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. While they may have captured the right look to inspire an aspiring player, these instruments were entry-level at best. Even though some were made out of the right materials, 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 ‘50s Barclay-branded H162 was made by Harmony, and it has been totally re-braced to a scalloped, hand-voiced X-brace pattern by Baxendale Guitar. It 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. Its lightweight feel and round vintage neck profile make a guitar that is comfortable and inviting, and thanks to the refret, new bridge, and meticulous setup work, it plays like a brand new guitar. With a solid Spruce top and solid Mahogany back and sides, its ~000-size body produces a rich, warm sound, and Baxendale's voicing on this one lends impressive bass response for a mid-size guitar.
This Baxendale '50s Barclay H162 Conversion has mojo for days and the sound and playability to back it up. The H162 has become our favorite of the Baxendale Conversions because of its balanced sound and expressive response. It's hard not to love the tortoise binding and the vibey pickguard, too. Every Baxendale Conversion includes a hardshell case and a lifetime warranty.