Silvertone electric guitars

Silvertone electric guitars DEFAULT

Could we be seeing new Silvertone guitars soon?

Silvertone, the iconic American instrument brand whose early instruments have become highly collectible, could be introducing new models in the near future.

A freshly inked deal sees Rhythm Band Instruments appointed the new limited exclusive global distributor of Silvertone brand instruments and accessories. It marks the first major activity from the brand since 2015.

“RBI Music already distributes a number of high-value brands globally, including Boomwhackers, Toca, Grover Pro Percussion and the Big Joe Stompbox brand of guitar accessories,” Samick Music executive director William Park said in a statement. “We believe they will prove an excellent fit for growing the Silvertone brand.”

Brad Kirkpatrick, president of Rhythm Band Instruments added: “We are thrilled to represent this iconic brand on a worldwide basis. Jimi Hendrix and Brad Paisley are reputed to have learned on Silvertone guitars,” he said. “Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Chris Isaacs, Paul Stanley, Jack White and Tom Petty – many of the greatest guitarists and musicians of their generations – famously played Silvertone.”

Silvertone, first created by American department store chain Sears in 1916, was acquired by South Korean brand Samick Music in 2001.

Although the brand has remained under the radar in recent years, Silvertone electric guitars shot to prominence among novice musicians in the 1960s. This was largely due to their ubiquity in Sears department stores and catalogues.

Those same electric guitar models – manufactured originally by brands such as Danelectro, Harmony and Teisco – have gone on to become coveted instruments for collectors today.

Similarly, the 1484 “Twin Twelve” guitar amplifier, introduced as a student model in 1963, has gained a more recent cult following. It has been popularised by modern rock giants such as Jack White and Beck.

Silvertone’s last major release happened back in 2015 when Samick launched reissues of six acoustic guitar models, including the 955, 955CE, 600, “Sovereign” 633 and the 604.

Rhythm Band, in addition to working with several educational music products, also distributes several guitar-based brands such as Vintage and Fret-King.

For more guitar gear news, clickhere. 


Silvertone Guitars 1423 Review

Silvertone spent decades maligned as the ugly duckling on the electric guitar and amplifier pond. Because Silvertones were relatively affordable instruments sold by Sears, Roebuck & Company from the 1930s through the early ’70s, they were viewed as stepping-stones to the Fender, Gretsch, Gibson, or Rickenbacker you’d get when you got serious. But since the ’90s, many vintage Silvertone guitars and amps (typically those built by Harmony and Danelectro) have gained the respect and collector attention they always deserved.

With all this renewed interest, Samick revived the Silvertone name. And in the past year, they’ve started to revisit some of the Silvertone brand’s most loved designs. One of the most interesting original offerings, the 1423 (also branded as the Harmony Jupiter H49), was made from 1959 through 1962 and it’s the inspiration for the guitar reviewed here.

Tuxedo Junction
The designers behind the original twin-pickup 1423 likely used Gibson’s Les Paul Jr. as a point of departure. And at a glance, the new 1423 looks like a straightforward reissue. It’s got the same single-cutaway body as the original with a sharp-looking black sparkle finish and white binding with a fine black pinstripe. A white, foxtail-shaped pickguard is home to five black knobs and a chicken-head selector switch. The rosewood fretboard is dressed with classy block inlays and the classic, slight, and snaky Silvertone script logo adorns the headstock.

However, there are a number of differences—both cosmetic and structural—between the 1423 and its predecessor. Most significantly, this version is a mahogany solidbody with a four-screw, bolt-on neck, where the original was a semi-hollow with a three-screw neck. The original included a rosewood archtop-style bridge, but the new version has a Tune-o-matic-style bridge (with a retainer wire) that provides better adjustability and intonation.

Both pickups pair well with grittier, wide-open amp settings.

DeArmond silver-foil pickups were standard on the early 1423, and the reissue comes with Duncan-designed humbuckers that bear a closer resemblance to Gretsch Filter’Trons than the DeArmonds.

Less significant details include a white plastic nut in place of an aluminum nut. Closed-back tuners with chrome knobs replace the old open-geared machines with white plastic buttons. And this version has a pair of chrome strap buttons instead of a single white endpin, so you wont have to tie your strap off at the headstock. Also, the trapeze tailpiece on the reissue uses a slightly different design—a raised diamond for embellishment instead of three horizontal lines.

Overall, our 1423 is a solidly built guitar. The 20 frets are well dressed, if just a tad jagged at the edges of the fretboard. The neck fits snug in its pocket and the finish is free of defects. Shipping a guitar in the dead of winter is always tricky business, and guitar’s travels through the cold probably helped undo the factory setup to some extent. As a result, there was a little fret buzz on notes below the 5th fret, but raising the action using the bridge’s thumbwheels was a simple fix.

Being semi-hollow, examples of the original 1423 fall in the vicinity of five pounds, but our reissue is more substantial at seven pounds, 14 ounces. It’s still very comfortable to hold and feels compact and well balanced. The neck has a very comfortable C shape. Unfortunately Silvertone ditched the chunkier neck profile we saw on the prototypes, but this current profile is a nice compromise, neither too thin nor too cumbersome. Gibson players in particular will feel very much at home with it, particularly given the 1 11/16" wide nut and 24.75" scale length. Despite the less-than-ideal setup, the guitar plays very well—a definite improvement over a typical, well-used vintage Silvertone.


Updated pickups and components make it more playable and versatile than its vintage counterparts.

Iffy factory setup. Lacks some authentic vintage touches that made the originals sound and feel special.






Silvertone Guitars 1423

The controls on the 1423 include volume and tone for each pickup, a 3-way selector switch, and, for the middle position only, an almost Rickenbacker-like blend knob that rolls off the highs and boosts the mids. The knobs fall in a straight line—blend, volume, tone, volume, tone. As a player accustomed to the layout on twin-pickup Gibsons, this arrangement felt peculiar at first. It was somewhat distracting to have to reach down toward the lower bout to work the tone and volume knobs, which, incidentally, did not have the most satisfying taper.

The Silver State
Plugged into a Fender Blues Junior, the 1423 has a rich, woody sound that’s very vintage but with more modern, robust output and a lot less noise. In general, the pickups have great clarity, note separation, and detail, and even without the blend control, they offer a surprisingly wide range of timbres, from dark, jazzy tones on the neck pickup to brilliant twang on the bridge pickup. Both pickups pair well with grittier, wide-open amp settings. The 1423 also sounds very rich in lower tunings—with and without distortion—and the guitar loses none of its luster or capacity for detail in dropped tunings.

Given such a nice sonic palette, I was initially skeptical of the need for the blend control, but came to find it pretty useful. By manipulating the knob while playing, which is easy to do thanks to its proximity to the bridge pickup, you can get a convincing rotary speaker or wah-like effect—and it’s a lot of fun too.

The Verdict
Silvertone’s 1423 might have an old-school look, but it lacks a little of that vintage feel that makes old guitars seem special. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering that the originals weren’t always the most stable instruments. If the Silvertone lacks vintage authenticity, it’s capable of producing a very broad range of really nice sounds, and you could make it your main—or only—stage guitar just as readily as, say, a favorite Telecaster or Les Paul Jr. For just around five hundred bucks, that’s a pretty decent return on your investment.

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Are new Silvertone guitar models on the way?

It looks like there could be some new Silvertone electric guitars on the way. 

Rhythm Band Instruments has announced it has taken over as the limited-exclusive worldwide distributor of Silvertone brand guitars, parts and accessories, and it appears the company has big plans in the works for the iconic brand, which was created by Sears in 1916 and has been owned by Samick Music Corp. since 2001.

“RBI Music already distributes a number of high-value brands globally, including Boomwhackers, Toca, Grover Pro Percussion and the Big Joe Stompbox brand of guitar accessories,” said Samick executive director William Park in a statement. “We believe they will prove an excellent fit for growing the Silvertone brand.”

Added Rhythm Band president Brad Kirkpatrick, “We are thrilled to represent this iconic brand on a worldwide basis. Jimi Hendrix and Brad Paisley are reputed to have learned on Silvertone guitars. Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Chris Isaacs, Paul Stanley, Jack White and Tom Petty – many of the greatest guitarists and musicians of their generations – famously played Silvertone.”

Samick introduced the Silvertone Classic series, reissues of certain popular historic Silvertone electric guitars, in 2013 and has produced acoustic guitars under the Silvertone name since 2015.

Said Rhythm Band’s EVP – Sales & Marketing Lane Davy, “The timing of this agreement couldn’t be better. Samick Music has first quality inventory on the ground in Tennessee that the MI industry is currently starving for. And, the Samick factory that produces Silvertone manufactures OEM guitars for many of the leading guitar companies.”

For more information, head to RBI Music.


Silvertone Model 1448 "Amp-In-Case" Set Model Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar, made by Danelectro (1965), made in Neptune, NJ, black lacquer with sparkles finish, masonite and pine body, poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

The Model 1448 was the less expensive of two models of the classic Danelectro-made Silvertone 1960s guitar, sold through Sears and the original equipment for thousands of budding players and teen combos in the mid-1960s. The semi-hollow, black sparkle-finished, double cutaway, asymmetrical body has sharp curling "horns," vinyl edge trim, and a white Masonite pickguard. Someone at Sears must have thought "kids like sparkles", as it's a repeated finish motif on Silvertone instruments.

The fittings include one great-sounding Dan-O lipstick pickup with tone/volume controls and the traditional Dan-O chrome plate bridge with rosewood saddle. The short-scale neck ends in a Silvertone logo "paddle" headstock with skate key-style tuners. The amp-case is surprisingly functional and makes up in snarl what it lacks in volume. This is an amazingly well-preserved example of these great-sounding little classics; one of the few remaining real bargains in an American-made vintage guitar going.
Overall length is 35 in. (88.9 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 1/2 in. (597 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This is the cleanest example of this classic set we have ever seen, looking like it just came out of the box from Sears a few weeks ago, instead of 50+ years on. There are a few tiny dings and several edge rubs on the guitar where the textured vinyl siding has picked up dirt from contact with the fabric inside the amp/case. That unit is extremely clean as well, with some rubs to the covering on the corners, three of the little rubber feet missing, and not much else negative.

The amp works perfectly, sounds great, and seems louder than some! The only non-functional element in the set is the tone control on the guitar; it has no effect. This is likely due to a dead capacitor, but as this entire set is absolutely original and untouched, we have elected to leave this part and solder joints unaltered; it can easily be replaced if desired.

What limited wear this set displays appears to be from decades of storage and moving; the guitar appears hardly played. The entire package looks to have somehow gotten lost in time, and includes the original molded cable, pick, pitch pipe, some Goya strings in packages, the Sears service booklet, a Sears-issued rudimentary playing instruction sheet, and rarest of all -- the Sears "Rhythm Guitar" beginner's 45 RPM tutorial record in picture sleeve, which we have never had before. All this appears hardly touched as well. Simply the nicest of these we've ever seen -- a true time capsule! Excellent + Condition.


Electric guitars silvertone

Silvertone (brand)

Brand of electronics and musical instruments

Silvertone is a brand created and promoted by Sears for its line of consumer electronics and musical instruments from 1916 to 1972.[1] The rights to the Silvertone brand were purchased by South Korean corporation Samick Music[3] in 2001. Samick made new musical instruments under the Silvertone brand and relaunched some historic models. In 2020, RBI Music was appointed the exclusive worldwide distributor of the Silvertone brand.[4]

Musical instruments under the Silvertone name are electric and acoustic guitars, basses and ukuleles.[5]



From left to right: "Century of Progress" (1934), 7036A (1941–42), 7504 (1947), model 15 (1950)

The Silvertone brand was introduced by Sears in 1916 with the hand-cranked model 1 phonograph.[1] Beginning in the 1920s, the brand was expanded to include Silvertone radios and again expanded in the 1930s to musical instruments, superseding the previously-used Oxford branding.[1]

A Silvertone model 1 and other early Silvertone products.

In the early 1920s Sears began selling Silvertone radio tubes and batteries, although Silvertone radios decreased in popularity during late 1930s. During World War II, Sears introduced the Silverstone radio antenna for their radio receivers.[1]

Musical instruments[edit]

Silvertone guitars became popular with novice musicians due to their low cost and wide availability in Sears stores and the Sears catalog. The Canadian band Chad Allan and The Silvertones (later The Guess Who) took its name from this line of instruments.

Silvertone instruments and amplifiers were manufactured by various companies, including Danelectro, Valco, Harmony, Thomas, Kay and Teisco.

The guitars, especially the 1960s models, are frequently prized by collectors today. Two of the best-known Silvertone offerings are the Danelectro-built Silvertone 1448 and 1449, made in the early to mid-1960s. The 1448 had a single lipstick pickup,[7] while the 1449 was equipped with a two-pickup configuration,[8] and was succeeded in 1964 by the 1457 model.[9] These guitars' cases had a small built-in amplifier, and the guitars themselves had very short-scale 18-fret necks, which proved popular with beginners.

Similarly the Silvertone 1484 "Twin Twelve" 60 Watt guitar amplifier, introduced in 1963 as an affordable beginner's amp, has gained a collectors' following, since artists like Jack White, Beck, Coldplay, and others have been known to use it.[10]

Sears also sold a number of non-stringed instruments under the Silvertone name, such as electronic organs and chord organs manufactured by the Thomas Organ Company, and harmonicas made by the Wm. Kratt Company.

Samick rebrand[edit]

Rights to the Silvertone brand were purchased by Samick Music Corporation in 2001. In 2013 Samick released the Silvertone Classic series, reissues of Silvertone electrics. The first two models released were the 1303/U2 (originally manufactured by Danelectro) and the 1478 (originally manufactured by Harmony), followed by the 1449 (also known as the "Amp-in-Case" model, originally manufactured by Danelectro), and the 1423 Jupiter (originally manufactured by Harmony). In January 2014, the Silvertone reissue 1444 bass was debuted at the Anaheim Winter NAMM show.

In early 2015, Samick introduced six reissue Silvertone acoustic guitars including the full-body 955 and single cutaway 955CE, the 600 in either spruce or mahogany, the "Sovereign" 633, and the 604. Some models were also made available with acoustic pickup circuitry for amplified playing. In addition, the model 853 ukulele was introduced with an amplificable version as well.[5]

New distribution[edit]

In late 2020, Samick exclusively partnered with Rhythm Band Instruments (RBI Music) for worldwide distribution, expanding the reach of the Silvertone brand and ensuring better market access for the whole product range.[11] Based in Fort Worth, Texas, RBI Music has been developing and distributing musical instruments accessories for over sixty years, including the Vintage, Big Joe, and Fret King lines of instruments and guitar accessories.

RBI Music's president, Brad Kirkpatrick, said of the deal: “Does anyone not know the Silvertone name? We are thrilled to represent this iconic brand on a worldwide basis.” William Park, executive director of Samick Music Corporation, said “RBI Music already distributes a number of high-value brands globally... We believe they will prove an excellent fit for growing the Silvertone brand.”[11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Silvertone.
Silvertone 1303 Demonstration with Tim Goynes

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