Up for sale, a 1963 Silvertone Stratotone Jupiter in perfect working order, dialed in to play its best with a recent refret and a modern set of vintage-style tuners. Manufactured by Harmony in the USA and virtually identical to their "H49 Stratotone," this Silvertone model 1423 has a Black Sparkle finish that was exclusive to the Silvertone-branded version of this guitar, available via Sears. This model was only offered from Winter 1959-63, and was one of Silvertone's more expensive offerings.
The pickups have strong output and the clear, percussive quality that you only get from a DeArmond Gold Foil (this particular iteration of the gold foil design has silver diamond covers). The tone is full and dynamically responsive, with a distinctive woody bite when picked with authority, and a glassy clarity in every pickup position. The body is fully hollow, which adds a certain richness and soft attack to the notes that you simply can't get with a solidbody instrument. The guitar weighs a mere 4lbs 13oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and 10-46 roundwound strings, ready for stage and studio use.
The neck has a chunky C profile carve with generous shoulder and ideal substance, measuring .910" deep at the 1st fret and .995" at the 11th before the carve flattens out into the heel. The dyed maple fretboard features multi-ply binding and pearloid block inlay, recently refretted with flawless slender fretwire. The guitar plays easily up the 24 1/4" scale, and the bone nut is a full 1 3/4" wide. The headstock retains a clean silkscreened Silvertone logo on the face, fitted with modern tuners that have vintage-spec butterbean buttons, turning smoothly and holding pitch well.
On the body, all of the electronics work as they should including the ingenious "Blender" knob. This knob acts as a balance control between the two pickups when both are selected, giving the player a smooth gradient between the Bridge and Neck positions. This is easily one of the coolest features of the Stratotone Jupiter and one found only on this model. The pickguard retains its complete set of mini black DeArmond bell knobs, and all of the black silkscreen text is intact on the guard, with a couple stabilized superficial splits in the plastic between the knobs. Under the pickguard, the harness features untouched solder joints, with mini CTS pots that date to the 39th week of 1963. Both pickups have Rowe Industries foil stickers on the baseplates, with matching date stamps from November 6th, 1963. Hardware includes the original genuine Brazilian rosewood floating bridge and nickel trapeze tailpiece. There's light patina on the tailpiece, and the chrome pickup covers and bezels are positively gleaming.
The nitro lacquer Black Sparkle finish has densely packed sparkles, exhibiting notable buckle rash at the treble-side waist on the back, and a lighter spot of buckle rash that doesn’t penetrate the finish at the bass-side waist. There are various additional finish scuffs and minor marks on the body as a whole, consistent with decades of honest use. This Silvertone is a very original, professionally setup example of one of the best guitar models to feature DeArmond's famed gold foil pickups.