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1967 Silvertone 1488 Silhouette Vintage Electric Guitar w/ DeArmond Red Foils, Harmony USA


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Up for sale, a 1967 Silvertone 1488 Silhouette in excellent, 100% original condition with a trio of DeArmond red foil pickups. The 1488 was the only Harmony-made Silhouette to feature three pickups, and this top tier model features a "hand-rubbed Cherry luster finish" according to the original catalog description. Exceedingly rarer than the 1488s produced earlier in the decade, this was the last iteration of the model with tweaks both aesthetic and functional including a redesigned bridge with flip-up string mute, trio of DeArmond pickups with unique red foil inserts, and large black witch hat knobs (the last two features consistent with Harmony's Color Kat line).

This Silhouette has a huge range of tones thanks to the three pickup design and dished on/off toggle switches for each pickup. The guitar can deliver everything from spanky twang in the bridge position to warmer, mellow jazzy tones with only the neck pickup selected. The inclusion of a middle pickup really opens up the range of this instrument beyond what can be achieved with any other Silhouette (or Bobkat) model. There's a certain percussive cut, jangle, and surprising kick from these original DeArmond-made pickups, and the red foils really deliver the goods. Although the red swirly inserts on the diamond pickup covers are one of the notable cosmetic features of this model, the pickup still falls within the "gold foil" family, having identical construction to its assembly line brothers with gold metal inserts. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and featherweight at 6lbs 15oz, this Silvertone features comfortable action and a fresh set of 10-46 roundwound strings.

The maple neck has a very full and round "baseball bat" C shaped neck profile carve with generous shoulder in every register, measuring .930" deep at the 1st fret and .970" at the 12th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard features pearloid block inlays and original fretwire which retains its full factory height. The frets have well-rounded crowns, showing just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3 and virtually no wear further up the fretboard. The original carved bone nut measures 1 3/4" in width, and on the headstock face, the original silkscreen "Silvertone" script is intact. The stock open-gear strip tuners work as intended, and the original truss rod cover is present.

All of the electronics work as they should, including the bank of three dished rocker switches for turning each pickup on/off. The stock CTS pots date to the 23rd week of 1966, with untouched solder joints, and the underside of the nitrate tortoise pickguard is dated June 1st, 1967. The large meatball tortoise pickguard is made from the same nitrate material used by Fender for its guards in this era, and the guard shows sparingly little shrinkage, with all corners intact.

This is the last iteration of the 1488 Silhouette, and unlike earlier models with a rosewood bridge, this guitar features a metal bridge mounted to the top with six adjustable saddles. This bridge improves intonation, top-end response and vibrato action notably over the previous version, and is also more reliable than the earlier, floating bridge. The vibrato has a taut, deliberate response, and the chrome plating on the hardware is in great shape. All four large black witch hat DeArmond knobs are also present.

The nitro lacquer Cherry Luster finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, exhibiting some finish chipping and nicks on the body parameter, particularly on the treble-side lower bout edge, with various dings and scuffs on the neck, yet nothing substantial or structural in any capacity. There is also some minor finish chipping on the headstock edges and adjacent to the tuner posts, while the neck profile is remarkably clean and smooth, free of palm wear.