Silvertone 1437 Guitar Electronics Tear Down

Silvertone 1437 Pick Guard and Electronics

Detailed tear down photos of a 1969 Silvertone 1437 electric guitar, pick guard, pickups and electronics.

Keywords: Sears, Silvertone, 1437, Shark Fin, Sharkfin, Teisco, ET-460, K4L, WG-4L

Hashtags: #tonegems #silvertone #silvertone1437 #sharkfin #teisco #teiscoET460 #teiscoK4L #teiscoWG4L

Silvertone 1437 Shark Fin Electric Guitar

Gallery Silvertone 1437

Also known as the Teisco ET-460 or K4L “shark fin” guitar.

This wonderful late 1960’s 4-pickup electric guitar was made in Japan (#MIJ) by Teisco and sold in United States by Sears. This particular guitar was recently purchased from eBay seller mwbutler. The excellent photos below are by mwbutler.

Keywords: Sears, Silvertone, 1437, Shark Fin, Sharkfin, Teisco, ET-460, K4L, WG-4L

Hashtags: #tonegems #silvertone #silvertone1437 #sharkfin #teisco #teiscoET460 #teiscoK4L #teiscoWG4L

1965 Sears Silvertone 1438 Bass Guitar by TEISCO (NB-4)

COOL! Check out this a very cool, very red, made in Japan, 1965 Silvertone bass with a hard case up for auction on eBay. Appears to be in pretty good condition.

Sears 1965 Silvertone 1438 Bass Guitar by Teisco (NB-4)
1965 Sears Silvertone 1438 Teisco NB-4 Electric Bass Guitar, Rare Red!

DISCLAIMER: Bid at your own risk. We just like pointing out the cool guitars we find along the way on the World Wide Web. Tone Gems is not associated with the seller; nor have we inspected or played this instrument and make no claim to it’s condition.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Steven March 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm

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

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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 ?

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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

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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 1445 Electric Guitar

A Vintage 1970 Silvertone MIJ Copy of the Mosrite Guitar

Silvertone 1445 GuitarThis crazy looking solid-body electric guitar is ready to play surf, jazz, classic rock or county, 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 Body
Silvertone 1445 Guitar

The 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) high gloss polyurethane 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).

 

Silvertone 1445 Guitar Schematic Diagram (by randoid.com)

Silvertone 1445 Guitar Schematic Diagram

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

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

larry tiedemann November 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

i own a 68 model that i refinished in 2004.i should not have done that but the end result looks great and at the time i only paid 85$ for it.it was my first experimental guitar.i learned about guitar construction,electronics,it taut me every thing i know about guitars today.i could build one from scatch if need be.if you want to check out a photo go to my facebook page.

REPLY

alex November 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Hey Larry, that’s a great looking refinish you did. Love that guitar. Thanks for dropping by and sharing. ~alex

REPLY

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 randoid.com)

Special thanks to Randy (randoid.com) 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

Terry

REPLY

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.

Alex

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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

3

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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.

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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: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=52948

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alex April 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

@cornbread
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.

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Ian June 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

Hello,

I have this Silvertone-teisco 1445L guitar.

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

REPLY

alex June 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

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

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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?

Thanks

Peter

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Hey,

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

REPLY

alex December 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Andrew,
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!
Alex

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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!

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alex December 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

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

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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?

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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.
~alex

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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.

cheers

James.

REPLY

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: http://www.ebay.com/itm/TEISCO-SILVERTONE-TREMOLO-ARM-60s-VIBRATO-WHAMMY-ARM-FITS-MANY-OTHERS-TOO-/251715391093?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a9b680e75

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!
~alex

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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?

REPLY

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!
~alex

 

Two Silvertone Amps + Boss CE-3 = Stereo!

Boss CE-3 Chorus

I love stereo! That’s why I got pretty excited when I looked at my Boss CE-3 chorus pedal and realized I could connect a pair of amps to the CE-3′s dual outputs and play my guitar in stereo. So I decided pick up two inexpensive Silvertone 1421′s (aka: Sears 10XL) off eBay. These are great little tube amps from the late 60′s and early 70′s. The 10-watt 1421 uses two 12AX7 tubes—one for pre-amp and the other for tremolo—and a single 7189 as the output tube. The 7189 tube is the industrial version of the venerable EL84, a tube found in so many British valve amps. The 12AX7/EL84 tube combination is unique to the 1421 amp within the entire Silvertone line, and compares it nicely by design to the original Vox AC4 Combo of the early 60′s.

Sears 10XL. Silvertone 1421.This first amp is a beautiful 1971 model, completely original and in excellent condition. The Sears model number is 257.14211100. It probably sat in someone’s closet for the better part of 30+ years and was hardly played. Except for a power switch stuck in the “on” position, the old two-conductor power cord, and a little bit of hum, this combo is totally functional and sounds great. It even has its original protective vinyl cover (I’ve never seen a cover for these before) and its original tremolo foot switch. The original grill cloth is in great condition, which is truly rare for this model, even though it does have one cigarette-sized hole in the fabric. The speaker is an 8-inch Oxford Alnico magnet speaker that rings clear at low volume, but breaks up nicely when cranked (along with the tubes in overdrive). All in all, this little combo is a real sweet find! After I fix the power switch and replace the cord, I plan to keep this guy all original. I can live with a little hum for now.

Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421
Sears 10XL Silvertone 1421 Front

The other amp is a 1970 model 1421. Also Sears model number 257.14211100. It’s in pretty good condition too, and is almost completely dead quiet (no hum) when running. But the original grill cloth was replaced and the tremolo is not working. Somebody already replaced the notorious power switch and the 2-prong power cord before I bought it. Unlike it’s twin, this 1421 has an 8-inch CTS speaker with ceramic magnet. I plan to mod this amp as my next project. I will need to work on the tremolo circuit, then replace the caps, ditch the ugly brown fabric, and build a new baffle board to hold a bigger 10-inch Alnico Blue speaker (think: Celestion). After those mods are complete, this 1421 should sound more British than American.

Then, plug these two into my CE-3 stereo chorus pedal and have fun!

A full Tone Gems review of the Silvertone 1421 will be in the near future.

Sears Silvertone 605 Parlor Guitar

Sears Silvertone 605 Guitar

A Guitar for the Masses

From its humblest beginnings, to becoming the most produced, most purchased, and most played guitar in America during the 20th Century. From the factory in Chicago to the working plains of Texas and Oklahoma, to the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana Bayou, back to the blues clubs of Chicago, and then the garage bands of the 60s, this little birch box guitar was there.

This is the ubiquitous Silvertone 605 flattop acoustic guitar sold by Sears in catalogs and stores from about 1948 to 1970. It’s a 3/4 size all-Birch ladder braced body with a Cherry-burst finish, a solid Maple neck (no truss rod) with Ebony stained fingerboard, small brass frets, a carved hardwood nut, Waverly-type open tuners, a floating wooden bridge, a metal tail piece, and  stenciled (!) Silvertone logo on the headstock. The “binding” is simply paint. No pickguard – not even a painted on one! The scale is about 25-1/4 inch. Built like a tank!

These simple little Birch boxes take you back to early days of the Delta Blues. Think of guys like Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson. Although they probably never had one of these Sears models from the Catalog, they played something quite similar. And for today, think of new folk artists like Mumford and Sons.

Similar to it’s parlor cousin, the Stella H929 built by Harmony in their Chicago factory, the 605 was a simple  no frills instrument targeted to the entry level player on a tight budget. If you ordered one of these from the Sears Catalog in the 50’s, it would arrive in a cardboard box with a set of plain steel strings, a string for a strap, and a brief instruction book.

More Damage than Good?

Unfortunately, these Sears guitars might have done more damage than good! Due to the crude factory setup, high action, and an inexperienced user, these guitars were quite hard to play right out of the box. So, who knows how many young aspiring guitar wannabes were discouraged and eventually quit? But, in the hands of an experience player, these little gems still have potential to create some nice bluesy tones. Especially with a slide.

This particular 605 was built in 1956. When it arrived on the doorstep (eBay!), the neglect of its previous owner was obvious. The strings were rusted, the tuners were frozen, the bridge was wrong, and the intonation was way off. A “pluck” and a “boing” was about all she had for sound. But physically overall, this instrument of almost 60 years was in great condition and the Cherry-burst finish was pretty. I slapped on some new strings and then moved the bridge to get (mostly) correct intonation. Well (sigh), the high action was still there but still quite playable. And tuned down to D, and using a slide, this guy can sound pretty darn good.

I think in the future, we’ll will try a bone nut and a real bridge with a real saddle, to see how it might improve? So check back for another posting.

Sears Silvertone 605 Guitar HeadstockSears Silvertone 605 Guitar Body

From the 1956 Sears & Roebuck Catalog: “Silvertone flat top guitars… carefully constructed from choice, select woods. Great ‘party makers,’ deep mellow tones — fine for vocal accompaniment.”

Sears 1956 Catalog Page of Silvertone Guitars

 A Very Long Run

Noted for its popularity, low cost, and longevity, the Silvertone 600 Series enjoyed the longest run of any guitar series in the Sears Catalog during the 20th Century. The 605 appears in the oldest catalog that I have, which is a 1950. But according to Randy at Silvertone World the 605 began its run as early as 1948, and appeared continuously in every annual catalog until 1967 (19 years), at which point Sears just changed the model numbers from 600’s to 1200’s, and continued selling them through 1970. With a 1948 catalog price of $8.95, it was Sears lowest priced guitar, and therefore extremely popular. The Silvertone 605 was built for Sears by the Harmony Company in Chicago, Illinois. It was very similar to it’s Harmony cousin: the Stella H929.

The 605’s solid Birch top has a Cherry-red sunburst finish. The sides and back are also solid Birch, which gives this guitar it’s woodsy tone. The floating bridge is a hard-carved, sanded and stained piece of hardwood (probably also Birch). The tail piece is of punched steel with a nickel finish. The set neck is solid piece of hard Maple. The fingerboard is just the face of the same solid Maple neck and is Ebony stained to appear as Rosewood. The dots in the fingerboard are painted. The frets are brass and quite small. The darkly stained head stock has open tuning machines, three per side, with white plastic buttons. The top of the head stock is simply adorned with a stenciled Silvertone logo, which is the older 1950’s style logo.

Silvertone 605 Specifications and Features

  • Model #605 (Tobacco-burst finish), #603 (Blonde, or natural, finish), became the #1200 in fall 1968 thru 1970.
  • Size/Scale: Standard size (sometimes referred today as 3/4 or “parlor size”); 24-1/4″ scale; 18 frets, neck meets body at 12th fret.
  • Body: Solid birch top, sides and back. Ladder braced top. Painted edge binding and soundhole. No pickguard. Hardwood strap button.
  • Neck: Solid Maple, non-reinforced, set neck with ebonized (stained) fingerboard, painted position markers 1-3/4″ wide at nut. Hardwood (birch, poplar or maple?) nut.
  • Frets: Small brass frets.
  • Finish: Cherry-red stained semi-glosss sunburst, nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
  • Headstock: Solid Maple; black nitro-lacquer finish; block style logo.
  • Tuners: Waverly-style open gear tuners, three on a strip per side.
  • Bridge: Solid hardwood (birch?) floating bridge.
  • Dimensions: Length 36″; Body 13″; 3″ deep body.

Additional Resources

For more information about the Silvertone 600 Series and the 605…

Silvertoneworld.com and the

Harmony Database.

Chickenbone John demos and talks about Harmony Stella guitars:

Electrified Stella! JRGuitars demos a Stella with a vintage DeArmond pickup: