Coast Wholesale Music Company

Coast Wholesale Music Company from the San Francisco Bay Area was an importer and wholesale distributor of musical instruments. They focused predominantly on importing instruments (guitars!) made in Japan to the United States in the 1940’s through the 1960’s. The company was purchased by Charlie Kamam of Kaman Music around 1968, along with Coast Wholesale of Los Angeles — a completely separate company in Southern California with the same name — and C. Bruno & Sons of Texas.

Kaman Music Corp. would later introduce the line of Ovation guitars.

Some of the people in the music business connected to Coast Wholesale Music Company were: Don Talbot, Gabe Ireland, Donald Johnson, Bob King, Hai Muradian, Allan Small, Lloyd Stark.

More info from National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM): Coast Wholesale Music Company.

Similar links: Coast Wholesale Music Co. of Los Angeles (founded by Eric Emerson), Ovation Guitars, Kaman Music Corporation, Jupiter Band Instruments, KHS Musical Company, Hohner, Inc., St. Louis Music, C. Bruno & Sons.

C. Bruno & Sons was a sister company in Texas.

Kaman Music Corp. introduced the Ovation line of guitars. Charlie Kaman and son, Bill Kaman.


Vintage 1970’s Lyle Strat Guitar

1970's Lyle Strat made in Japan

1970’s Lyle ‘Strat-Like’ Electric Guitar, white solid body, 3 pickups

Here’s an interesting vintage 1970’s Lyle guitar currently offered on eBay. This Strat-like 3-pickup solid body is dressed nicely in an aged and relic white finish, tremolo bridge (the arm is missing), with a Japanese bolt-on Mahogany neck, an adjustable truss rod, and Rosewood fingerboard. Mostly known for its less expensive copies of famous guitars, Lyle actually sold some decent gear—in addition to a lot of low end beginner’s trash! This one appears to be of higher quality as suggested by the three-ply pickguard, the sliding switchgear, and the closed back tuning machines. Most Lyle guitars were built in the Matsumoku factory in Japan, however the Mahogany neck and the pickups suggest it could have been built elsewhere in Japan? Lyle guitars were sold by the L.D. Heater Music Co. of Portland Oregon during the 1960’s and 70’s. The seller says this guitar plays and sounds great with low action and no fret buzz. We have not tested to confirm. Seller is asking $279.95 plus shipping.


Here is the link to the eBay* auction: Vintage 1970”s Lyle Electric Guitar Made In Japan

*DISCLAIMER*: Buy at your own risk! Although we like to point out interesting buys on eBay,, and other sites, Tone Gems has not tested this guitar and does not endorse or recommend this product, nor this seller.

1970's Lyle Strat made in Japan

1970 Silvertone 1445 Mosrite Copy Guitar

Silvertone 1445 Electric Guitar

A Vintage 1970 Silvertone MIJ Copy of the Mosrite Guitar

Here is the latest addition to the Tone Gem galaxy of stars: a vintage 1970 Silvertone 1445. Also known as the Silvertone Mosrite Copy, made in Japan by Teisco. Picked this one up in Seattle from John, another Silvertone collector. The 1445 represents the pinnacle of Teisco’s contribution to the Sears Silvertone line. All high quality materials and workmanship.

This crazy looking solid-body electric guitar is ready to play surf, jazz, classic rock or country, and is simply a kick to play! The exquisite Silvertone 1445 (I mean, by dept. store standards of course) was hand-crafted by Teisco in Japan for Sears. The body style is an excellent Teisco version of the 1960′s Mosrite of California guitar played by rock Hall-of-Famers, The Ventures (Walk, Don’t Run and Hawaii Five-O).

Sears 1969 Catalog Page 929The Silvertone 1445 first appeared in the Sears catalog in 1968, and hung around in a few variations through the early 1970′s. It has three very loud single-coil (“Hound Dog”) pickups wired in series just like the old Danelecto models. The fast, low-profile solid Maple neck with Rosewood fingerboard sports medium to low action and is easy to play. The growling Teisco “Hound Dog” single-coils have lots of bite, and the solid poplar body has plenty of sustain. Of course, the single-coils and non-shielded wiring can be a bit noisy if you’re not careful, but easy to avoid. And I must say that the hand-painted sunburst finish over the flamed Maple; the contoured German carve body with tortoise shell pickguard; and intricate triple-layer celluloid binding makes this guitar a stunning sight to see.

Silvertone 1445 Guitar and Sears 10XL Tube AmpThe 1445 represents the pinnacle of Teisco’s contribution to the Sears Silvertone line. All high quality materials and workmanship. It has the following specifications and features:

  • Body: Morite-style, celluloid bound, fully contoured, flamed Maple over basswood with German carve; sunburst (yellow-red-mahogany) nitrocellulose lacquer finish; tortoise shell celluloid pickguard.
  • Neck: Bolt-on solid Maple neck with Brazilian(?) Rosewood fretboard, Pearloid block inlays and triple bound celluloid edge (w/b/w); 25½″; 22 frets with zero fret; 1-5⁄8″ at nut.
  • Pickups: Three Teisco single coil “Hound Dog” pups wired in series (loud, louder, loudest); 3 slide switches plus tone boost switch for 7 pup combinations; 3 volumes and 1 master tone control.
  • Headstock: Solid Maple; black nitro-lacquer finish; block style logo.
  • Tuners: 6 in line; sealed; made in Japan.
  • Vibrato: Teisco tremolo bar.
  • Bridge: Teisco adjustable roller bridge; chrome cover.
  • Dimensions: Length 41½″; Body 19″; Upper Bout 12½″; Lower Bout 14½″; Thickness 2″ at base of neck.

The Silvertone 1445 Photo Gallery

Here are some photos of the 1445 taken with the Silvertone 1421 (Sears 10XL). The 1421 is a 10-watt tube amp that was also offered by Sears around the same time. These two instruments were often bundled and sold together as a set around Christmas time (the Sears Wishbook).

Schematic Diagram

Silvertone 1445 Guitar Schematic Diagram
Silvertone 1445 Guitar Schematic Diagram (by

Special thanks to Randy ( for helping fix the electronics and getting it back into stock, playing condition!





{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry January 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hey just wondering what these models are worth. I picked one up from a guy in Alberta, Canada. I paid $125 for it. The electrics are alot crackily but they still work. Everything else is in good shape with the usual nicks and bumps. It also came with an old hard case. Looks a little big for the guitar but it looks old. It has a very thin red plush interiour. Not sure if I will get a reply if you reply through this web site so if you could reply directly to my email address [address removed].

Thanks Terry



alex January 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Thanks Terry for visiting the site. I have responded to your question by email, as you requested.



frank December 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Hi my name is frank i have had mine for about 20 years i haven,t picked it up in years whats 1 of these worth model #319.14459 japan silvertone mosrite copy/tone gems



alex December 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Hi Frank. Thanks for visiting the website! I have been following the prices for this guitar on eBay and craigslist for about 2 years. The asking prices have been all over the place. Its value really depends on the condition and the amount of original hardware. A lot of these guitars have lost their whammy bar and chrome bridge cover. A decent price for one like mine would be around $450, or even more.


cornbread April 13, 2012 at 7:46 am

Hello sir, I have one of these but it has the holographic atomic symbol headstock. Do you know the difference? Here’s what the headstock looks like:


alex April 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Yes. Even though the headstock and logo changed over a short time span, these guitars are all the same model. Sears started using the atomic SR logo in ’71. Therefore, your guitar would have to be a 1971 model, or later.


Ian June 27, 2012 at 8:11 am


I have this Silvertone-teisco 1445L guitar.

What is a fair price for this type of guitar is good condition?


alex June 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

Hi Ian. Thanks for the inquiry. I have answered your question via your hotmail address. ~alex.


peter September 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

I’m about to purchase one of these 1445 Silvertone’s, it is a 1969 and in perfect condition other than the tremelo bar is missing. Do you know if these are easy to get hold of?




alex September 5, 2012 at 10:43 am
alex September 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

Peter, congrats! Send us some photos of your new guitar after you get it.


Billy Decker December 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I’ve had my Silvertone 1445 since1974 and it still plays. It was my first electric guitar. Bought it from a friend of mine with a Sears tube amp but the amp got stolen. Saw one on Ebay for almost $500. Bought both amp and guitar for $40. Missing my bridge cover. Never got a case with it and the only thing it fits in is a coffin bass case.


Paul Chesney April 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

Want even better Mosrite-like sound from the 1445? Bypass the other two pickups and wire the bridge pickup straight to the input jack. Even better, replace the bridge pickup with an M3 or California “RH-100″ Wow! No need to drop $6,000 to get that Mosrite Mark 1 sound.


alex April 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

Awesome mod! Love getting comments like this. Thank you Paul!


Andrew December 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm



I just bought one of these on eBay for $250. The differences are that the headstock is almost like a generic block but the top of the head is shaped like a wave. Another difference is there is no white lining surrounding the edge of the body. The pearl inlays stop at the 17th fret, there are actually two separate smaller inlays on the 12th fret, and the paint job and finish covers the entire guitar including the back of the neck and back of the headstock. My questions are what year was this model made? Also, it’s missing a volume knob, the whammy bar, and the original bridge so I’m also wondering where I could find these parts?

Thank you very much


alex December 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Congrats on the new guitar! Is it a 2 pickup or 3 pickup version. A 3 pickup is model 1445 and the 2 pickup version is a 1440 or 1441. From your description, it sounds like it might be a 1971 or 72 model year.

The guitar was built in Japan at the old Teisco factory, which was owned by Kawai by that time. You can search for parts on eBay by searching for “Teisco knob” or “Teisco whammy bar.” The is a seller on eBay to offers new reproductions of the original Tesico parts. That seller go by the name ezpz-parts. I have not purchased from that seller so I cannot endorse. But the parts look pretty good.

Good luck and enjoy your new find!


Andrew December 10, 2013 at 9:02 am

Thanks! I’ve already found a teisco old style tremolo and spring. The seller you mentioned has some good stuff. I even picked up a new strap. The one I bought is indeed a 3 pickup. I’ve seen more than a few of these recently and a lot of them seem to have small variations. I’m not sure if they were moded that way or actually made that way. First time I saw this guitar I instantly fell in love. Then that love went to a whole new level when I heard what it’s capable of. Vintage just has a feeling that not even repro can give you. I have a lot of years left and this will for sure be my #1 guitar out of any others I get in the future.

Thanks again!


alex December 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Glad that you love the guitar and are finding the parts you need. Enjoy!



Jayson May 12, 2014 at 11:31 am


I bought one of these guitars back in october and I love its uniqueness.
However my is slightly different.
Mine has a big almost flag shaped headstock with 3 tuners on each side, and doesn’t have binding all the way around the body. Does this make it an older/new model?
Also what are all the woods that make it up? I don’t think mine has the maple top. so what’s the body and neck?


alex May 26, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Jayson, thanks for the comments. From your description, it might be the last version, about 1972, I believe.



James November 11, 2014 at 8:56 am


Hey there, I own a Silvertone 1445 (actual SN is 16877) but the wammy bar and tail bridge are destroyed and missing. Where can I get a replacement? Is it possible or do I need to add a new one on?

thanks for any and all help.




alex November 17, 2014 at 8:30 pm

James, thanks for posting your comment! The parts you need can probably best be found on eBay. Check out the seller named ezpz-parts.

Here’s the wammy bar:

But don’t know about the tail piece and bridge. You might have to buy another Silvertone 1445 to get the parts off it.

Good luck!



Randy Doran August 26, 2015 at 5:25 am


I own one of these great guitars. Silvertone from Sears. 1445 model I believe
It is in mint condition and sounds great with the original pickups.
I am missing one volume knob and would really like to get one to make this guitar
good as new. Any idea where I could get an original knob?


alex September 20, 2015 at 9:04 am

Hi Randy!
These knobs for this guitar are rare and hard to find. Occasionally one will appear on eBay. That’s your best bet.

Good luck!


On eBay: Rebuilt 1960′s Harmony Stella

Auction Alert!

Check out this very cool, nicely restored, Harmony Stella from the 1960′s. Rebuilt with Martin-style X-bracing by Barton Lane Guitar Company. This guitar is on ebay right now at: 1960′s STELLA HARMONY guitar w/ Martin 0-18 X-bracing!!. This auction ends March 26, 2011 15:50:27 PDT

NOTE: Guitar sold at end of auction for $356.

Text from original auction:

Rebuilt Harmony Stella. Martin 0-18 X-Bracing. Barton Lane Guitar Company.

Here is a really cool 1960’s Stella guitar made in the USA by Harmony.

This guitar was professionally repaired/restored by the Barton Lane Guitar Company.

They rebuilt the top with Martin style forward shifted, tapered X-bracing (these guitars were originally ladder-braced) and also put a small, pre-war style, maple bridge plate in place of the original, extremely large mahogany one. The back, sides, and top, are all made of solid birch.

The many cracks in this instrument were all professionally repaired.

I imagine that this guitar sounds worlds better than it did with its original, heavy, ladder braces.

This instrument sounds REALLY COOL!! It would be ideal for a folk or blues guitar picker/strummer. The tone is reminiscent of an old Gibson L-00 or maybe a Martin 0-18.

First Solid-State Guitar Amplifier

Kay Vanguard 704 Vibrato
Courtesy Mass Street Music

Lucky me! I was looking for a vintage solid-state combo amp to use at practice, and to give my trusty tube Silvertones a rest. Just scored this one off ebay today for cheap! The very first solid-state guitar amp was introduced by Kay Musical Instruments in 1962. Can’t wait for it to arrive.