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Standel - Harptone Acoustic Guitars


Standel - Harptone Acoustic Guitars

The group for Standel and Harptone Acoustic Guitars.

Members: 4
Latest Activity: Aug 31, 2013

This is from Bill Ruxton at

"Standel was best known as a maker of the first successful transistorized amplifiers.  The company was started as “Standard Electronics,” a part-time radio repair business, in electronics engineer Bob Crooks’ garage in New Jersey.  In the 1950s, Crooks was approached by guitar innovator Paul Bigsby about making amplifiers, and by 1961, Crooks developed a line of powerful solid-state amps that quickly became popular."  

"In 1966 or 1967, the Harptone company offered to build guitars for Standel, and hired luthier Stan Koontz  to design a line of acoustic and electric guitars and basses.  These were made at Harptone’s facilities in New Jersey, and according to one source, only about 200 were made."  

. . . and the following was originally posted at the:
Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum, Founded by Steve Stallings.

"Standel is mostly famous for their amplifiers used by Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and many Nashville musicians"

"Standel made three attempts at marketing electric guitars under the Standel name. The best article on the subject is in Vintage Guitar magazine, May, 2002. It is very detailed and far beyond the scope of this website."

"In 1967, a third and final attempt at electric guitars was made. This time, Standel was determined to create something very special. This series of instruments was designed by luthier Sam Koontz of Harptone Manufacturing Corporation located at 127 South 15th Street, Newark, New Jersey. These instruments were beautifully made and are quite rare, about 300 were made. Prices ranged from $385 to $1,200 (in 1967 dollars). The instrument pictured below originally sold for $922 including hardshell case. Today, examples of these instruments have appreciated in value considerably and sell for very respectable prices."

 I had originally asked Acoustic Guitar to create this group before I knew there was already a great Harptone/Standel site on Facebook hosted by Eric Sutton, who knows more about my Standel E-6N Deluxe than either Stan or Del.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. With less than 300 of these things out there, maybe the market for Standel/Harptone groups and forums is already saturated.


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Comment by Anna Marie Lancaster on April 28, 2012 at 7:12pm

Is she a Jersey Girl?

Comment by Anna Marie Lancaster on April 28, 2012 at 7:11pm

Comment by Anna Marie Lancaster on April 28, 2012 at 7:09pm

Hi Standel,  I’ve also posted this question on Eric Stanton’s Harpetone page on Facebook. You also have knowledge about guitars made at the Harptone Facility in Newark, NJ. I did an internet search of my Conn F-65 12 string.  I found a website maintained by a Conn guitar enthusiast named Joseph Brock. On Mr. Brock’s website he posted that Conn F- 60 – 6 string & Conn F-65 12 string guitars are solid wood guitars & made at the Harptone Facility as prototypes. All other Conn guitars were manufactured in Japan. I sent some family pics to Mr. Brock of us playing the Conn.


 I hale, originally, from the south end of Bloomfield, NJ. I have no intent on ever selling the guitar because of the sentimental value. (All Conn guitars have a low book value, including the F-60 series) Both my sons discovered their love for guitar playing with it. If the guitar was made in Newark, so close to where I grew up, it would add even more to that sentimental attachment. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could verify if the Harptone - Conn F-60 & F-65 connection is true?

Comment by Eric Sutton on October 15, 2011 at 8:19am

I estamate that Harptone produced about 2500 guitars between 1967 and 1975. I can't back this for there are no surving records from Harptone or any of the companies that contrated with them. All of them are gone and most of the people involved are dead.


Comment by Eric Sutton on August 29, 2011 at 6:58pm
Thanks for starting the group Kim. The 300 number is the apx numbers of acoustic guitars and basses, simi hollowbodiy guitars and basses, and archtops that Harptone produced for the Standel Amp Co. in 1967/8. Dating is easy. If the label says Harptone, then it's a 67. If they say Standel, then it's a 68. All Harptone records, as are early Standel records are lost. There is a white sheet that Bob Cooks kept in the very early days,(1950's) of Standel that show the SN of his amps and who bought them.

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