May 2013


Winding Down the Merry Month of May with lots of great guitars and a few fine amps. Kick it off with a pair of 1429s; for the three years it was offered, Sears called it 'Our Finest Electric Guitar.'

1429 Harmony w/ OC HBEG VG $951 Clean, light wear, logo intact, pickguard missing

1429 Harmony w/ OC HBEG VG $900 Clean, some wear/checking, logo damaged


We see a fair amount of the 1317 model, but precious few of its blonde sister, the 1373.

1373 Harmony HBEG VG $456 Clean, light wear, logo laminate strong, binding looks good, slight crack in side upper bass bout

How about a pair of funky ampinguitar 1487s? We got 'em!

1487 Teisco MIJ SBEG w/ built-in amp w/ OC VG $300 Clean, light wear, logo worn, amp non-functional, guitar works normally plugged in, NS battery cover, comes with original instructions and schematic

1487 Teisco MIJ SBEG w/ built-in amp w/ C VG $306 Clean, light wear, logo lightly worn at second 'e,' insert missing from volume knob, amp untested, guitar works normally plugged in, battery cover missing


¡Hola, amigo! Además del atractivo 'Espanada!' Qué hermosa guitarra!

1384/5 Harmony HBEG VG $1137 Clean, light wear, logo intact, chrome plate repair at jack, 'S' on pickguard worn, NS tuners


1415 Dano SSEG VG $535 Clean, some finish wear, logo intact

1446 Pickup $143 'Patent #' stick, fine scratched to cover, slight yellowing of bezel

1207 Harmony FTAC G $42 Clean, edge wear, block logo strong, screws missing from bridge, bridge beginning to pull, high action

633 Harmony FTAC VG $349 Clean, light wear, logo strong

632 Harmony FTAC w/ OC G $32 Could use a cleaning, wear/checking, logo strong, high action

658 Kay FHAC w/ C VG $425 Clean, light wear, some fretboard wear, logo strong, NS tuners

1440 MIJ SBEG w/ OC E $350 Clean, minimal wear, logo intact, whammy bar present, small \dent in lead p/u cover

1432 Dano Tube Amp VG $575 Clean, minimal wear, grille clean, liight oxidation to handle captures and screws, small oxidation spot to logo medallion at 'l,' recently serviced, 3-prong AC mod

1431 Dano tube amp G $202 Clean, covering/grille shows wear, cig burns on top, top panel slightly warped downward, NS knobs, rust to jack nuts, back panel missing, recently serviced

1484 Dano tube amp and speaker cabinet VG $610 Clean, light wear, rev/trem functional, no footswitch, 3-prong AC mod, cabinet stamping indicates late 1963 build

1451 Dano tube amp E $211 Clean, minimal wear, logoplate shiny, stock tubes

1451 Dano tube amp VG $395 Clean, light wear, "has a light hum, but functions as it should"

1422 Sears Solid State amp E $250 Clean, minimal wear, light oxidation to jack nuts, looks like the protective film is still on the control panel, footswitch and original manual incl. rev/trem unmentioned, but seller says "in good working order."

Here's an off-topic (sorta) treat... how about this NIB Silvertone Reel-to-Reel tape recorder? FOUR transistors!




The 'Japanese Invasion' of late 1968
brought many wild and funky designs to the Sears catalog. Here's one of 'em, the slide-controlled 1461, the successor to the somewhat differently spec'd 1460. Sears' customers apparently voiced some concern over these new imports, as the catalog made it a point to note that 'American Craftsmen' inspected these guitars before you got 'em in your hands. That's why you'll often find Harmony-style stampings in some of these axes.

1461 MIJ HBEG VG $417 Clean, light wear, late-era block logo strong with light cracking, some binding missing on back near NS tailpiece

Note the differences in the 1460 and 1461; single vs. segmented f-hole design, headstock shape, pickguard shape, block marker design, truss rod/string holder action at headstock, logo, tremolo system, selector switch location, slide controls, no bridge cover, and... less $$$!

Silvertone / Samick is now shipping the new 'Classic Series' 1303 and 1478 guitars all over the country! Check their Facebook page for a dealer near you.

Also, check out GoDPS music for an exciting event  mid-June, with Lawrence Katz of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, as well as your chance to win one of these beauties!


I Used To Think that there was only one of these oddball white-knobbed Space-Dotted 1485s in existence... but it looks as if Harmony tooled up for maybe at least half a dozen of them after the 1485 was no longer available in the Sears catalog... maybe the first to satisfy one customer, then they built a few more maybe to clear out a few special orders or use up the last of the parts bin. This is the fourth one I've seen over the years.

1485 Harmony HBEG w/ C VG $913 Clean, neck wear, finish wear on outer side of treble 'horn' (apparently the player of this axe was a sitter), (1) knob missing, Bigsby intact, 'Space Dot' worn, NS truss rod cover, NS bridge, stamped S-69, serial #5430S1485

Another Harmony-built beauty, this late-50s 1352.

1352 Harmony HBEG VG <$600 Clean, some wear/scratches, logo strong, NS knobs

Here are a couple of MIJ bargains...

1412 MIJ SBEG VG $142 Clean, light wear, prismatic 'Space Dot' looks good, bridge cover in place, whammy bar present

1412 MIJ SBEG MOD $142 Clean, light wear,  prismatic 'Space Dot' looks good, whammy bar missing, NS pickups (P90s?), NS selector switch, NS tuners, (1) extra knob, stock knobs reconfigured, side jack mod


Let's Roll a Double...
double 'Chris Isaaks,' that is! The first 1446 up is so lovely, I just thought I'd slap it on the page in one big image. Bask in the vintage glory!

1446 Harmony HBEG w/ C E $1795 Clean, light wear, light checking, logo strong, Bigsby intact, worn spot on bass side of bass f-hole

OK, I'm not gonna say this Bigsby-less 1446 is a letdown... but... well, I don't know how to finish that sentence.

1446 Harmony HBEG w/ C MOD <$749 Clean, light wear, logo worn nearly away, 'wall hanger' holes in headstock, NS bridge, pickguard missing, NS tailpiece

How about a Dano-flavored double dip with these two 1304 models?

1304 Dano SSEG VG $356 Needs a good cleaning, edge/surface wear, some some checking, logo strong, sidewalls yellowed, stamping indicates late 1961 build (making this one one of the very last ones made)

1304 Dano SSEG VG $595 Clean, edge/surface wear, some light dings to fretboard, logo worn  Relisted

Just got my 25th Anniversary copy of "GREEN" the other day, so it's nice to see R.E.M.'s guitarist Peter Buck's favorite Silvertone amp up today. Despite the rusty face and some electronic futziness, it went for a good chunk of change.

1483 Dano tube amp and speaker cabinet VG $550 Clean, some edge/corner wear, rust dots to control face, rust to zformers and handle captures, channel 1 intermittent, cabinet stamping indicates Summer 1965 build

If you've got a sunburst Silvertone archtop with binding front and back, chances are it's a Kay-built 619. Sears sold a boatload of 'em.

619 Kay FHAC w/ C G $104 Clean, light wear, logo strong, missing pickguard

Bargain price on this terrific 'Bobkat,' if you ask me...

1477 Harmony SBEG w/ OC VG $347 Clean, light wear, 8" surface scratch on back, nick just below 'r' on headstock, oxidation to neck screw ferrules, light rust to tuner plates, logo strong, whammy bar present, dated October 1966

We saw one of these 1496 models yesterday with a
'Space Dot' Sears logo, here's one with a block-type Silvertone logo!

1496 MIJ HBEG Bass VG $250 Clean, light wear, logo strong, some binding damage, high action; 1" at 12th fret




It's Been a Rare Couple of Days...
we've seen some mighty nice Silvertonium up from the mines, and today is no different. Let's start off with this fine lemony 'Newport'-derived electric Silvertone, that we've now been able to determine is the model 1379. It never appeared in any catalog, but did show up in some 1956 newspaper advertising, and you can see the galley for the ad below.

1379 Harmony SBEG VG $710 Clean, some wear, 'deco' logo strong, 'Harmo-Metal' looks good (pulling a bit at neck), bridge split at bass side fastening screw, pickup is not working, (3) NS screws in groove of bridge, hole drilled in upper treble bout (probably for a strap button)

These mid-1940s Gretsch-built 714 models are always a rare find, but this one's gonna need some major TLC to get it back to strummin' shape! Seems a victim of poor storage conditions; there's significant checking, and the pickguard and guitar finish have reacted with one another, causing the pickguard material to melt and run down the front.

714 Gretsch FHAC P $211 Finish checking, pickguard broken and 'melted,' tailpiece broken, logo inlay strong, some binding missing, 'D' tuner bent, (3) block markers rising above fretboard level, back is surprisingly nice

Haven't seen a 'Thin Twin' in a while...

1381 Kay HBEG w/ OC G $1025 Clean, some wear, flaking on back edge, pickguard design strong, headstock laminate strong with chip on treble side, NS 'harp' tailpiece, NS tuners, neck wear, wear/repair at jack, 12" of binding missing on back edge near jack, re-wired in 2009

Most 'Beatle' basses that you come across are the 1495, depicted in the catalogs with no control cavity cover, and the pickup selector on the upper bass bout. This one below is the rare 1496 variation, and the 'Space Dot' on the head is a rare touch!

1496 MIJ HBEG Bass w/ OC E $329 Clean, minimal wear,
'Space Dot' in good shape

1495 for comparison: you can see the relocated selector switch and the (more expensive) 'guard-less' controls.

These guitars aren't terribly rare, but their sub-$200 price caught my eye! They're both early two-screw neck attach versions of the 1448. "Larry" brought $178, and #2 (with ampcase!) brought in $187. Bargains, for sure, if in need of a little TLC.

The guitar was modded with the addition of some mandolin (1) tuners and toothpicks in the bridge

And, I'm not sure why, but this record of Cook's Dreamland Orchestra doing "Scissor Grinder Joe" and "The Memphis Maybe Man" must be rare... brought in 238 bucks!


Just a Couple of Regular Joes... they've been through it, but they're still standing. We've got a couple of the 14XX series today that have seen better days, but in the hands of some caring Silvertonium purchasers, I imagine they'll get the attention and acceptance they deserve.

1477 Harmony SBEG G $216 Needs a good cleaning, shows some finish/body wear, logo strong, (1) knob missing, whammy arm missing, chip in pickguard, rust to tuner plates, untested

I'm not sure what was going on with this next one... the bridge reworking and the two strings remaining make me think it was possibly modified for lefty use... the original case is in better shape that the guitar!

1478 Harmony w/ OC SBEG G $260 Needs a good cleaning, shows some finish/body wear with some finish flaking, whammy arm present, rust to pickup cover flanges, scratchy pots, bridge slots enlarged

A little Bigsby action added to this 1429...

1429 Harmony w/ OC HBEG G $260 Clean, some finish checking, logo in sad shape, NS bigsby

Looks Like a "Mad Men" Prop... if it weren't for big the rip in the grille. I can totally see Christina Hendricks opening the speakers up on this Limed Oak Silvertone Syntronic Stereophonic HiFi Model 61, and setting a stack of Jackie Gleason and Dean Martin LPs on this baby for a cool evening of romantic music...
OK, lemme change the channel on that scene...



Confused... Sorta.
When I first glanced at this guitar, I was thinking that someone had cobbled it together from parts, and stuck a Silvertone 'Crest' medallion on it for fun. Then I looked a little harder, and remembered the very primitive nature of the first 'Spanish Electrics' that Sears offered; permanently attached cord... big, honkin' pickups... and then it hit me! We saw the companion amp to this extreeemely rare guitar last week, and now here's the 'Spanish Electric Guitar' that was sold with it in a package deal back in the early 40s. The guitar itself is unusual, with a thinner f-hole profile that we usually see in Kay- or Harmony- sourced Silvertones, and an unusual white-edged pickguard (that is itself of a completely unique-to-any-Silvertone design). That said, National (before they became Valco in 1942) built a lot of guitars, and the electronics in this are certainly of that lineage. Valcopages says
"The archtop bodies for National guitars were sourced from Regal and then from Kay, but the electronics were developed and manufactured by National-Dobro." So, we'll accept that and enjoy this very rare, unique Silvertone 'Crest' that sold the other day. For a song.

2327 National HBEG VG $380 Clean, light wear, light oxidation to metal, logo medallion clean, slight neck lift at heel, original cord attached, tuning keys deteriorated

A couple of vintage Sears catalog ads for the Crest  setup; the first from 1941, and the second with our lap steel-playing friend from 1943.

Something very interesting came to light while I was researching the origins of the 'Crest' above... the possible origin of the 'Aristocrat' name! As you probably know, the big-bodied, f-holed Kay-made Silvertone electrics and acoustics of the mid '50s are often referred to in auctions, guitar blogs and other webmedia as 'Aristocrats.' For years, I've tried to find the source of this nickname; it never appeared in in Sears or Kay literature, and I've been at a loss to figure where the name came from. Until now... look below, and you'll see a wide-bodied archtop from National, with a Kay-built body, fancy fret markers and tailpiece, nicely bound edges...
and the name... Aristocrat!

From Valcopages:

And a 1953 CMI Retail Price List:

From The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide 2010:

Also interesting are the touches that the 'Aristocrat' shares with the much earlier 'Crest:' the thin, elongated f-holes, the white-edged pickguard, and a very similar headstock shape. As I've said before, Silvertone World is a real world, with discoveries yet to be made, and it continues to reveal its secrets!


Coming Soon To A Music Store Near You! In case you hadn't heard, the Samick Music Corporation is resurrecting the classic logo and the classic guitars of yesteryear with a brand new line of vintage-style Silvertones! First out of the gate are these reissues of the 1478 and a grayburst reimagining of the  'U2' body style 1303 Both reissue strummers apparently also to be available in classic. My buddy Tony at Samick/Silvertone assures me we should be able to lay our hands on 'em some time this month!

Check this beautiful 1478 reissue, with a real Bigsby, dual single-coil pickups and the classic Silhouette/Bobkat lines of the 1400 series:

And how about this cool 1303 reissue, with a compensated string-thru bridge, lipstick pickups and the classic narrower lines of the so-called 'peanut' or 'C' body shape? Sweet!

Here's a fine 1956 vintage 1359 that brought somewhere under it's asking price of $1495. I can't be more specific, because eBay doesn't publish 'best offer accepted' prices.

1359 Dano SSEG w/ OC VG <$1495 Needs a dusting at the very least, light wear, some neck wear, logo strong, date stamp indicates spring 1956 build


Super-Duper Bonus Grab Bag! That's what we've got today; our haul of Silvertonium runs the gamut from ukes to amps to electric to acoustic to even a couple of cool radios that I thought you might enjoy. Dig in!

Interesting... this double cutaway is tagged on the headstock as a 1454 (and probably stamped internally as one, as well), but the model number given this double cutaway is the 1485. It's enjoying some 'heat' these days as one of the many guitars that Black Keys axeman Dan Auerbach employs.

1485 Harmony HBEG VG $1200 Clean, light wear, logo strong, Bigsby intact, NS truss rod cover, stamped as a 1454, (2) knobs missing

Part of the 'stealth' Japanese Invasion, this non-catalog guitar, along with the 1436 and amp-in-guitar 1487 paved the way for the sea change of late 1968 to nearly *all* Japanese-built electric guitars available from Sears.

1437 Teisco SBEG w/ OC VG $535 Clean, light wear, logo tag looks good, whammy bar present, pots/switches 'a little scratchy,' selector 'chicken head' NS, serial #

Here's a great 'skier' uke; this is the later mid-50s model with the molded fretboard.

851 Harmony Ukulele VG <$170 Clean, some edge wear, logo and stencil strong, plastic fretboard

Bizarro Guitaro!

1840 Oscar Schmidt Guitaro w/ OC VG $150 Clean, light wear, original guarantee card, tuning/playing guides and tuning wrench incl

Double Vision!

1304 Dano SSEG VG $394 Clean, some wear esp. on back, logo strong with light scratch on 'S,' light rust to tuner plates

1304Dano SSEG VG $565 Clean, some wear/scratches and neck wear, logo shows some wear, arm wear on lower bass bout

Nice shade of Frankentone Green
on this one...

1415/16 Dano SSEG MOD $124 Refinished, NS knobs and cavity cover, logo gone

Another double play, this time of the four-string variety...

1443 Dano SBEG Bass VG $700 Clean, light wear, some wear on bottom edge, logo intact, finger rest relocated, tailpiece cover missing

1443Dano SBEG Bass w/ OC VG $725 Clean, light wear, logo broken at 'S,' NS knobs

A little woodworking...

1483 Dano tube amp MOD $226 Re-cabineted, rust dots to front face

Don't see too many of these...

1465 Dano tube amplifier and speaker cabinet $200 Could use a good cleaning, functionality unconfirmed, rust to xformer and handle captures, no footswitch

Nice mid-50s archtop...

710 Harmony FHAC w/ OC VG $168 Clean, light wear, light buckle rash, 'deco' logo strong

A fine example of an early classic ampincase, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year...

1448 Dano SSEG w/ tube ampincase VG $460 Clean guitar, light wear, logo strong, ampcase re-felted, amp 'has slight hum,' early version with two-screw neck attach, triangle-legend knobs and strip tuners

Closely related to the 1445, this Japanese-made twanger bridged the gap from the 60s into the 70s.

1441 Teisco SBEG VG $205 Clean, light wear,
'Space Dot' looks good, whammy bar present

The Sovereign-based 633/1220/1221 had a fairly long life, available in the catalog from 1965 through 1972.

1220 Harmony FTAC w/ OC VG $225 Clean, light wear, logo strong, glue residue on headstock, serial # 4475S1220

This 'Thin Twin' needs a little TLC, but still brought some good money.

1369 Kay SSEG G $661 Clean, logo strong,  finish checking, binding missing, rust dots to tailpiece, tuner buttons deteriorating, neck has been re-set

One more stereovision sighting, this time dueling 'Chris Isaaks!'

1446 Harmony HBEG w/ C VG $1295 Clean, light wear, logo intact, Bigsby intact, patent # pickups, light oxidation to pickup covers

1446Harmony HBEG w/ C VG $725 Clean, light wear, logo gone, Bigsby intact, jack area repaired, NS pickguard

The end of the venerable 1477 line saw some beefed-up specs in a better bridge, a little extra color, and bigger knobs. The knobs have been replaced by non-stock dials on this example.

14772 Harmony SBEG VG $475 Clean, some wear, logo 'shamed,' NS knobs, whammy bar present

All aboard for Jupiter!

1423 Harmony SSEG w/ C VG $791 Clean, light wear, logo intact, NS tuners

Here's a couple of the non-Dano amps that appeared in the catalog when Sears switched gears (by force, more likely than choice) after Dano was bought out by MCA and subsequently shuttered in the late 60s.

1422 Sears Solid State amp VG $233 Clean, light wear, footswitch incl., untested

Variations on a theme... two different 1421 amps

1421 Sears tube amp VG $186 Clean, light wear, NS speaker, NS tubes

1421 Sears tube amp VG $233 Clean, light wear, this 'olive' color covered amp is the earlier version

My favorite Dano amp of this design era, the lovely 1392...

1392 Dano tube amp VG $ 323 Clean, light wear, logo emblem looks good w/ some oxidation, handle worn, oxidation to panel face, tremolo non-functional, no footswitch

That flying 'V' symbol is just the coolest...

1433 Dano tube amp VG $550 Clean, light wear, grille staining, logo emblem looks good, "great fully functioning condition," no footswitch

Faux alligator and tweed? Well, OK...

1331 Dano tube amp VG $191 Clean, edge wear, jack mod on side, 3-prong AC mod, logo tag shiny, back panel present but not pictured, recently serviced

I wish I could tell you more about these EKO-built guitars, but they were never in any catalog, and if it weren't for some fortunate stamping inside, we'd not even know the model number.

698 EKO FTAC F $25 Clean, finish checking, logo strong, bridge lifting, high action, United Airlines wings medallion on treble upper bout

We see plenty of the all-black 1420 models, but the 'shaded walnut' 1421 is a welcome seldom-seener...

1421 Harmony SSEG w/ OC VG $495 Clean, some surface/neck wear, buckle rash, logo strong

The 'Champ' of Dano-built Silvertones, this little 1481 packs a sweet punch.

1481 Dano tube amp VG $180 Clean, top of cabinet slightly bowed, knob inserts discolored/worn, recently serviced, looks like an extension speaker mod there on back

"All transmitters to full... all receivers to boost..." Came across some cool radios this past week, thought I'd share.

I just love this late-30s vintage mini-radio; great design, super cool elongated font,
RED knobs, and oh, so small! Look how tightly packed those tubes are! Sold for $330!

'Matched Twin Speakers' on this cool pink-encased AM radio. Model number label is gone, but the seller claims late 50s vintage. If true, this is certainly the earliest appearance of the 'Space Dot.' Brought $130.

Available from Sears
for just $12.95 in 1938 and '39, this radio was advertised as "designed for modern people living in a modern world." The model 6110 was also available in walnut brown and ivory 'plaskon,' and the design of this 'Machine Age' radio is PATENTED! This one went for a whopping $845!

Here's a 1938 Sears catalog ad:

And here's Clarence Karstadt's patent; Des. 113,004



I Don't Usually Do This...
but this amp is so amazing, I feel it needs a wider, appreciative audience. It's one of the very first Silvertone amps ever offered; so early in the game that it's not even branded 'Silvertone.' It's in simply jaw-dropping shape for a 70+-year-old amp, too. Check it out, and grab it if you got six Benjamins burnin' a hole in your pocket. As you can see in the vintage catalog listing below, this amp was made available with the very first electric archtop from Sears, a kludgy affair with a standard acoustic F-hole married to a Valco pickup. Note the cord snaking out through a hole on the bass side lower bout.

12K02328 Valco NM Buy It Now at $599 Clean, minimal wear, seller says "
The caps in both the power supply and coupling have been replaced. The glass is new (I can send the glass that was originally in there when I purchased it) and a 3 prong plug/power cord has been added for safety.  Let the photos do the talking, but please feel free to ask questions.  She is exceptionally clean, just that very slight tear on the bottom corner featured in the photo. With respect to full disclosure, there is a bit of intermittent scratchiness that I can not trace.  All sales final due to vintage of this piece."


one refinished Harmony 'Stratotone,' and one ridiculously low-priced Harmony-built Silvertone.

H88 Harmony SBEG MOD $1301 Refinished in red, repro logo decal, stock knobs/electronics

700 Harmony FHAC w/ OC VG $10 Clean, light wear, 'deco' logo strong. Yeah, ten bucks.

There's 'Silvertone Shame,' and then there's 'Silvertone Pride;' this one falls under the latter category. Looks like a custom-cut vinyl 'deco' logo on the head of this re-made 702.

702 Harmony FHAC MOD $255 Refinished, re-logo'd, custom pickguard



Let's Start off May with a terrific "Me and My Silvertone,"
and a little history lesson.
We've got a great shot of some Army Air Force personnel in the winter of 1942 relaxin' with a Harmony-built 'Lone Ranger' guitar. These men were part of an installation on the west coast of the United States near Yachats, Oregon. Known as Cape Perpetua, the location was used during World War II as an observation site and radar station for the detection of enemy submarines and aircraft, and a large coastal defense gun was temporarily installed. The catalog illustration is from the 1938 Sears catalog.

And of course, it's Link Wray's Birthday today! With his seminal, made-up-on-the-spot, banned for its corrupting influence (yeah, right) on youth, speaker-rattlin' rockin' anthemic 'Rumble,' Wray invented the power chord, and rocked audiences until his death in 2005. Here's a dramatic shot of Wray with his Dano 'Guitarlin,' and an American Bandstand clip of Wray and the Raymen rockin' (well, pretending to) some 'Rawhide.'


“If I could go back in time and see any band, it would be Link Wray and the Raymen.” – Neil Young

Abbreviations: M-Mint, NM - Near Mint, E- Excellent, VG- Very Good, G- Good , F-Fair, P-Poor, NS- Non-Stock, 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, BOA - (related to price) Best Offer Accepted; price shown was asking price, sold for less, DNS - Did Not Sell; used mainly to show an item of interest whether it sold or not.
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 date specified.


Pricing & Commentary Archives

These have been converted from their old-school HTML design to a 'responsive' design by 'wrapping' it in some code that makes it play nice with your tablet/smartphone. Please forgive any clunkiness.