Up for sale, a 1961 Sears Silvertone 1448 “Amp-in-Case” student model electric guitar with built-in tube amplifier case in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Built in the USA by Danelectro and featuring a single lipstick pickup and hollow body construction, this short scale guitar originally shipped in 1962 with a two-tube amp case and 45 RPM how-to-play record, all for $67.95.
These unique Silvertones have a particularly sweet hollow twang and a breadth to their tone, featuring Danelectro’s masonite top and back construction over a poplar frame and centerblock, with a maple neck capped by a Brazilian rosewood fretboard. The acoustic profile is remarkably resonant, with a bright, chiming quality and boxy bark translated faithfully by the single, centrally-located lipstick pickup. From the first strum, the jangly ‘60s sound synonymous with classic Danelectros leaps from the guitar, particularly when played through the in-case amp. Featherweight at just 4lbs 14oz, this Danelectro has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with round shoulders in all registers, measuring .800” deep at the 1st fret and .875” at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard has lightly rolled edges and retains the stock medium jumbo frets which show just a touch of wear on the crowns beneath the plain strings on frets 1-5. This Silvertone plays cleanly in every register with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The scale length measures just 23 5/8”, and the original aluminum nut is 1 11/16” in width. On the headstock, the “Silvertone” silkscreen script logo is extremely clean. The tuners have been upgraded to a set of Kluson-style machine heads that turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. There is also a very slight repair along the bass-side headstock wing between the tuner posts.
All the electronics function as intended on the guitar, with the original pots intact in the copper shielding tape “box,” dating to the 42nd week of 1961. The lipstick pickup is governed by Master Volume and Tone controls. The original ridged knobs are present and turn smoothly, and hardware includes the bridge and rosewood saddle, the former of which retains its bright chrome plating.
The gloss Black Sparkle finish with silver metal flakes on the guitar is in exceptional condition, with cosmetic wear limited to a scant few light scratches across the body, and fewer sparkles where the forearm makes contact with the top. The white body binding tape is near-immaculate. The neck profile has an extremely clean "bursted" lacquer finish on the profile (shot from the factory to be opaque central to the carve with the natural wood grain showing through on the profile shoulders).
The amp functions perfectly as well, with a simple layout of one input and one Master Volume control. The tube complement includes a 12AU6 preamp tube, a 50CS power tube, and 35W4 half-wave rectifier. The original 6” Fisher-made alnico magnet speaker is intact, and the output transformer is mounted to the speaker frame, manufactured by Acme Coil & Transformer Corp. The original knob and two-prong power cord are present.
The case displays some light wear on the gray sparkle covering along the edges. The original wheat grillcloth is present and in excellent condition, as are the original handle and hinges. One latch on the case is no longer functional; the case is structurally sound and protects its internal components, but will not remain closed under significant movement without external bracing of some kind.