Over the last decade, Denver-based luthier Matt McGibney has built a reputation for strong tone, attention to detail, and custom builds that tell a story. When Scott and John Baxendale were both working out of the old Colfax Guitar Shop, McGibney took an apprenticeship with the highly-experienced Father/Son luthier duo. Working alongside the Baxendales, McGibney learned how to restore and improve beat-up old vintage guitars. Years before Scott launched the "Baxendale Conversion" concept, Matt, John, and Scott explored the benefits of adding Martin-inspired X-Bracing to old vintage boxes, breathing new life into these old guitars. While McGibney builds a variety of custom instruments, he still loves improving old guitars by converting them to X-Bracing, and his conversions are among some of the best-sounding vibey vintage guitars found across the state of Colorado.
Introduced in 1958, the Sovereign was the flagship of the Harmony brand. It features a large, jumbo-sized body (16-1/4" across at the lower bout) constructed of a solid Spruce top and solid Mahogany back and sides. Unlike other Jumbos, it has a smaller upper bout, so it doesn't feel quite as unwieldy and enormous as jumbos from other brands. While this template packs a ton of potential, these old Harmony guitars were never built to be functional, long-lasting instruments. Even though they were made out of the right materials, they were never built to tune and play properly. Because of that, many have fallen into disrepair.
Harnessing that immense potential, Matt McGibney totally remanufactured this guitar, breathing new life and tone that this old box never had before. In so doing, he converted the bracing to a scalloped, hand-voiced X-brace pattern. To make sure the guitar would ring clear and true all the way down the fingerboard, he also reset the neck and re-planed the fingerboard. The guitar also sports new frets, a new solid rosewood bridge with a bone saddle, a new 1-3/4"-wide bone nut, and genuine Grover tuning machines. In many ways, this old Sovereign has been rebuilt to play like a new guitar with the refined, developed sound of a good vintage guitar.
This McGibney Guitars Harmony H1260 Sovereign Conversion includes a gently used Gibson hardshell case.