Sunday, May 1, 2011

Silvertone Guitar & Matching Amp

Another awesome guitar/amp combo!  Here's a black sparkle Silvertone 1423 with a matching amp.  Silvertone, for the uninitiated, was (and still is) the brand name used by Sears for their musical instruments and amplifiers, though these particular models were actually built for Sears by Harmony, and thus feature a pair of the highly coveted DeArmond pickups instead of the lipstick tubes more common to Silvertones.  These guitars were made from '58-'62, and you sometimes see them referred to as "Jupiters" or "Stratotones," after the model names that Harmony used.

The amp is a 1481, an 8-watt beast that was Silvertone's answer to the Fender Champ.  Unfortunately, this little guy has come to us "sound free" and will need to stop by our repair shop before it's ready to kick out the jams.  The fact that it still has the original Sears/Silvertone vacuum tubes from the early 50s/late 60s might explain why it's not working, but with old amps like this there are many problems that can develop after decades of use (or disuse, as the case may be).  Fortunately for us, though, we have our crack team of tube amp gurus around to suss out things like that!

Construction-wise, the 1423 is basically a flat-top hollowbody without any sound holes, sporting a single-cutaway shape that was no doubt inspired by those (then) newfangled Les Pauls.  There are a few nifty innovations, though - the plethora of knobs and such presages the crazy Japanese wiring setups of the late 60s, but are still very functional.  That oversize flipper switch on the horn lets you control the blend of the two pickups, giving you a wide variety of tonal options.

As you can see, this particular guitar is missing the truss rod cover, but otherwise is in fantastic shape.  Great sounds, a smooth-playing neck, and sporting a set of heavy gauge strings with a wound G - just the way that the good lord (and the guitar builders of the day) intended.  What more could you ask for?