Harmony Roy Smeck

I love the guitar. Looks and sounds the way it should. Thanks again.

H1203 V-braced conversion

Honest seller who does great work and ships fast! A+

Harmony H1203TG - V-braced

You all did great work on this guitar. Plays great, neck is true, action is close, and it has a surprisingly rich timbre for the pitch range. Had my family over this weekend (most are players), and everyone was impressed. My dad said it was almost reminiscent of a Martin. Also, I appreciate the thorough packing and inclusion of a humidity controller. Thanks so much!

H1203 X-braced

2019-04-15 -- "Moonlight Magic" from Dave and the crew. They took the vintage tonewoods in my 1965 Harmony 1203, restored the geometry, converted it to X bracing, and now its tone is in the same league as my Martin and Gibsons. Seriously. Dave kept me posted on the progress during the rebuild, and even repaired the old case for me. In the late 70s when this guitar became unplayable, I converted it to play as a dobro in our concert touring (Mac Davis Band). Eventually it started coming apart, so I took off the strings and it became a wall hangar. Now, thanks to Moonlightluthiers, I’m delighted to have it back as a guitar, sounding better than ever!

H1260 X-braced

The guitar plays like a dream and sounds just as spectacular. I have really fallen for the wooden (fret board) bindings. Kudos to your work on the re-bracing. I heard another one that remained ladder braced and my guitar put that one to shame. Intonation is spot on. I have long thought the sign of a great guitar is one that begs you to pick it up day after day. That is what I have been doing with the instrument you rebuilt for me. I am on the hunt for another one just like it to have as a back up. I hope you are keeping hard at it as these instruments were meant to be X-braced and in the hands of caring owners. Keep up the good work.

H1203 V-braced lefty.

David, I love my V-braced Harmony H1203. It sounds incredible. It was a pleasure meeting you and learning more about the restoration process. I am so fortunate to have a vintage lefty-Harmony - thanks to you. You are a true professional. Thank-you for your patience regarding the right-handed Harmony H1203 for my son ( Ryan). It is so unique to have coco bolo fretboard with the matching bridge. Can you remind me what the balance would be , including a Gator case and shipping to Rochester , Vermont ? I have paid $450 thus far.

H1203 X-brace Conversion and major rebuild. (October 2018)

I just wanted to reach out to you to let you know I received the guitar, and I am beyond blown away by the results. It was an emotional experience for me to play my father’s guitar - and the instrument that I learned to play on - for the first time in over 40 years. I am amazed by how loud and crisp and clear the sound is. I can’t thank you enough for the fantastic job that you did rebuilding the guitar. You are amazing. I will cherish this wonderful instrument and my children will cherish it for years after I am gone. Thank you again for everything.

Late 1940’s Gibson J-45 rebuild. (2017)

I received the guitar. It’s great. Plays great, looks great. I like everything about it. You did a fantastic job on it, hard to believe it is the same guitar. I have owned at least a dozen J-45’s (probably more), and I don’t think that I have had one that compares to it. It sounds the way that I think a J-45 should. I will give more detailed feedback after I have played it hard for week or so, but I am more than satisfied. The workmanship is excellent as well. Thanks again.

2016-10 Martin D-1 rebuild

I have officially bonded with and grown attached to the Martin. Most excellent deal, thank you. Over a year later and I need to tell you that I simply love this guitar. All the best to you and yours this holiday season.

2017-09 Harmony H1203 customer rebuild

I was playing it over the weekend, and I must say that the tone of the guitar is wonderful. The sound is very open and clear. The x-bracing conversion certainly makes these old Harmony Sovereigns come alive. Great job on cleaning up the fretboard as well!

Harmony replacement bridge

I just got the bridge today and it arrived in perfect shape. Thank you for sending such a beautiful example. I’ll let you know how things go and I’ll send you a pic of the finished product.

2017-08 Silvertone Rebuild

I finally got it strung up Friday and was going to write you. You did an outstanding job with the rebuild. The bass is deep and round, the mids are full, with a great top end. It sounds like a grand piano. I can’t believe it’s the same guitar. Again, excellent work on restoring the guitar. I love it.

Recent feedback on a Larrivee rebuild

Wow! You are a wizard sir! Have to tell you that it brought tears to my eyes just unpacking my Larrivee! The FexEx man was a picker too and he was as excited as I was, he even helped me get it out of the box! I did use the higher saddle - Perfect! The strings respond to the top light and lively. It has that clarity I remember but bolder...perhaps the bracing structure you recommended made that difference? I’m totally in awe with of your work. Even the color of the top is more me...looks older somehow. Yes, I’m sure the varnish was tough to work with, but I’m not bothered by the imperfection there, I think you were a little hard on yourself. Your work is impeccable! This guitar was and is the love of my life.† I waited 16 years to have it repaired. I have no doubts that I found the right person to do the work! I KNOW you put a lot of pride and love into this repair.† I can’t thank you enough. I’m gonna be looking for a Sovereign for you to do here soon. Perhaps you have one you are releasing into the world soon?†

Please see our ebay feed back under "MOONLIGHTLUTHIERS."

Feedback on ongoing H1260 custom rebuild

David I am really impressed with you and your work. Not only are your prices unbelievably more then fair but your love for your trade is quite admirable. I have a luthier who lives literally within 2 miles of my house that I have often used. His work is of course impeccable. But he charges at least 3 times what you do and I never received updates like the one you just sent. I really can’t express enough my gratitude for your work. And especially how you major on Harmony Sovereign’s, which I have always loved. I can’t wait to get her back and play her! Thx again.

Typical appreciation letter from a satisfied customer:

Hi David,

I received the guitar safe and sound, packed amazing well by the way. I got it strung up and played it a bunch this weekend and its great. I couldn’t be happier with the tone. This Sovereign is now the guitar she always wanted to be. Neck angle, setup, play-ability are all very good, nicely done. Cosmetically it looks great, hard to tell the back ever came off other than the white binding. The shape of the top looks pretty good to me, bellying and sound hole sink are minimal to non-existent. Crack repairs are also well done.

All in all I’m really pleased and want to thank you for the positive experience. The only regret is that I didn’t communicate soon enough my desire for the string spacing at the bridge to be slightly wider than stock. I’m 99% a finger picker and not a strummer and prefer 2 1/4" or wider spacing and was looking forward to be able to have the spacing set where I like it since a new bridge was being installed but I forgot to ask for this until it was too late. I might suggest offering custom spacing as an option.

X-brace conversion H1260

I got my first used Harmony Sovereign in the 1960s and have never lost my affection for these guitars. I still have three of them. One in particular , a mid-1960s Silvertone burst, was in particularly nasty condition. It had a broken neck and a number of poorly done amateur repairs including an earlier neck break. Looked like a glue pot had exploded inside. Anyway I repaired the break so I could string it up. Although the guitar was barely playable, it had something special going on. As the neck was still rough and I did not trust the earlier repair I went looking for another Sovereign neck to have slapped on. I ended up having a whole lot more done. I went with Moonlight Luthiers. Initially it was because they had a good Sovereign neck. But I decided to go ahead and have the entire conversion done which amounted to not only putting the replacement neck on (which they rebound and re-fretted) but replacing the heavy ladder bracing with a slim taper forward shifted X brace, the pinless bridge with a pin bridge, and the spruce bridge plate with a maple one. I admit I was a bit edgy mainly because their price is crazy low for the amount of work they proposed doing. Moonlight had the guitar for about two months and it has now been back with me for a few weeks. To say that I am happy with their work would be an understatement Everything they did was top notch. They also went above and beyond, not only repairing the cracks but cleaning all the gunk out of the inside and then shooting a thin coat of blush remover to help stabilize the burst which had begun to flake off. As to sound. This was a big leap of faith for me because I love the way the Sovereigns sound as they rolled out of the factory in Chicago. While I suck at describing sound, as best as I can put it they freed up the guitar’s resonance. Just a light brush of the strings brings the guitar to life. Wonderful harmonics, a crisp upper end and a low end that would make a bluegrass player (which I am not) grin with delight.

H1203 X-brace Conversion and Restoration Feedback (June 2018)

It’s been a good year and a half since I purchased my rebuilt Harmony Sovereign 1203 from you, and I wanted to let you know how much I’ve come to love it, as I learn how to play. There’s a lot of bang for the buck in that guitar. It sounds wonderful to me, and I am not talking about my playing, that’s for sure. But it makes me want to pick it up everyday, and that’s half the battle in learning. Also, your immediate accommodation in having the backside binding redone here locally when it began to separate is unparalleled service, and I greatly appreciate that. I don’t hesitate to recommend your guitars to anyone interested and hope folks take advantage of your great service. These guitars are old, and once rebuilt, may not look fresh, but sound and play like a much more expensive instrument, in my limited experience. Thanks so much for my 1203. I love it.

Thanks again for everything, would you like referrals or Moonlight Luthiers name mentioned on guitar forums? I would not mind bragging about my new/old Sovereign online.

Another Letter (non-eBay)

Thanks so much for your work on this guitar. You completely exceeded my expectations. I will be playing this during my next Broadway performance. I am utterly amazed that you can do this level of work for such a reasonable fee. Excellent all around workmanship.


Harmony H1203 (1950s) Rebuild

Thanks for the great work on the Sovereign. It plays and sounds wonderful - hard to put it down. I appreciate the end pins and all the other goodies. All the finish work is great, the back binding is fine - a tad conspicuous but no biggie. I’m very happy with it - thanks!

Martin B-40 Base

AAA+++ Ebayer guitar very nice well packed and quickly shipped Very satisfied.

Taylor PS-10 Brazilian Rosewood

great guitar...fast shipping...would buy again from seller

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

Better than I could have expected! Unbelievable value, amazing craftsmanship!

Martin D-1

A sweet sounding rebuilt. Nicely done. Very satisfied.

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

Great sellers Highest possible recommendation. Good communicator Excellent++(#271922008337)

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

Great job reconstructing this guitar. Sounds superb!

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

This is a lot of guitar. Plays nice. Loud. Made in USA. Vintage. Beats most.

Harmony H1270 Rebuild

Fair and Friendly, Easily $1500 of luthier rebuild + a Harmony 12, RU kidding?

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

As Advertised. Redone and Packed with care. Goodfellas.

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

Great rebuild job. Plays better than back in the day. Classic cannon.

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

Fine guitar! Great, happy!

Harmony H1270 Rebuild

Guitar packed and shipped very nicely. Great seller AAA+++

Harmony H1260 Rebuild

REPEAT CUSTOMER. Highly recommended!!! Rebuilt Harmony guitars are AMAZING!!