In response to the folk boom of the late '50s and the rise of rock n' roll in the early '60s, every department store and mail-order catalog wanted to make sure they had plenty of guitars in stock. Mass-produced axes from brands like Harmony, Silvertone, and Kay may have looked the part and temporarily satisfied the desires of aspiring songsters and rockers. Even though they captured the right look to inspire aspiring players, these instruments were entry-level at best, and they were never actually built to be functional instruments that would ever tune and play properly.
Fortunately, Scott Baxendale and his team of luthiers in Athens, Ga., recognize the potential of these guitars and regularly remanufacture them. In doing so, they totally, re-build, re-brace, and re-voice these instruments, giving them new life and world class tone with no shortage of authentic mojo. These inspiring instruments are an exceptional value, and they're an incredible way to recycle and repurpose old axes.
This Baxendale Conversion started its life as a '60s Barclay-branded H1143 made by Harmony in Chicago. Its body is similar in size to a 000/Orchestra Model, and it was constructed entirely of laminate Birch.
Now, it has been totally re-braced to a scalloped, hand-voiced X-brace pattern. It also sports new frets, a new solid rosewood bridge with a bone saddle, a new 1-3/4"-wide bone nut, a new solid rosewood bridge with bone saddle, and Grover tuning machines. With the right bracing and proper neck angle, it's amazing the tone Baxendale gets out of these old Birch boxes. This one sounds balanced and expressive with nuance you wouldn't expect from a guitar like this. In many ways, its sound is a testament to the Baxendale Conversion concept. This Barclay is a great strummer for chunking out chords, but it still packs the necessary articulation for delicate fingerpicking or intricate lead playing.
This Baxendale '60s Barclay H1143 Conversion has mojo for days and the sound and playability to back it up. Every Baxendale Conversion includes a lifetime warranty, and this one also comes with a Deluxe Gig Bag from Guardian.