1964 was an incredible year
for Silvertone, and we've designed thisincredible 11"x17"
full-color Limited Edition Poster to celebrate what
we really think of as a peak year in the Silvertone realm. Want one?
Just click on the link below for details on how to purchase one of your
Dano tube amp VG $195 Clean, some edge wear, logoplate
looks good, handle
good, grille pressed in slightly at speaker
Sears tube amp G $285 Wear to control face,
grille decorated, Jensen speaker has been repaired, rev/trem functional
Dano tube amp chassis only $317 Functional,
metal shows light rust, pots date to late 1964, tremolo strength knob
has chip on rim, original tubes, sell has owned since late 70s
Harmony pickguard/electronics $140 Knobs
missing, bass upper tip broken, date stamped Feb 11, 1964, functionality
Dano SSEG neck $83 No tuners, nut is
present, logo strong, finish
removed from back
Well, St. Vincent did break out the Harmony 'Bobkat'
for a couple of songs last night in
Saxapahaw, but no Silvertone
1488 in sight. For most of the night, Annie Clark rocked a
spacey-looking black whammy'd
Ernie Ball / Music Man 'Albert Lee' guitar, and strapped on her
Guild M-75 Aristocrat for a song or two, as well. If you get a
chance to see St. Vincent on
this tour, take it... it's a wild trip; bringing to mind (to this
old geezer, anyway) everything from vintage Bowie to Prince to T-Rex to
Kabuki to thrash to prog to silent movies to ambient to old-school DEVO.
In like a lion, out like a lamb... wait... in like
a lamb.. out like a ... um... anyway... it's March!
There's a lot going on in Silvertone World, y'all, and we're taking the
soon-to-be-released Silvertone 1444's coming as a chance to go bottom
heavy here at the site. Here's a few shots of the 1444 prototype shown
at this year's NAMM convention, and following that, plenty of
four-string vintage Silvertonium.
The pics above are screen captures from a video from our friends at
interviewing Rick Taylor from Samick/Silvertone at this year's
Now, on to some vintage bottom end...
we've got new pages up for the
1443, and the Teisco-built
'Beatle Bass,' the 1495:
Some recently auctioned Silvertonium:
Harmony SBEG w/ OC VG $300 Clean, light
wear, logo strong, one tuner ferrule missing, one fretboard dot missing
Harmony SBEG w/ OC VG $499 Clean, some edge
wear, logo strong, some chrome pitting, pre-whammy model
Dano SSEG and tube ampincase VG $444 Clean,
light wear, NS knobs on guitar, late-model triangle plate neck attach
Dano tube amp VG $200 Clean, light wear,
logoplate looks good, handle in good shape, re-capped (originals incl.)
DeArmond Pickup unit F $120 Needs work,
Now, let's grab a little 1964 throwback...
Pretty good selection of musical talent on tap for this week fifty years
ago, spread all across the 'big three.' Wow! Charlie Byrd on the Edie
Adams show? How about that 'Hootenanny lineup?
Here's a little note from the first week of March 1964 concerning a
curiosity you may or may not have heard:
On 29 January 1964 in
a Paris recording studio, the Beatles recorded two of their hit songs in
German. The German lyrics had been hurriedly written by a Luxembourger
named Camillo Felgen. EMI's German producer, Otto Demler, had
desperately flown Felgen to Paris and the Hotel George V, where the
Beatles were staying. The Beatles, in Paris for a concert tour, had
reluctantly agreed to make two German recordings, and Felgen, who was
then a program director at Radio Luxembourg (now RTL), had less than 24
hours to finalize the German lyrics and coach the Beatles (phonetically)
in German. The recordings they made at the Pathé Marconi Studios in
Paris on that winter day in 1964 turned out to be the only songs the
Beatles ever recorded in German, and the only time they ever recorded
songs outside of London.
"Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" was the first song to be recorded. The
Beatles recorded eleven takes, and the new German vocals were mixed with
the original instrumental. As the original instrumental of "She Loves
You" was destroyed by EMI after it had been mixed for mono, the Beatles
had to re-record "Sie Liebt Dich" from scratch. The Beatles recorded the
instrumental in thirteen takes, and then they recorded their German
vocals. Beatles producer Sir George Martin later said
"They were right, actually, it wasn't necessary for them to record in
German, but they weren't graceless; they did a good job."
Here are a few more music
industry dispatches from that first week of March, 1964:
How about this week's top LPs?
February has been chock-full of Beatles
remembrances of 50 years ago everywhere you turn, and we're gonna keep
the 1964 ball rolling all year. Not just the Fab Four... we'll try to
bring you a lot of the happenings of that seminal year; in news, in
music, and of course, in Silvertone.
Where were we getting our music fifty years ago? New music and old
favorites to listen to anywhere? Well, for lots of music fans, it was a
small, inexpensive device, featuring the latest in electronic
technology, capable of wirelessly pulling music right out of the air! It
was portable, you could use it with an earbud, two simple wheels
controlled music selection and volume, and the playlist was pretty much
endless, if not 'on demand.' Designer colors, modern design...
and from Silvertone!
Lest we forget, there was other music in 1964...
Plenty of what I guess would be 'Adult Contemporary' these days...
And lots of others... some we remember... some, well... I can't remember
the last time I put my Beattle-ettes album on for a spin...
Ugly? Beautiful? So Ugly It's Beautiful?
This non-catalog 1435 is one funky little axe. Snuck in under the
radar at Sears, they must have sold a good bit of these lil babies,
closely related to the mid-late '60s Teisco MJ-2L.
Teisco MIJ SBEG w/ C VG $355 Clean, repro
logo, whammy operational, serial #149795
MIJ SBEG E $200 Clean, minimal wear, logo
strong, chrome shiny
Dano tube amp & speaker cabinet VG $685 Clean,
light wear, oxidation to metal control face, rev/trem unmentioned but
seller says "Everything Works."
Dano tube amp & speaker G $548 Dirty,
covering wear, some cabinet warping, oxidation to control face, picks to
grille material, stock Jensens present, XLR mod to speaker cab, "The
Reverb works but is very weak. The Tremolo works but is very, very
604 Harmony FTAC
$24 Clean, some edge wear, some small cracks, (2) tuners
slightly bent, logo strong, serial 354H604
604 Harmony FTAC
w/ OC VG
$150 Clean, light wear, logo strong, some cracking at
Before Silvertone, there was Supertone... and here's the
Supertone 'Pep Leader' ukulele from the mid-'30s. The one shown went for
1803 Sears Harmonica VG
$12 Clean, no tarnish, box looks good
More Dateline 1964 news... this time, we've got another
volley in the "Louie Louie" obscenity war.
Wow, didn't take long to glom on to the Beatles' coattails...
Also, set your... um.. well, be in front of your tube to catch
these acts this week...
And some great dispatches from right after the Sullivan gig...
Beatles! Yep, I'm sure you got an eyeful and an earful of the Fab Four this
weekend if you watched anything on TV. Well, here's something you didn't
Their personal instruments held up in baggage,
the Beatles use Sears-bought Silvertone instruments as
last-minute rehearsal stand-ins for the 'really big shew,' February,
OK, that never really happened. Every one of those guitars
didn't come along until much later, and drums from Sears never had a
Silvertone logo that I know of. Still, those guitars don't look terribly
out of place in the hands of Paul, George and John, do they? All of
these guitars came along 3 years or better after the Fab Four set the pace for
players, manufacturers and sellers with the guitars they were playing;
at concerts, in movies, and of course, on TV. Paul's got a late
'60s Japanese-made 1495 'violin bass'
(that I flipped to be left-handed), George's 'Country Gentleman' clone,
the Silvertone 1475 from the same
catalog era as the bass, is also from the Land of the Rising Sun,
and John's 1453 Harmony-built
'Rebel'-based axe is certainly reminiscent of a Rick, and wasn't
featured in any catalogs until the very early '70s.
1964... What a year! The Beatles arrive in
the U.S., the first Rolling Stones album is released,
Bob Dylan releases "The Times They Are a-Changin' ," Pete
Townshend destroys his first guitar, Bruce Springsteen starts playing his, Otis Redding's first album is
released, Gemini rockets are a-flyin', the first
Ford Mustangs roll off the assembly line, Eddie Vedder,
Chris Cornell, Adam Yauch, Tracy Chapman, Diana Krall, Trey Anastasio, and Jeff Bezos are born, Sam Cooke is shot and
killed and General
Douglas MacArthur 'fades away,' Elvis & Ann-Margret
tear it up in "Viva Las Vegas," Roy Orbison's
"Oh, Pretty Woman" walks down the street, and Sears is
enjoying huge success with a varied selection of Silvertone
acoustic and electric guitars, amplifiers, and their now-iconic
'amp in case' guitar line. That last item has a lot to
do with the first items in that list, as kids all over the United States
just had to start a band after seeing the Beatles and the Stones on TV,
or were ready to do some introspective strumming of their own after
listening to Dylan's folk-oriented first efforts, and Sears was there to
help make those dreams come true.
We'll be celebrating this special 50th Anniversary all year here
at Silvertone World, and no better way to kick it off than to feature
one of the main guitars that most people think of when they think
'Silvertone,' the 1457 'all in one' setup (the 'amp in
case' tag that we all love never appeared in any Sears catalog listing)
that was introduced mid-year in 1964. There's a lot more coming your
way, and I hope you'll keep your eyes on Silvertone World, as we add
dozens of new pages for the many, many Silvertone models from over the
years, and concentrate on the many things wonderful things that came our
way in that amazing year of 1964.
The 1448 was already a gigantic sales leader for Sears,
appearing under Christmas trees and then in the bedrooms and garages of
rock and roll hopefuls all over the country in 1962 and 1963. Then, a
re-design of the 1449, the
short-lived two-pickup partner to the1448(seen as too similar in
looks to differentiate it much from its single pickup sibling) led to the
venerable 1457 setup. Click the page graphic below to read all about it.
It's a brand new page, with all-new detailed photos, a complete catalog history
of the guitar and amp setup, and the amp schematic and manual that was
included with every package.
It's from a little earlier in the '60s, but
you're going to enjoy this Kay-built 'Value Leader'-based Silvertone
1458 guitar just the same.
Alright, Silvertonians... look for
more of the same the rest of the year, as we add lots of new content to
the site, and explore some of the events of five decades past in our
50th Anniversary Celebration of 1964 at Silvertone World!
Two-Fer Tuesday! As luck would have it,
we've got two great axes that got their start in our 50th Anniversary
Celebration year of 1964. First up, the famous 1457. 1457
Dano SSEG w/ tube amp in case VG $405
Guitar and amp clean, light wear, guitar logo shows some rub-off at 'S,'
guitar sidewalls loose mid-body, amp knobs show adhesive 'seep,' guitar
and amp controls 'scratchy,' tremolo functional, footswitch incl.
Another guitar that got its start in that banner year of 1964, the
Harmony SBEG w/ OC VG $600 Clean, light
wear, whammy handle present, logo strong, chrome shiny, all stock knobs
present, screw pullout/break on upper bass pickguard peak due to
Dig the entire Harmony 'Bobkat / Silhouette' family right here, just click for more:
Our dispatches from the year of 1964
continue with these tidbits from the first week of February 1964
Billboard magazine; a note about the burgeoning "Louie Louie"
controversy, and a piece about the honoring of the fifth anniversary of
Buddy Holly's death:
The accusation that the Kingsmen's "Louie
Louie" contained obscene lyrics is a laughable but
persistent legend. What I find more incredible about the tune is
that it was the first take, recorded the day after a
marathon night of playing (including a 90-minute "LL!"), and
that this one-off piece of muffled, grungy genius still turns
heads today. For an extremely full exploration of this
song, its origins, and its continuing cultural 'umph,' check out
the great book by Dave Marsh,
The History and Mythology of the World's Most Famous Rock 'n
Roll Song."The rhythmic pattern of "Louie Louie" is
every bit as persistent in pop music today as it's ever been.
Give a listen to "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" by One
Direction if you don't believe me. Once you start listening for
it, you'll hear that crazy stop/start bit everywhere.
"You Really Got Me," "I Can't Explain," "Wild Thing," "Smells
Like Teen Spirit," "More Than A Feeling," all have that
genius/insane rhythm idea embedded in them... just listen.
Soup to Nuts? Well, we've got amps to
First up, this 'shamed' 1457 amp without a case or guitar.
Some misguided owner in this amp's past attempted to erase the
Silvertone logo at some point. Who he thought he was
fooling, I do not know. Say it loud! I'm
Silvertone and I'm proud!
Dano tube amp & speaker cabinet G $500
Clean, light wear to amp head, some oxidation to chassis/metal, covering
tear/corner wear to speaker cab, cab modified to accept NS 'BLO-OUT-PROOF'
brand speaker, water damage/warping to bottom of cab, amp tested
How about this one-owner 1478 in amazing
shape? Actually, it's probably the nicest one I've ever seen! This one
came with manual, cord, and final receipt. According to the shipping
label and receipt, this guitar was sold as a combo (part #1497) with a
1482 amp for the catalog
list price of $153.90 in New York City in 1965.
Harmony SBEG w/ OC E $800
Clean, minimal wear, whammy handle present, logo strong, chrome shiny,
all stock clear (!) knobs present, no screw pull-out or pickguard
shrinkage (!), original cord & asst. paperwork incl.
Sears tube amp VG $192 Clean, light wear,
some peeling to control panel, recently serviced, date stamping
indicates 1972 build
We don't get to see the backside of the
elegant Dano bridge very often. On the flip, you can see the saddle
adjustment/string compensation slot and the screw that holds the wooden
saddle in place when you get it in the sweet spot. The forward screws
fit under the bridge and adjust height, the rear screw holds the
assembly in place.
Maximum utility with minimum parts/expense.
Dano bridge $50
Clean, grooves to saddle, chrome shiny, anchor and adjust screws incl.
Should fit any 1448/49/57/51 Silvertone
And here's that Uke! It's the 'baritone' model of the
Silvertone ukulele line, the 856, made by Harmony, comparable to their
Couple of Acoustics for you today, and
another note from 50 years ago.
Here's an oddball; it's the Harmony-built 1296, one of the
last guitars to bear the Silvertone name. As such, it was caught in the
weird 'twilight zone' that a handful of the last Silvertones were, and
never made it to any catalog. The 1294 (available from 1970-73) was
similar, but by then the Silvertone name was on its way out at Sears &
Roebuck, with the 1294 sporting the stylized SR logo, the 'Space
Dot.' There was also a (non-catalog) slot-head 1294 that had a
classic 'thin-script' Silvertone logo! This gives you a pretty good
indication of the many guitars that Sears sold, and the random nature of
logo placement during the last years of the Silvertone name.
1296 Harmony FTAC w/ OC G
$79 Clean, some wear/scratches, block logo strong, 'D' tuner
Harmony FTAC G $31 Clean, light wear,
fretboard and painted markers show playing wear, logo strong, pickguard
missing, date stamped S-65
This just in from 1964... a spiffy little Solid State
synthetic sapphire-supplied Silvertone something from Sears to crank
those new Beatles records up on... transistors mean no warm up needed!
And, it's kind of hard to believe... but in
1964 Sears still sold record players that were strictly acoustic
affairs, using diaphragm reproducer technology that dated back to the
1900s! An electric motor drove the record, but the audio chain was
needle-reproducer-tube-opening. "Loud and soft needles for volume
control." Record rack and records included. Fantastic!
Amazing Haul of Silvertonium
coming your way today, amps, guitars, autoharps... let's tip that
cart and check it out!
As George Takei would say... "Ohhhh Myyyy...." Look at
this incredible 1485 amp from late 1963! Clean as can be, so little wear
as to not even merit much of a mention, and all the stock accessories
included. One of the highest prices I've ever seen any chunk of Silvertonium going for, and well deserved. Shiny!
1485 Dano tube amp & speaker cabinet
NM $3700 Clean, minimal wear (just the
lightest oxidation of the jack nuts and washers and one scuffed
corner on the dolly), date stamping indicates late '63 build, footswitch
and NS vinyl cover incl.
Three in a week?!? Yup... another great (well, good) Silvertone
'Silhouette' 1478 from our friends at Harmony.
Harmony SBEG G $500
Clean, some edge & playing wear, some oxidation to metal parts, whammy
handle present, logo worn, NS bridge/nut/strap buttons, pickguard broken
at upper bass 'horn,' switch needs work; bridge p/u on in all positions
I meant to tell you about my first on-screen Silvertonium sighting
of the year, and now's as good a time as any. In January, my wife and I
went to see the Coen Bros. film "Inside Llewyn Davis,"
a film that follows a struggling folk singer through a week of his
hard-knock life. In a dinner
scene, Llewyn is asked by a friend to play a tune. Davis tries
to beg off, but his dinner host insists, saying "...I'm getting my
Silvertone..." Of course, my ears tingled and my eyes lit up, as Davis
proceeded to pick out "Fare
Thee Well" on what looks to be a
pickguard-less Kay-built Silvertone archtop. Since the film is set in
1961, that would make it a model 627. In 1962, the model number for what
is essentially the same guitar flipped from 627 to 619 from Spring
/ Summer to Fall / Winter of that year. Soooo... the 'thin script' logo
appearing on the guitar in the movie would peg it as a 619, which didn't
show up, as I've said, until late 1962. Regardless, it was a real treat
to see a Silvertone, and have it mentioned by name, in what I
thought was a very entertaining film with some terrific (my girls
love "Please Mr. Kennedy!") music.
T-Bone Burnett helmed the
and it's hard to go wrong musically when he's onboard. Hey, maybe he was
responsible for that Silvertone being in the scene! What a great way
to start the year!
Speak of the devil... here's a fine 627 that went for
a nice price.
Kay FHAC w/ OC VG $168 Could use a
cleaning, light wear, 'thick script' logo strong
Here's a little more on the 'folk' tip...
Oscar Schmidt Autoharp w/ OC VG $150 Clean,
light wear, small veneer separation on bottom, paperwork incl., no
1958 Harmony archtop action...
Harmony FHAC VG $183 Clean, some wear and
scuffing to bout edges, top has slight separation at upper bout, 'thick
strong, date stamped F-58, serial # 2961H710
This flattop has seen better days...
Harmony FTAC P $40 Crack at soundhole,
bridge and nut missing, fingerboard cracking, wear all over, (2) tuner
posts missing, 'deco' logo strong
The huge-selling and ubiquitous 604...
604 Harmony FTAC w/ C VG
$100 Clean, light wear, stripes prominent, logo strong
(chunkiness of pics is due to video artifacting)
Here's a rare one-catalog-available-only 1418.. and, yes, that
truss rod is supposed to be exposed...
Teisco MIJ HBEG w/ OC VG $350 Clean, light
wear, all stock hardware, logo tag looks good, controls a bit scratchy
And from the week ending February 8, 1964... it's your
Billboard Hot 100, with he Beatles already beginning their multi-song
assault on the charts.
The day after this chart was tabulated, the four lads from
Liverpool would appear on Sullivan, and the '60s would really
You'll be hearing plenty about The Beatles this weekend, I'm sure...
even running a 50th anniversary special. Stay tuned to Silvertone World,
though; on Monday, I'll be bringing you an
exclusive shot of the Fab Four that you've never seen before.
Guaranteed! More From '64 all year long!
Make sure to visit Fall
and Winter 2013,
we saw some hot stuff as we
cooled the year down...
/ MANUFACTURER / INSTRUMENT TYPE /
CONDITION / PRICE /
Abbreviations: M-Mint, NM - Near Mint, E-
VG- Very Good, G- Good , F-Fair, P-Poor, NS-
HBEG- Hollow Body Electric, FHAC- F-Hole Acoustic, FTAC-
Flat-Top Acoustic, SBEG- Solid Body Electric, SSEG-
Semi-Sold Electric, MIJ- Made In Japan, MOD - Modified
significantly from stock, w/ O/C Original / Case, DNS -
Did Not Sell; used mainly to show an item of interest whether it sold or
Unless otherwise noted, I'm rating them by what I see in the pictures
and read in the description.
The items depicted on this page are not for sale by Silvertone World.
These are reviews of items from completed eBay auctions on or around the
Links in blue
open in a new window, and take you to a Silvertone World info page, a
period catalog listing, or a link of interest.