Finally! I've watched this
seldom-seen puppy bouncin' around eBay for a few months now, and someone
finally ponied up the dough for this rare Telecaster bass clone.
Univox ? Teisco? MIJ SBEG Bass E $495
Clean, minimal wear, light checking, chrome shiny, prismatic 'Space
Dot' looks good, guards and rests in place
More rare Japanese-built goodness in this early '70s 1412.
Teisco MIJ SBEG w/ C VG $125 Clean, light
wear, some pitting to chrome, 'Space Dot'
worn, some checking, (1) NS knob, (1) NS tuner ferrule
One Of A Kind... I
don't usually say that, as the reality of that statement is
few and far between.
And, I don't usually do this, bringing a guitar to your attention
before the final auction gavel has come down. However, this is a
unique guitar, and it deserves some wide exposure to our select audience
of Silvertonians. It's the very early Dano-built 1377 from 1954, and this
example was owned by a Mr. Glen Carver, who worked at Sears corporate.
Instead of the usual thick script 'Silvertone' and lightning bolt in
maroon, we've got Mr. Carver's name engraved into the headstock laminate
plate (the flipside is blank). Glen wasn't much of a player, apparently,
as this guitar shows almost zero wear.
Pots are dated 137422 (Manuf.
by Chicago Telephone Supply in the 22nd week of 1954), and
the seller says it's been in storage
in Maine for fifty years! It's a great piece of guitar history, and
Danelectro history in particular. You can see many of the Dano features
we've come to know and love in a near prototypical stage: the simple yet
elegant bridge (wider, and made from aluminum instead of chromed steel),
the not-yet-lipstick'd pickups hiding under a vacuform bump in the
pickguard, the stacked V/T knobs (just as they would appear until 1967),
the wider 'Coke Bottle' head taking shape, a 'Duraluminum' truss rod
running from headstock to bridge (later truss rods would be steel, two
of them, and just in the neck), and the familiar Les Paul™-like
shape of the body, seen until the early 1960s. Awesome!
Here's a link to the eBay auction.
Typical Slooooow Wednesday... But,
this crazy piece of equipment that Silvertonian Ginamann sent me some
pics of really blew my mind. It's got the model number (62-9026A)
of an obscure Airline amp (apparently
built by Gretsch, or at least, the same schematic as the 6162), but
it's got "Silvertone 30 Professional" stenciled where "Airline
Professional" would have appeared, and the front control face has a
slight backward tilt to it. The grille is identical to the Airline
model, and the handle looks much like the handle on a Silvertone 1474.
It's also got "2-12" stenciled on the other side where the model number
is, but there are actually two ten inch Jensens inside (just like
the Airline). Did someone go crazy with some rub-on lettering in a case
of Silvertone envy? Is it some weird 'on spec' amp built for Sears in
hopes of landing a contract? We'll likely never know...
Record Store Day in
Raleigh was great fun
Saturday! Silvertone King
Dex Romweber showed up with a beautiful
1322 that Jack White gave him
(you can catch a glimpse of the headstock in "People, Places and Things"
video at about the 2:30 mark), and there it is laying in the back seat of Dex and Sara's
Travelin' Van. They rocked a great half-dozen or so tunes, and
helped Schoolkids to their biggest sales day in 39 years! Viva Vinyl!
Batwing Bobkats?!? No, it's not a
national Enquirer story... we saw an ultra-rare
end-of-the-product-line1488 variant with the 'batwing' pickguard
embellishment go for some good money over the weekend! Check it out!
Harmony SBEG w/ OC VG $610 Clean, whammy
bar missing, headstock cracked/repaired, logo strong, NS bridge, a few
dings, some scratches, light corrosion to metal
Speaking of 1488s, Annie Clark had some rockin' red vinyl out for
Record Store Day, a rattling, crunchy rocker called 'Krokodil.'
playing her 1488 on it, but we can dream!
Speaking of krokodils, here's a nice faux alligator and tweed 1333
that went for nearly four bills...
Dano tube amp VG $355 Clean, light wear to
alligator, handle looks good, logoplate shiny, grille tight, tremolo
operational status unmentioned, seller says "I
PLUGGED MY EPIPHONE SHERATON II IN & PLAYED IT FOR A FEW MINUTES THROUGH
THE AMP. THIS SUCKER HAS A GREAT CRUNCHY DISTORTION SOUND WITHOUT
NEEDING ANY PEDALS. THE SOUND IS REALLY COOL. ALL CONTROL POTS WORK. THE
RED POWER LIGHT WORKS. THE ON/OFF SWITCH WORKS. THE TUBES LOOK LIKE THEY
ARE ALL ORIGINAL 1950s PERIOD TO THE AMP."
Speaking of faux... here's a Mosrite wannabe, the (mostly) 'Space
Dot-ted' 1441, close relative of the Silvertone-branded 1445.
Teisco MIJ SBEG VG $499 Clean, light wear,
Space Dot looks good, whammy arm missing, looks like the trem is locked
by a set screw
We'll bracket this Silvertonium report with another
end-of-the-product-line rarity, the 1477-2. This setup came with a
companion 1459 amp, it's schematic, AND the "True Tremolo" instruction
sheet! If the buyer sees this, PLEASE
email me... Silvertonians need to see copies of that schematic
and instruction sheet! I'd also really like to know the return address
for the 1459 box mailing label.
Harmony SBEG w/ OC VG $550 Clean, light
wear, logo strong, 1459
amp clean w/ minimal wear, original amp box and paperwork incl.
The Amp of the Moment seems to be
the venerable 'combo' 1482.
I've seen a bunch roll through the auctions the past coupla weeks, and I
though I'd just bring you a quick gallery of 'em. All hovering in the
$300-$400 dollar range, and all of 'em lookin' pretty good.
We've also seen
a trio of the rarer earlier sister amp, the refrigerator-handled
red-border control-paneled 1472
over the past few days. he first one had the 'tremlo' misspell and was
sold as non-functioning ($203), the second had the misspell, a
little covering tear, but it was working and went for $250. The last one
in the line-up was spell-checked, clean and tight and crankin' (although
the red border was oddly 'crackled') and went for a cool $450.
BTW, if you haven't checked out the re-vamped
1472 pages... get on over there!
How about a couple of dandy 1454 Harmony-built guitars?
This first one included a 1482 amp in the deal, and the seller is the
Harmony HBEG w/ OC E $1477 Clean, minimal
wear, logo strong, amp clean and operational with footswitch and
schematic/manual, instructional books incl.
Harmony HBEG VG $900
Clean, light wear, some cord melt on upper bass bout, NS tuners, NS
bridge, some finish checking, logo worn, (1) knob missing, small stress
crack at jack
Spring Break was fun, now back to Silvertonium!
I've got a pretty one to show you first up today! It's the VERY seldom
seen Harmony-built model 1324, available from 1956-58; I'm surprised we
don't see more of these on today's collectors market. Unique
pickguard/electronics package, and an unusual (for a Harmony) headstock.
Here's an example where rarity brought in some money.... not always the
Harmony HBEG VG $550 Clean, light wear,
some solvent spots on headstock, 'deco' logo strong (except where marred
by those drips), knobs/'Hershey bar' electronics look/work good
Here's another treat or two that bloomed recently...
Kay SBEG VG $153 Clean, light wear, light
checking, logo strong, tailpiece a bit dull
Here's a full 1483 setup...
Dano tube amp and speaker cabinet E $380
Clean, minimal wear, all tubes stock, cabinet stamping indicates Summer
And a rare mid-40s Kay banjo to round out the sprouts...
Kay Banjo VG $105 Clean, light wear, light
tarnish to hardware, logo strong, new head and bridge
One More Silvertone 'Easter Egg' in Dolly
Parton world. I caught the 'Early Show' on CBS this morning, and
Rebecca Jarvis interviewed Dolly. She mentioned that the interview
was conducted in Nashville, and before the main 'sit down' portion of
the bit commenced, they cut in a shot of Dolly coming in and getting
situated in the little 'Cracker Barrel Corner' that had been set up for
Dolly's (apparently) many interviews to promote her new
DVD/CD, sold only in Cracker
Barrel stores. If you've ever eaten in one the chain's famous
stores, you'll be familiar with the look: vintage looking planking for
walls, covered in a hodgepodge of vintage 'down-home' items. Everything
from vintage theatre and concert posters to woodcuts to oil cans to
cross-cut saws to bicycles to washboards to vintage advertising signs
(LOTS of 'em) to... well, you pretty much name it. If it's an unusual or
sometimes even run-of-the-mill vintage piece, it's likely hanging in a
Cracker Barrel somewhere. I'd LOVE to be the 'buyer' for them.... what a
job! Anyhoo, many of those interesting things hanging on Cracker Barrel
walls across the country include musical instruments, and, since this
was Dolly, Cracker Barrel went heavy in that direction. Couple of
banjos, a Kay mandolin, and this morning we got a much better look at
the Silvertone on the wall that I showed you yesterday. So, courtesy of
a 'behind the scenes' type cutaway, here's that
600 series Silvertone
used as a proper prop to bring a sense of home and Americana to this
artificial down-home set.
Always Fun to Discover new and
unexpected things while exploring the wonderful place that is Silvertone
World. Remember a few months back when I said I do consider Silvertone
World a real world, unfolding in its own time, in our
time, echoes of ephemera and snippets of sound and great guitars and hunks of hardware and
awesome amplification, all winding their way from the past into our
now. I do believe that, and that's a bunch of fancy talk to get to
the fact that I just found a HURDY-GURDY in the 1969 Wish Book!
Can you believe it? I was perusing the pages of the '69 Wish Book, and
there it was in the first few 'intro' pages, the place where the Sears
marketing department would go all out, placing their myriad products
into social or practical or sometimes unlikely, fanciful or fun
situations to entice you to buy. You can see the dinner party guests
looking on as Mr. Turtleneck cranks the hurdy-gurdy up, and we even get a
little history lesson on the origins of the instrument and its
manufacturer, Vincentes Llinares, from the fine folks at Sears. I imagine
its high price kept it from gracing too many living rooms, and I am
really kind of puzzled at its appearance at this time... or maybe not...
Donovan (who was a HUGE musical presence/influence/star at the time) had
just had a hit with "Hurdy Gurdy Man" the previous year, and this was
the first Wish Book after Woodstock, so who knows what was going in on
the heads of Sears marketing? So, ladies and gentlemen, hippies and
hipsters, squares and screwballs... here is, for good or ill, the Sears
In the first clip, you can hear the percussion accompanying the
'barrel piano' sounds of the machine, and in the second clip dig the
sounds of proto-Zep
Page, Jones and Bonham (still hotly debated, apparently) on
Donovan's trippy "Hurdy Gurdy Man."
Whenever I see six strings (or any
instruments, really) on TV or in a movie, I start looking for clues,
hoping for a Silvertone sighting. This happened last night when I was
turning the TV off. I set the TIVO receiver to the channel we like
to wake up to the news to, and turn the TV off. Last night, as I made
the usual adjustments, Dolly Parton's familiar face popped up on the
screen. Dolly was discussing her thoughts about Whitney Houston's recent
demise and the fact that the two of them will always be 'linked' by her
song "I Will Always Love You." Dolly and the
Edition interviewer, Megan Alexander, were sitting in what looked like a
Cracker Barrel-built set (Dolly's releasing a
live DVD/CD set through the
countrified restaurants), and a Kay mandolin hanging on the wall caught
my eye, and set me into 'hunting' mode. My efforts were rewarded about
halfway through the interview when something caught my eye at the very
edge of the screen. Then in a quick close-up of Alexander, a
Harmony-built 600 series
Silvertone six-string appeared on the wall just behind her.... it even had the common
broken bridge! I love surprises!
Oh, and I've also included a clip of the original (and best) "IWALY," a
song Dolly wrote about ending her partnership with Porter Wagoner.
Speaking of Kay, here's a rare Kay-made bolt-neck version of the
kay FTAC G $103 Clean, edge/back/top wear,
pickguard missing, NS nut, NS tuners, logo strong
ELECTRIFY Your Guitar! Kinda says it
all, doesn't it? One of the nicest of these setups I've ever seen, and
the selling price certainly reflects that.
MY Time Machine Would Take Me To... NEPTUNE!
New Jersey, of course... say, about 1965. The "Ampincase Age" of Dano-built
Silvertones. I'd have a video camera, plenty of tape, and I'd
stack-of-Masonite-to-glitter-covered-marvel film of a 1448 guitar, just like
this great piece from Fender Films, a time-lapse slab-to-stage film of a
Stratocaster being created.
I'd also spend plenty of time in the amp construction area, and sit down for a looooong talk with Nat Daniel.
A visit to the Harmony plant in Chicago would have been pretty sweet,
1446Harmony HBEG w/ C
VG $1500 Clean, light wear, pickguard not
installed (but incl.), logo faded, some 'cord melt' and buckle rash on
Might as well head over to Kay and have someone explain their wacky
number stamping system to me...
Kay FHAC G $113 Clean, some wear/checking,
bridge worn, logo strong, NS tuners (1 mismatched), some chips out of
headstock, screw/filler neck 'repair,' block markers indicate pre-1966
build, sold as project
Now... where's that flux capacitor? I swear it was right here on my
Kinda Funny that
this one gaveled off just before April Fool's Day. It's a
Blue,' the popular Kay-made model 653, available
from 1955 through 1962. However, the application of a random vintage
decal and a replacement Harmony pickguard threw things into a bit of a
tizzy. The description declared it to be an ultra-rare "Mohawk" model,
made by Harmony. Well, a quick image Google (first term was "red
Mohawk decal" which led to "Mohawk
gasoline"), and we had the origin of the headstock emblem. And of
course, anyone could have fitted the 'Blue' with a Harmony-branded
pickguard. Those odd marks at the top of the headstock above the
Silvertone logo lead me to surmise there may have been an emblem
installed there shaming the good
Silvertone name at some point as well. Maybe a promo item given away by
a Mohawk franchisee? Anyhoo, sound and fury, signifying nothing... the
guitar brought about what you'd think a 'Blue' in OK shape would bring.
Kay FHAC w/ C MOD$228
Clean, light wear, logo strong, some paint on fingerboard at
the 17th/18th frets, some blue touch-up on back top of headstock, NS
pickguard with play-worn Harmony logo, bridge screwed down, 'Mohawk'
decal, puncture marks at logo, stamped L1331 5520
Here's something sweet that I was just too busy to squeeze in last
month, so here 'tis. It's a Supertone mandolin, based on the
of the mid-30s. I love how the pickguard is cut to match the f-hole.
Harmony G $250 Playing wear, logo faded,
crack on bass side at f hole, replacement nut
After what seemed like a slack
March, sales-wise, it looks
like the purse strings have loosened up a bit (or more likely, the tax
refunds are coming in) in the past week or so and the Silvertonium is a-flyin' off the auction shelves again!
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/ 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.