Harmony
Harmony H835 "batwing" electric, 1971, U.S. made. $650.
Here's an example of an important mandolin model in the history of popular music. Blues legends Yank Rachell and (to a lesser extent) Carl Martin, as well as Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, used the Harmony H835 as a stage mandolin during their careers. You still see them today in the hands of pro musicians.
     The looks of the H835 have, in my humble opinion, never been beaten. The block inlays, modified F-holes, exaggerated bass point, even the lovely gold foil pickup cover, all add up to a classic package. The original DeArmond pickup is loud enough to rattle the windows. Its tone is perhaps best described as "raw" ... listen to Rachell's Chicago Style album if you want to know what I mean. But for certain styles of music there's nothing better or more authentic.
     The H835 may appear to be an acoustic/electric, but it isn't really: if you took off the top you'd see that everything north of the pickup is a solid block of wood, which tends to dampen the acoustic sound, but improves sustain and helps control feedback from the pickup. Best to think of the H835 as "semi-hollow." Tone and volume knobs, adjustable bridge, bolt-on neck.
     This one has been played a lot, as indicated by wear along the neck. The pickguard has heavy pickwear and an extra hole drilled in the end of it where someone once installed a cork support block. My luthier has glued up a crack in the back, touched up the finish, and performed a setup job and partial refret so that it plays well, with comfortable low action. It has the earlier script Harmony headstock logo in white, and a truss rod. It's stamped "F71 MADE IN USA" inside, indicating that it was made in the first half of 1971. It has its original hardware, including knobs, tailpiece, and tuners, as well as an original chipboard case. See more photos, or for more information. $650 plus shipping.