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1960 Silvertone 1429 Vintage Hollowbody Electric Guitar, Harmony USA w/ DeArmond Gold Foils, Bigsby


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Up for sale, a 1960 Silvertone model 1429 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original two-tone chipboard case. Produced for Sears under their in-house "Silvertone" banner by Harmony in the USA, this model is analogous to the H75-78 series of instruments which were the flagship guitars in the Harmony catalog.

This guitar features all maple, full hollowbody construction with a smooth, natural acoustic tone and articulate note attack. And unlike the vast majority of Silvertone-branded Harmony models, this 1429 features a genuine slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard in lieu of the typical dyed maple used as a fretboard substitute. Each pickup has its own on/off two-way toggle and dedicated Volume and Tone knobs for a particularly broad tonal palette. The pickups have strong output and the clear, percussive quality unique to the DeArmond gold foil design (this particular iteration of the gold foil has silver diamond covers). These pickups can deliver everything from spanky twang in the bridge position to warm, bell-like tones at the neck. Full and dynamically responsive, the pickups offer a distinctive woody bite when picked with authority, and a glassy clarity in every pickup position. Featherweight at 6lbs 8oz, we've had this Silvertone professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with 11-50 roundwound strings.

The neck has a round, chunky C profile carve with generous shoulder, fretting very easily and measuring .905" deep at the 1st fret and .955" at the 9th. Setting the 1429 apart from lower tiered Silvertone and Harmony models, the guitar features a bound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. The fretboard is a jet black, tight-grained cut of this hallowed tonewood with pearloid small block inlay and original slender fretwire. The frets show uniform wear, primarily beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4, with lighter wear exclusively beneath the plains until fret 7 and corresponding wear into the rosewood from frets 1-7 as well. The guitar plays cleanly in every register with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The scale length is 24 1/4", and the original carved bone nut measures 1 3/4" in width. On the headstock, the original Silvertone raised metal logo is extremely clean, and the stock open back Waverly tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch well.

On the body, all of the electronics function as intended, with dedicated Volume and Tone controls for each pickup paired with individual on/off pickup selector switches. The DeArmond pickups each retain their clean Rowe Industries (the parent company of DeArmond) foil stickers on the baseplates, and the silver diamond covers are positively gleaming. The original trio of Brazilian rosewood pickup risers are intact too. The hardware includes the original carved Brazilian rosewood bridge with bone saddle insert which works in concert with the era-correct and recently installed genuine vintage Bigsby B3 vibrato tailpiece. The sextet of mini DeArmond bell knobs are uniformly ambered, and the guitar features the original red nitrate tortoise pickguard and switch plate, crafted from the same material as Fender's early tortoise pickguards. Visible through the F hole, the original 1960 date is cleanly stamped on the back of the body adjacent to the 1429 model stamp.

The original two-tone Sunburst nitro lacquer finish is vibrant and 100% original save for one small touched-up finish chip in the edge of the Sunburst adjacent to the bass-side F hole. The nitro gloss highlights the subtle curly maple figuring on the lower bout of the body, particularly on the back. Cosmetic wear includes tight, faint lacquer checking across the body, one spot at the treble side waist on the back where the maple laminate has lifted (purely cosmetic), and some scuffing on top adjacent to the bridge feet. There are also some finish scratches and minor marks mostly clustered on the treble side lower bout on the back, while wear on the neck profile is limited to palm wear through the gloss on the treble side shoulder and central to the carve behind frets 1-5.

The original two-tone gray/blonde chipboard case with red plush interior is included and very clean, retaining the original latches and functional handle.