Up for sale, a 1961 Silvertone Stratotone Jupiter in excellent condition and in perfect working order. 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 15oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and 10-46 roundwound strings, this Silvertone is ready for stage and studio use.
The neck has a chunky C profile with generous shoulder and a full, baseball bat-worthy carve at the nut, with even more heft and roundness as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .925" deep at the 1st fret and .990" at the 10th. The dyed maple fretboard features multi-ply binding and pearloid block inlay, and the original slender fretwire have well-rounded crowns, showing only a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The guitar plays easily up the 24 1/4" scale, and the nut is a full 1 3/4" wide. The headstock retains the original raised metal Silvertone logo, and the original Waverly open-gear tuning machines turn smoothly with their stock white buttons.
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 the black silkscreen text is flawless on the guard. Under the pickguard, the harness features untouched solder joints, with mini CTS pots that date to the 5th week of 1961. Both pickups have Rowe Industries foil stickers on the baseplates and matching date stamps from August 4th, 1961. Hardware includes the original dyed maple floating bridge, stock nickel trapeze tailpiece, and even the original plastic strap buttons. 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, with light pick scuffing across the strum path, faint finish checking across the body, and finish chipping on the lower bout body edge. Very common with Stratotones, there is a repair at the input jack, with localized finish touchup and two repaired cracks on either side of the jack. The repair is amateur in appearance, yet structurally solid. The neck profile also retains its Black Sparkle finish which exhibits some shallow finish chipping through the gloss behind frets 1-4 which isn't distracting to the palm while fretting. This Silvertone is a very original, professionally setup example of one of the best guitar models to feature DeArmond's famed gold foil pickups.