Friday, May 1, 2009

Silvertone 1448 Amp-in-Case Guitar (Sears)

I acquired this set in March 2009 and it has a market value of $290 in it's current condition. It is an original Silvertone 1448 guitar with amp-in-case. This guitar has a 2-bolt neck attachment, which seems to indicate it is an early 1962 production model. The fretboard is approximately 15.75 inches long and has 18 frets. The guitar is complete, with the exception of a small screw missing from the pickguard and the rosewood bridge. The amp shows chassis number 185-10010 and appears to contain the original tubes. The Outer Case has been poorly repaired, with old tape on two corners and some small nails on one of those corners. One hinge has been replaced with a piece of leather screwed into the body. There are signs of corrosion on the Metal Parts of the case and one plastic foot is missing from the case.

The 1448 is considered by some to be the guitar of guitars. It has a single lipstick tube pickup with masonite/pine body and a swoopy headstock with vinyl sidewalls a metal nut, adjustable bridge, and the amplifier built into sturdy case. The 1448 is the one; the guitar that pretty much sums up the entire Dano/Silvertone philosophy in one package. It's the guitar you certainly see the most of and that's because Sears sold a boatload of them from 1962 until 1966 or so, when they were replaced by the 1451.

This package first appeared in the Sears catalog in the Fall/Winter 1962 edition. The following is straight from the catalog description: Electric Guitar and case with built-in amplifier. Imagine all this plus a 45-rpm how-to-play record at one low price. You get a fine quality single pickup guitar with tone and volume controls. Brazillian rosewood fingerboard. Solid center body. Handsome simulated leather covered hardboard case with its own built-in amplifier and big 5 inch speaker. 2 tubes plus rectifier for good tone plus plenty of volume. $67.95 cash!!!!

It is the preferred guitar of Dexter Romweber, Cat Power and Beck, and the secret weapon for guitarists the world over. Ladies and gentlemen, the elegant awesomeness of the Silvertone 1448. A true master stroke of genius from Nathan Daniel and Joe Fisher.

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And here's a video to someone playing a Silvertone 1448.

33 comments:

Howard said...

Anyone who'd like to know more about the genius who came up with this and many more guitar and amplifier innovations, should go to http://www.pen4rent.com/pen4rent/tribute.aspx, a tribute to Danelectro founder Nathan I. Daniel (my father), a pioneer in the industry.

Guitar Hunter said...

Your father sure was an innovator!

G L Wilson said...

Note that this one is missing the rosewood bridge saddle.

Guitar Hunter said...

That was one of the main reasons that I was able to get such a good deal on this one. The good news is that these seem to be readily available as replacement parts.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine has one of these. Could you let me know the approximate value? blsfan29@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I have one in basement (to be played tonite) I would give it 90% or better cosmetics, what are they selling for today?

Guitar Hunter said...

I'm researching the value right now and should have it posted here shortly.

Anonymous said...

Nice find. With the case these sell for between $300-$800, with condition being the key toward higher values. Note that the rosewood saddles are easily available online for $10.00.

If the strings are too high after adding the saddle and adjusting the bridge, you can shim the neck with two pennies. The action on mine is low and fast. I love it.

Guitar Hunter said...

Thanks for the tip, I'm sure many others can use this information.

can't-type sandwich said...

I just picked one of these up yesterday (sans amp) for $160. The wiring's patchy. Can anyone direct me to a wiring diagram for this guitar? I know it can't be too complex (one pickup = no switch), but I'd like to have a map.

Guitar Hunter said...

Maybe someone will see this and contact you with wiring information. I'm not going to be able to help you with that.

Anonymous said...

I have pix of schematic for Sears 1448 @
http://antennageek.multiply.com/photos/album/1/Sears_1448

Guitar Hunter said...

Thanks, I knew someone would be able to help out.

Anonymous said...

I have a 1449 that my grandfather purchased new in 63. Apparently, it's the least common of these guitars. Not sure if I'll keep it or not - I'm afraid to play it. The case and felt look new - I mean, new. The guitar also looks new but has quite a bit of action for an electric - don't know if that's just how these were or if it's from having been put away with tension on the strings and just pulled the neck?

Guitar Hunter said...

If you ever want to sell it, send me an email (you can find the address on the front page of the blog). It's hard to say without seeing pictures why the action is high, but I'm sure it's something that can be corrected unless the neck has warped and even that can be fixed with enough money.

Anonymous said...

Wondering what these things are going for today (Oct/2009) in good condition with working amp case. Anyone know?

Guitar Hunter said...

You can always check ebay for the most current price. I'm not sure how the economy has impacted the collector guitar market. From what I've seen on the ones I've sold recently, the prices have held fairly steady.

Anonymous said...

I have a Silvertone 1435--my first guitar. I started cleaning it with my oldest son and tracking down a connection problem and one of the pots broke. Also, it has 4 + 2 tuners, white plastic knobs with plastic spacers that insert in the headstock. Two of these have arms that are bent. Does anyone know where I can pick up these parts?

Guitar Hunter said...

Send me an email, I may be able to help with the parts. By the way, I just posted some information on a Silvertone 1435.

Anonymous said...

I NEED SPEAKER FOR ONE OF THESE. hELP PLEASE

Guitar Hunter said...

You're going to have search it out on ebay. Maybe you can find a case in really bad shape so that you can get a speaker. Not sure if you'd want to replace it with just any brand speaker.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1985 when I was 13 years old, my Dad got me my first electric guitar, it was a used but in in what looked to be in new condition #1448 Silvertone /Danelectro hollow body guitar with amp-in-case for $50.00 from an antiques store. But, every time I plugged the guitar into the amp, I would get the $h1t shocked out of me through the pickup. Being only 13 years old, I did know how to fix it so my mom and I took it to a local pawn shop /guitar repair shop and they guy offered me a straight up trade for a mint Hagstrom Super Swede. I really miss my Silvertone and wish I would have kept it, but I suppose it was a fair trade.

Guitar Hunter said...

I think you made a good trade on the Hagstrom as well.

Anonymous said...

i have a 1448 silvertone with amp and case guitar and amp both still work

Anonymous said...

Did you sell the model 1449? did you find out why the action is/was so high? Sometimes the body can dip down between the bridge pickup and the end of the neck where there are no internal braces from the neck block to the bridge block. Just hollow space around the 2 pickups with no blocking can allow the top surface to dip down letting the neck block bow out of the back enough to make the strings to be too high to play. You can repair this by carefully adding more bracing, and if the neck block has become unglued, clean the surface completely and reglue and clamp once you've got it in the correct place. It's not easy, and everything has to be removed from the body to gain access for glueing in new braces, it's like building a ship in a bottle.

Anonymous said...

Have a Amp-in-case Silvertone in good&better shape for sale.thorzin_70@yahoo

Anonymous said...

the later models 1448/1449/1457 have micro-tilt necks. you shouldn't have to shim yours but maybe.

The necks have square aluminum rods in them. That is why they are usually still straight after nearly 50 years. Both mine are(1457 and 1449)1965 and 1963 respectively. Awesome gits.

Yours is an early beauty. Maybe even something of a prototype.

Anonymous said...

I've found one in a Pawn shop. White, excellent condition. I'm on it.
richard@rogalski.name

Anonymous said...

i have an old sears silvertone amp n case in great shape. it comes with an ole catalina guitar and was curious of its value

Anonymous said...

How much would the 3 bolt neck version of this guitar along with the amp cost?

Anonymous said...

I need a replacement speaker and transformer for a1448 amp in case. Can anybody help me?

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a 1448 with the amp in case accept when i plug it in all i get is a very loud hum and very little to no guitar. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I got my Sears Silvertone guitar and case with built in amp for Christmas 1969 when I was 15. I really don't remember what happened to it but with any luck it's sitting up in the attic at my parent's house. Nobody's been up there in years.

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