Silvertone 1428 (Sears 60BXL) Solid-State Bass Amp

60-Watts of Transistor Power! (meh)

The Sears 60BXL (labeled as Silvertone model 1428) was a electric bass amp similar in design and appearance to guitar and bass amps built by Danelectro in the late 1960’s. It appeared in the Sears Catalog from 1971 through 1973. According to the catalog, the 60BXL was a two transistor-powered 60-watt (marketing hype) bass amp with a 15-inch speaker. It seems that very few of these amps were sold, maybe because the more powerful 200BXL met the needs of electric bass players.

Not much is known about these amps; they are rarely seen in the wild. Here is an image from the 1971 Sears Catalog.

Page 928 excerpt from the 1971 Sears Catalog

Here is a posting about this amp in the Talk Bass Forum: NAD – 1971 Sears 60 BXL Combo.

Below are some photos courtesy of Chicago Music Exchange and eBay.

 

Silvertone 1428 Sears 60BXL Electric Bass Amplifier
Courtesy Chicago Music Exchange
Silvertone 1428 Sears 60BXL Electric Bass Amplifier
Courtesy Chicago Music Exchange
Silvertone 1428 Sears 60BXL Electric Bass Amplifier
Courtesy Chicago Music Exchange
Courtesy eBay

 

Courtesy eBay

 

Courtesy eBay

Comments

Silvertone 1422 (Sears 40XL)

Silvertone 1422

Update:

Update: Just added some new shots of the chassis, tubes, board, Orange Drop caps, Fisher speaker, etc.

The Original 40XL

This page is dedicated to photos of our ’69 Silvertone 1422, also known as the Sears 40XL. We recently acquired this amp and found it to be one of  the nicest 40XL’s we’ve seen in many a year. This Made-in-USA amp is totally original, right down to it’s late 60’s dark olive vinyl, green sparkle grille cloth, and a 12-inch Alnico magnet made by Fisher. The only cosmetic damage we could find is a bump (dimple) on the cabinet edge, right side of the control panel, and a chip off one control knob.

The 1422, or 40XL, was marketed by Sears as a 40-watt, 12-inch, combo tube amp for guitar. It features two separate input channels, and built-in reverb and tremolo. The reverb and trem are controlled by a dedicated foot switch. Sears advertised these as 40-watt combo amps. But in reality, the two 7189 power tubes put out around 20-watts or less. In fact, the features and chassis layout suggest that it could be an American copy of a the mid-60’s Marshall Model 1974, which was an 18-watt combo using two 6BQ5’s (EL84’s).

Summer of ’69

This amp was built, sold, and first played in the Summer of ’69. The code on the CTS potentiometers read “137-6919.” Decoded, that means “137” = Mfr’d. by CTS; “69” = Year Mfr’d. (1969). “19” = Week Mfr’d. (2nd Week of May).

How Does It Sound?

Well, it’s a loud 18 to 22 watts, that’s for sure. HUGE in the mid range, solid in the bass range, but not too sparkly or chimey at the high end. Poor speaker sounds like it’s wearing a heavy wool sweater. And there is a noticeable 60-Hz hum. But we will dig into it and find out what’s wrong.

UPDATE:
Major improvements! We took the chassis out of the cabinet, cleaned and tightened all the loose connections, and relocated one unshielded cable sitting too close to the transformer (will completely remove that later). Now, the amp is almost silent when idling, the 60-Hz hum is completely gone, and frequency response at the high and low ends have improved!

Photo Gallery

These photos are little rough, and I hope to upload some better ones in the near future.

Previous Comments

{ 37 comments…  }

Ed September 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Hi,
I have a 1422 from late 60’s early 70’s? It too is in very nice condition. All original tubes, but missing a knob. The volume on channel one is quite low but channel two roars. True, it does sound like its wearing a heavy wool sweater! I was wondering if I could change out tubes for a better high gain sound? Shoot me an email and I’ll send some pics, and any advice would be much appreciated!!

REPLY

alex September 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Hi Ed,
Would love to see photos of your amp. This one has a lot of gain already. Not certain which tubes to try for even higher gain. I think the speaker might be the weakest part. Planning to try some different speakers to hear what happens…?
~Alex

REPLY

mike March 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I just picked up a solid state 40XL at the goodwill for $9. Sounds great with mu delta king semi-solid body and they look great together.

A bit of wear, but love the tremolo feature I also played a round with it and found with the 2 chanenels that I could actually use it as an amp and mini PA if I balance things right in a pinch. The tremolo works on your voice too, kind of like a 70’s ( I think that’s how old it is without the tubes) W.i.l.l.i.a.m effect.

Any chance of finding a manual on this baby on line anywhere? Is it repairable if it craps out, being it’s so old??? Any review info or thoughts would be appreciated.

Let me know

REPLY

Mikey March 14, 2015 at 11:11 am

@mike — It is most certainly fixable. I took mine into the local shop (Columbia, MO USA), and they fixed the reverb, changed the tubes, and installed a 12″ blue dog speaker that I brought in. I also had a proper 3 prong cord installed. The amp is now my mainstay, I use it always!

REPLY

alex March 15, 2015 at 9:55 am

Excellent! Thanks, ~alex.

Tim September 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Hi Alex,

I just got one of these and was wondering if you have a schematic. Mine is not in the great condition of yours, but seems to work fine. No pedal though. Please post your findings about the different speakers you try!

Thanks!
Tim

REPLY

alex September 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Hi Tim. No schematic yet. Hopefully I can make one (with some help!).

I’m pretty sure that the original speaker can’t handle the power of this amp. I disconnected the original and patched this amp into another cab that I have. That made a big difference! I’m planning on ordering a G12-H-30 (Greenback) from Ted Weber.

REPLY

Tim September 30, 2013 at 7:32 am

Thanks Alex! I took the head apart this weekend and just wanted to let you know that there is an 8 ohm speaker tap on the board. It has a red wire going to it and it’s right next to the 4 ohm, where the speaker is connected. Also, I tried jumping the channels, and with both channels turned up there seemed to be more presence and touch sensitivity, seems like the clouds lifted some. I’m also going to try a Celestion, I have an old G12H25, but it’s 15 ohms. I’m going to try it on the 8 ohm tap and keep my fingers crossed!

REPLY

alex October 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Thanks, Tim. Good call! I did not notice the separate 4 and 8 ohm taps. I also tried jumping the two channels and noticed a slight improvement.

REPLY

Tim October 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I wasn’t able to use my old speaker, but I did put in a g12h30 anniversary and it was more clear and gave it more Marshall growl. My try a Jensen next.

REPLY

john November 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

Has anyone discovered a schematic for the 1422 ? I have one and am trying to figure out if it’s 4 or 8 ohms ? I have a 4 ohm Fender speaker I would like to put in it.

REPLY

alex November 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm

John,
I’m *pretty sure* the the original wiring is for a 4 ohm speaker. But please see Tim’s comment above about both 4 ohm and 8 ohm taps from the output transformer. It’s nice to have options :-)

REPLY

john January 20, 2014 at 10:00 am

Still searching for a scematic for the 1422. Having distortion problems in the tremelo circuit. My tech guy can’t find one either. The tremelo does not seem to kick in unless the Strength knob is at 12 noon or higher. When the speed knob is turned past noon, ugly distortion is present. Any ideas ?

REPLY

alex January 20, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Sorry, John. Haven’t been able to track one a schematic for the tube version of the 1422. I recently ordered the repair sheet and schematic from Sams Photofact, but what they sent me is for the solid-state model.

Did you try replacing the 12AX7 tube that drives the tremolo circuit? If it’s not the tube, then the problem might be a capacitor in the circuit. I fixed the non-funtioning tremolo on my 1421 amp by replacing one of the caps. I think it was one of the caps that was soldered to either the Speed or Depth knob. Now it works great.

REPLY

Jim Cord January 16, 2015 at 9:52 am

I know this is an old post, but I’m wondering if by chance if you still have it, could post the SS schematic you were sent in error?

I just (mistakenly) bought the SS version, because I was over zealous in my blind compulsive buying mode and failed to examine the photos throughly enough; had I done so, I wouldn’t have overpaid for this tube-wannabe.

REPLY

alex January 16, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Jim,
I will see what I can do to send that to you.

~alex

REPLY

Steven March 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Any chance I could get the schematic for the solid state?

REPLY

Steven March 5, 2016 at 10:02 pm

I’d love a schematic for the solid state if possible

REPLY

john January 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

Also, would the tremelo circuit be the same in the 1421, or 1423 ?

REPLY

alex January 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm

No. The circuits for the 1421 and 1423 are entirely different. The 1421 is all point-to-point hand soldered. The 1423 is solid-state; so no tubes at all. The 1422 is a hybrid because it has a printed circuit board and tubes. That makes it unique in that series.

Did your tech remove the printed circuit board and test all the caps, resistors, and solder traces?

REPLY

john February 4, 2014 at 11:18 am

Yes. Looks like a cap, so I told him to replace all of them.

REPLY

john February 6, 2014 at 8:55 am

Caps replaced, tremelo circuit still distorting. Any other ideas ?

REPLY

Jake March 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Nice specimen!

I just received a 1422 off ebay today and noticed that instead of original tubes (which the seller stated they were) it has 2-EL84s replacing the 7189s and ECC 83S in place of the 12AX7s, all JJs. I read somewhere that the EL84s and the 7189s are used for different voltages in the circuit and shouldn’t even work when added. The seller is playing dumb and I can’t find out if something was modded, or everything is fine, or something seriously bad is going to happen if I don’t make sure the voltage was adjusted.

Any thoughts?

REPLY

josh June 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm

I just purchased a solid state 40XL. I haven’t received it yet. Are they compatible with modern 2-button footswitches? I have a 10XL with the original tremolo footswitch but I want to control reverb too.

REPLY

alex June 21, 2014 at 7:16 am

Josh, congrats on the new 40XL! The 40XL uses a two-button switch to control reverb and tremolo, and has a single 1/4-inch two-conductor plug. Like a 1/4″ stereo headphone plug. See it here: http://www.tonegems.com/silvertone-1422-footswitch/

~alex

REPLY

alex June 21, 2014 at 7:43 am

You can purchase a similar foot switch online or in music stores for around $50. Or you could buy the parts and build one for about $20.

~alex

REPLY

Fran December 6, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Hello,

I just rebuilt a Sears Silvertone XL40… cabinet mostly and professionally done on a CNC. Will post pictures. I, too, am getting a screeching trem and the reverb is’t working, although the verb does boing when moved… so some further scrutiny is necessary. The finish of the cabinet is wood, stained and toned. I made it a little larger than the original and also plan to make another the same size as the orignal with tolex covering. I also remade the control panel graphics. Looks real nice and a lot of tube power. Just have to get the trem and reverb right. I recall, trem and verb were working before I tok it apart. All for now.

REPLY

alex December 7, 2014 at 7:44 am

Fran,
That’s great! Please keep us posted. Send some photos of your project; we’d love to see how the cabinet turns out.

~alex

REPLY

Fran December 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Cabinet is almost done… working out some bugs in the circuitry… probably needs newer tubes… all else seems to be clean and intact. Assemling this weekend and then will take pictures. Note that I enlarged the cabinet some; however, I have recently redigitized it to spec. I will make a second cabinet with a tolex wrap and make the electronics (or head) a separate entity. Thanks.

REPLY

Fran December 24, 2014 at 10:37 am

Emails with pictures sent to your addy and a question. Let me know if you received them, Alex. Have a very Merry Christmas. BTW, I was with the owner of the Danolectric tradename last evening. What a great fella!

REPLY

alex December 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Fran,
Happy New Year! I did not receive your photos :-( Please try again.

~alex

REPLY

Fran December 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Note, photos coming from another addy and just sent 4:06 EST 12/27/14. Also, could you elborate on the wire near the transformer that was causing the 60 cycle hum and all you did to resolve that. I, too, have the hum. I do not plan to make my unit 3 wire because I like the flexibility of reversing the plug polarity with a 2 prong…. unless I add a switch for that, or go to 3 wire and use an adapter. You ground to chassis, right? Someone told me the problem with my trem could be caps and not the tubes. Any opinion on that? Still waiting to test the tubes. I have a vintage tube tester now, but I may have to change some resistors to get it working. properly… as it’s been sitting for a good many years.

REPLY

Fran December 31, 2014 at 4:59 am

I have decided to take inventory on the PCB components and, also, draw up a new PCB and etch a new one for the beast I’m working on. When I’m further along, I will post or link the data and PCB drawing. For now, there are two blue-ish colored capacitors and on the south end appears to be some sort of (tan) washer that I thought might be the cap bleeding. There are no pictures above of the component side, but if anyone knows anything about these two caps, let me know if what I am seeing is a bad cap (I have not tested it). Alex, I sent you pictures of the solder and component sides. Caps I am referring to are labeled C2 and C17 respectively. Thanks.

REPLY

Jim Cord January 16, 2015 at 9:39 am

Just got a smack in the face; bought a 40xl from a charity auction, was all giddy because I (thought) got a great deal on a coll retro (I thought) tube amp.

Well, in my blinders-on compulsive buying madness, I failed to note the language on the warning lable (which was pictured in the listing) stating:
“…..does not contain any tubes or user serviceable parts…”

Yep; instead of a great deal on a great little tube amp, I overpaid for a Solid State door stop.

I guess that may be a bit harsh, as I’ve just umboxed it at work, and haven’t actually plugged in yet.
I did pop the back and examine the innards (through the nest of cobwebs) and it looks like a nice wiring job, and if nothing else, probably some good vintage parts to harvest for one of my upcoming pedal builds.

Anyone own the SS version? And if so, what are you’re thoughts on it?

I plan on giving it a good clean up, and see how it sounds.

If it’s as underwhelming as I’m pessimistically assuming, it might actually be the perfect opportunity to take the next step in my DIY education and take a shot at gutting it and building the original tube version.

Now to poke around here, and everywhere, to try finding the schematic for it.
I’m guessing it can’t be too complex; but I’ve been wrong before… recently in fact

REPLY

alex January 16, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Well, the SS version is nothing like the tube version, but might have an interesting tone all it’s own. I believe it’s an early use of the printed circuit board, but with full size components (capacitors and resistors) on the board. Kind of a solid-state dinosaur.

~alex

REPLY

Michael November 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

I realize this might bit too late, but Jim… don’t trash that SS 40XL. Sure it doesn’t have the same warmth as the tube version. But with the right guitar, and couple of well chosen pedals, you can get some very pleasing tones from it.

I’m playing an Eastwood P-90 Special through my SS 40XL. And with just a touch of distortion, from my Boss DS-1, it sound pretty damn good.

REPLY

alex November 9, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Thanks Michael!
~alex

Modified Silvertone Model 1421 Amp – Part One, The Tear Down

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Original Speaker and Baffle

From the tail end of the vacuum tube era, a real Tone Gem in the genre of garage band tone.

Editor’s Note: This is Part One of a two part series on modifying the Silvertone 1421 guitar amp. This article is a work in progress, so please check back for additional info and updates.

The 1960’s Silvertone 1421 Combo Tube Amp (also originally sold as the Sears 10XL) is a great little vintage tube amp. It’s compact size makes it easy to carry to practice or a to small venue. It’s low 10-watt tube output (actually, closer to 5-watt) is perfect for the recording studio. It has two instrument inputs going into one channel, volume and tone controls, and a fantastic 12AX7 tube tremolo circuit, playing out to an 8-inch speaker. The sound here is definitely in the garage band category, but you can coax some great sounds out of this little guy.

The all-tube version of this amp was made from 1968 to 1972, and was later replaced with a all-transistor (solid-state) version in 1973. I picked this one up off eBay a few years ago. It’s a 1970 model and is all original, except for the brown speaker grille fabric (which is ugly!).

Below is a photo of my Silvertone 1421 after it first arrived. The vinyl covering, the controls, the faceplate were all in excellent condition for its age; no tears or scratches. The original vinyl handle was flexible and intact. The only problem this amp had was a stuck (frozen) power switch. I replaced the bad switch with a new heavy-duty toggle, and replaced the old two-prong power cord with a new grounded cord. When I powered it up for the first time it was amazingly quiet for an old tube amp.

1970 Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421

The knobs and faceplate were in great condition. The handle was still flexible and firmly secured to the cabinet. But the original toggle switch stuck (frozen).

1970 Sears 10XL Silvertone 142 Control Panel
1970 Sears 10XL Silvertone 142 Control Panel

Front view showing the replaced grille cloth over the original baffle board and speaker.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Front

Rear view of cabinet. You can see the new grounded power cord that I added.

Sears 10Xl Silvertone 1421 Back Cover
Sears 10Xl Silvertone 1421 Rear

The Sears product label on the rear panel showing the model number and vacuum tube layout.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Label
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Label

A view of the chassis through the back panel vent.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 View of Chassis
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 View of Chassis

Photo of the cabinet interior, showing the chassis and the original 8-inch speaker made by CTS.

Inside Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421
Inside the Cabinet

A closer view of the chassis.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis and Speaker
Chassis and Speaker

The 8-inch speaker with ceramic magnet made by CTS (code 137).

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Speaker
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Speaker

Another view of the chassis, showing the power transformer, the filter capacitor can, the output transformer, and the tubes. The on-baord tube complement is one 6X4 Rectifier tube, two 12AX7 tubes for preamp and tremolo circuits, and 7189 power tube.

Chassis and Tubes
Chassis and Tubes

Here is the baffle board removed from the cabinet. The board was nothing more than 1/8″ thick Masonite.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Baffle
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Baffle
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Original Speaker
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Original Speaker
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Original Speaker and Baffle
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Original Speaker and Baffle
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Original Speaker and Baffle
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Original Speaker and Baffle

Here is the cabinet with the baffle board removed.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Front Baffle Removed
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Front Baffle Removed
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Back Cover Removed
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Back Cover Removed

The wiring is hand-wired and soldered.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components
Old School Resistors and Capacitors
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components
Orange Drop Cap and Fuse Assembly
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components
Orange Drop Capacitor
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components
Old School “Chiclet” Capacitor
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Chassis Components

Silvertone 1421 (Sears 10XL) Tube Amp

Vintage 1971 Silvertone 1421 (Sears 10XL) Combo Guitar Tube Amp

This great little combo tube amp was built by (who?) and sold through Sears and Roebuck in the late 1960′s and early 70′s. It was originally sold as the Silvertone Model #1421, and in later years as the SR 10XL, and lastly as the Sears 10XL. Oh, the photo of this amp looks innocent enough, but, this is one serious sounding tube screamer. And you won’t usually find them as nice as this one!

Quick Info

Summary: A 10-watt tube combo with tremolo and 8-inch speaker. Hand-wired. Lots of midrange growl that transitions into a creamy overdrive. Great for classic and indie rock, jazz, blues, country and rockabilly. Use as a practice amp or at small venues. Perfect for recording.

Pluses (+): Vintage British, Vox-like, valve sound in an affordable practice amp. Compact and lightweight.

Minuses ( – ): Cheaply constructed lightweight cabinet and thin vinyl covering. The original grille cloth was fragile, and most are completely deteriorated by now. Loud enough for a small venue (i.e. coffee shop) but not for anything larger.

Surprises: 1) The 7189 output tube! This is the higher plate voltage version of the EL84 tube made famous in British amps of the 60′s; and 2) The 8-inch Oxford Alnico speaker sounds great!

Value ($): Depends on the condition and market demand. I have seen them run from $100 to as high as $500.

Similar Amps: The original 1960′s Vox AC4 practice amp. Nothing else in the Silvertone line is similar.

The Complete Silvertone 1421 Review

(Stay tuned… this section under construction)

The 1421 Photo Gallery

This amp is in fantastic condition for it’s age. It even came with the factory original vinyl dust cover. It is all original, except that I replaced a broken power switch, and then replaced the old 2-prong power cord with a safer grounded cord. The tubes, chassis, speaker, cabinet and finish are all in perfect condition — sans for the cigarette-sized hole burned into the original grille cloth (not by me, it came that way!).

Specifications – Silvertone 1421 (Sears 10XL)

SILVERTONE 1421 (SEARS 10XL)
Model Number 257.14211000
Serial Number None
Manufacture Date April 1971
Type 8″ Combo
Output (Peak or RMS) 10 Watts, Peak
Pre-Amp Tube(s) 1 x 12AX7
Tremolo Tube(s) 1 x 12AX7
Power Amp Tube(s 1 x 7189
Tube Rectifier 6X4
Speaker Oxford 8″ Alnico
Speaker Code 465-7118
Speaker Configuration 1 x 8″
Baffle Board 1/8″ Masonite
Impedance 4 Ohm
On-Board Effects Tremolo
Footswitch Yes
Controls Volume & Tone
Inputs 2
Channels 1
Cabinet Construction 3/8″ Pressed Board
Cabinet Covering/Color Vinyl / Black
Dimensions (WxHxD) 14″x17″x6″
Weight 10 lbs.
Power 120V AC

Schematic for Silvertone 1421

Schematic for Silvertone 1421

Schematic Courtesy of SchematicHeaven.com

Additional Resources

More info to come…

Silvertone 1421 (Sears 10 XL) Guitar Tube Amp

Sears 10XL. Silvertone 1421.


NOTE: This great little amp now resides happily with its new owner in Charleston, South Carolina.

Vintage 1971 Sears 10 XL Silvertone 1421 Combo Guitar Tube Amp

The Sears 10 XL was sold through Sears and Roebuck in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. The 10 XL is a single channel, 10-watt (peak) combo amp for electric guitar with a very cool built-in tube-powered tremolo effect.

This little amp first appeared in the 1969 Sears Catalog as a 10-watt tube-powered amp and, transformed into to a solid-state amp around 1972, and then discontinued in 1973. The label on the rear panel identified this model as Silvertone 257.1421100.

The photo of this little amp looks innocent enough. But don’t let the its appearance fool you! This is a serious sleeper of a tube amp, and sounds fantastic. Perfect for your next garage band. And you won’t usually find them as nice as this one!

Quick Info

Summary: A 10-watt tube combo with tremolo and 8-inch speaker. Hand-wired. Lots of midrange growl that transitions into a saturated overdrive. Great for classic and indie rock, jazz, blues, country and rockabilly. Use as a practice amp or at small venues. Perfect for recording.

Pluses (+): Vintage 1960’s tube sound in an affordable practice amp package. Compact and lightweight.

Minuses ( – ): Lightweight constructed cabinet and vinyl covering (it’s a Sears amp!). The original fabric grille cloth was fragile, and therefore most are completely deteriorated by now. Not really loud enough for a big venue, but still perfect for those small and intimate gigs (i.e. coffee shop).

Surprises ( ! ): 1) The 7189 output tube! This is the higher plate voltage version of the EL84 tube found in famous British valve amps of the 60’s; and 2) The 8-inch Oxford Alnico speaker sounds great!

Value ($): Depends on the condition and market demand. I have seen them run from $100 (beat up and not working) to as high as $500 (too much!).

Similar Amps: Unique, nothing else in the Silvertone line is similar. Preamp tube (12AX7) and power tube (7189 version of EL84) used in the 1960’s Vox AC4.

The Sears XL Story (as best I know it)

Sears 1969 catalog, page 928, guitar amplifiersThe Sears 10 XL was a member of the Sears XL Series of amplifiers that first appeaed in the late 1960’s and ran through the mid-1970’s. The XL Series followed the venerable Silvertone 1400 Series (1472, 1482, 1483, 1484, 1485) from the early to mid 1960’s. The XL Series ranged from the little 5 XL (3-tubes, 3-watts) to the giant 200 XL (200-watts solid-state).

Before the XL Series, the Sears Silvertone 1400 line up of amps was designed and built by the famously efficient and economical Danelectro Company of Neptune, New Jersey. Danelectro was founded by the pioneering electronics engineer and builder Nathan Daniel. Nate Daniel specialized in building quality musical instruments and gear at reasonable prices. Danelectro built and supplied all the guitar amps to Sears and Roebuck from about 1958 to 1968. In 1966 founder Nate Daniel sold his company to MCA, and unfortunately by 1969, MCA had to shut down the operation and thus the original Danelectro Company no longer existed.

From about 1968 to 1972 the smaller amps in the Sears XL Series (the 5 XL, 10 XL, 40 XL) continued to be hand-wired tube amps. But by 1973 the entire XL line – except for the little 5 XL – had transitioned to all solid-state electronics. Exactly who built these XL amps for Sears remains a uncertain. We have speculated that the 5, 10 and 40 XL’s were still built in New Jersey with left-over parts from the defunct Daneletro.

The Chassis

The chassis of the 10 XL is all hand-wired point-to-point electronics with a 6X4 tube rectifier, a 12AX7 preamp tube, a 12AX7 tremolo tube circuit and a single 7189 output power tube. The amp has volume and tone controls, Tremolo speed and intensity controls, two 1/4″ guitar input jacks, and one 1/4″ tremolo foot switch input jack.

The Speaker

The loudspeakers that came in the Sears 10 XL varied throughout production. All speakers were 8-inches in size. But the manufacturer and type of speaker varied. This particular model has an 8-inch speaker made by Oxford with an Alnico magnet, which perfectly compliments the lower output level of the 7189 power tube, and sounds great in this amp. Some other 1421 models were made with speakers from the CTS or Fisher factories, and by my account, those all had ceramic magnets instead of Alnico.

The Baffle Board and Grille Cloth

The baffle board is typical Silvertone quality: 1/8″ pressed board (Masonite). That just helps to establish this amp’s personality. The original silver, gold and green sparkle fabric that covers the baffle board is quite delicate, and in most cases rotted away over the years. Thankfully, somehow the original fabric survived on this model.

The 10 XL Photo Gallery

This 10 XL is in fantastic condition for it’s age. It even came with the factory original vinyl dust cover and tremolo foot switch. It is all original, except that I replaced a broken power switch, and then replaced the old 2-prong power cord with a safer grounded cord. The tubes, chassis, speaker, cabinet and finish are all in perfect condition — sans for the cigarette-sized hole in the original grille cloth (not by me, it came that way!).

Specifications – Silvertone 1421 (Sears 10XL)

SEARS 10 XL (SILVERTONE 1421)
Model Number 257.14211000
Serial Number None
Manufacture Date April 1971
Type 8″ Combo
Output (Peak or RMS) 10 Watts, Peak
Pre-Amp Tube(s) 1 x 12AX7
Tremolo Tube(s) 1 x 12AX7
Power Amp Tube(s 1 x 7189
Tube Rectifier 6X4
Speaker Oxford 8″ Alnico
Speaker Code 465-7118
Speaker Configuration 1 x 8″
Baffle Board 1/8″ Masonite
Impedance 4 Ohm
On-Board Effects Tremolo
Footswitch Yes
Controls Volume & Tone
Inputs 2
Channels 1
Cabinet Construction 3/8″ Pressed Board
Cabinet Covering/Color Vinyl / Black
Dimensions (WxHxD) 14″x17″x6″
Weight 10 lbs.
Power 120V AC

Schematic for Silvertone 1421

Schematic for Silvertone 1421
Silvertone 1421 Schematic Courtesy of Schematic Heaven

Additional Resources

Links to additional information.

More info to come…

Previous comments

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

dave carter June 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm

have one in perfect condition,with the foot petal.no dust cover.ready to sale

REPLY

b d brown February 2, 2013 at 6:10 pm

the other maker of sears guitar amps was electrnic sound corp of chicargo ill during the 1970s to about the late 80s. they used oxford, and quam speakers and maybe cts or some utahs. the also made cabents for the game manufactuers wiaims/bally/ etc.

REPLY

alex February 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

That’s great info! Thank you. I will look into that further… ~alex

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alex February 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

The Silvertone 1420 (Sears 5XL) is identical to the older Danelectro built model 1459. After Danelectro was no more, do you think maybe they built the 1420 for Sears from old Danelectro parts, or maybe just copied the Dano design? ~alex

Link: http://www.tonegems.com/sears-5-xl-amp-silvertone-model-1420/

REPLY

Allan Kidd July 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

looking for schematics for sears 1422/ 40XL Tube amp

REPLY

Oak Crest Talent Show 1961

We enjoy receiving blog comments and emails from readers who are as passionate about music and guitars as we are here at Tone Gems. Recently, Ray Clearwater – who incidentally publishes 25 Years of Sears Musical Instruments on CD – shared a old photograph of his 1961 Junior High talent show.

25 Years of Vintage Silvertone on CD


Here is a must-have for all vintage Silvertone fans. It’s a CD containing 25 years of Silvertone guitars, amps, and other musical instruments offered from the original Sears catalogs. The pages cover Silvertone products for each year from 1950 through 1975. The CD was created by Ray Clearwater of Morro Bay, California, and can be purchased on eBay or directly from Ray for $12.95, plus $2.00 shipping.

There are a total of 126 catalog pages all scanned at high resolution and saved as color JPEG’s. Also included are some articles compiled by Ray about Silvertone, Danelectro and music from the 50′s and 60′s. Ray says that this CD is a labor of his own appreciation and childhood memories. He adds, “It was my feeling that as I really enjoyed going back and looking through the guitar pages that I dreamed about as a kid, it might also be of at least some sentimental value to others as well.”

Here is the link to the eBay page: SILVERTONE – DANELECTRO – KAY – HARMONY – SEARS CATALOG PAGES 1950 TO 1975 ON CD. You can also contact Ray by email at ohcisco2001@yahoo.com.

Here is a catalog page from 1964. This page is a real winner in itself! The black hollow-body is a sought-after classic, owned and played by Chris Isaac. The red one is a favorite of Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Both were built for Sears by Harmony in Chicago, Illinois.

The pages have been carefully scanned and contain invaluable information, specs and original prices of old Silvertone guitars and amps built by Danelectro, Harmony, Kay, Teisco, and others from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s. It is definitely worth the $12.95 plus shipping.

1960′s Silvertone 1481 Amp New in Box?!


Holy crap! What an incredible find. Someone is selling on eBay a mid-1960′s Silvertone 1481 tube amp, brand new in the original box. That’s crazy! Original Silvertone tubes inside. Complete with original papers and Owner’s Manual. Even has the original shipping label on the box from the Danelectro factory in Neptune NJ to Sears Roebuck store in Newington Connecticut.

The 1481 was the smallest combo tube amp of the Silvertone family at that time. It was the poor man’s version of the Fender Champ, with one 6V6 tube putting out 7-watts to a single 8-inch Alnico speaker. According to Silvertoneworld.com, the 1481 was a cosmetic replacement to the earlier 1471 and was offered in the Sears catalog up through 1968. It was made in Neptune, New Jersey by Danelectro.

Link to eBay auction: 1960′S SILVERTONE AMP MODEL 1481 NEW IN BOX DAN ELECTRO

Original shipping label from Neptune, New Jersey:

 

UPDATE: This auction has ended. The amp sold for $610.

Danelectro DC-1 Cool Cat Chorus

Birthday’s are great! This pedal was a gift! My son and his wife remembered my affinity for chorus pedals and found this Danelectro at a used music shop. It’s the 18-volt version, all analog, made about 1996. It sounds great! Very warm and lush sounding with a broader depth and speed range than similar analog pedals. Maybe it sounds so good because it’s a clone of the legendary Boss CE-2, with the following chips on-board:

  • MN3007 — 1024-stage analog Bucket Brigade chip (BBD). Panasonic, Japan.
  • MN3101 — BBD driver chip. Panasonic, Japan.
  • TL072CP — JFET Op Amp. Texas Instruments.
  • TC4013BP — Dual D-Type Flip Flop bypass circuit (switch). Toshiba, Japan.

Along with my other analog chorus effects pedals, I hope to have a full review posted here in the very near future. Stay tuned…