Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by drakedefilippi, Apr 24, 2015.
I have a serious obsession with department store guitars and amps so i want to see what you have!
Huh; this thread made me realize that of the fourteen National-Dobro/Valco products currently within arm's reach, not one was actually sold through a department store. I'll have to go with one that I no longer have, a 1942 Recording King DeLuxe Hawaiian Electric (sold through Montgomery Ward):
I've got this early 60s Sears Silvertone 1448. Amp in case still works too. And it has a Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard which shows you how common it was back then since they used it on even the cheapest guitars.
Sears 125XL Solid State Amp from 1971. Looks cool with the "glide path" pots.
What department stores sold Gretsch Amps and National Guitars?
Valco=National=Airline= Monkey Wards. Valco=Gretsch=Airline= Monkey Wards. See how that works.
None. Out of all the guitars in that post, only the Airline was sold in a department store. The rest were sold through conventional music stores.
For your consideration, I present the Sears SC240BK, circa 1986/7. It features a plywood body, neck, and fretboard, along with high-output, microphonic pickups. It was made in Korea, and I'm 99% sure it's a Cort. For $100, it was the best purchase of my teenage years.
Exactly my point.
Sears' brand (guitars and amps) was Silvertone, built by Kay, Harmony, Danelectro, Valco (amps) and others. In the early 70's (like my '71 pictured earlier) they dropped the Silvertone name on the amps. Montgomery Ward's brand was Airline (guitars and amps) also made by the usual suspects. Western Auto carried it's own guitar brand badged "Truetone".
Very few of you will remember Topp's Discount Store, who carried Stella, Eko and Teisco guitars plus Teisco Checkmate amps. In those days, we would just snicker at their weirdness though we would have been happy to have any guitar in our hands.
Harmony and Stella branded guitars could be purchased from Alden or Spiegel who were general merchandise catalog mail-order companies but operated no brick and mortar department stores. I do vaguely remember being in a Speigel apparel-only store in the mid '70's which they briefly opened in an attempt to reinvent themselves.
As a 12 year old kid, I'd thumb through the print catalogs dreaming about guitars (and the bra and panty models!) and spent many hours standing in the Sears store eyeballing the handful of guitars they had on display in the store , usually derivatives of the Harmony Thinline and the Danelectro-made black sparkle/white Masonite pancake solidbody with amp in case plus a couple crappy acoustics.
My mother bought me a Silvertone 1482 amp after I blew the speakers in their stereo console playing my guitar through it. I wanted the 1484 Tube TwinTwelve but my mom said nope, too loud. The guy at the store pickup dock almost gave me a 100 Watt head/6x10 bottom by accident. I was hustling it out the door as fast as my 12 years old legs could go when he realized it was the wrong amp and shut me down. I went home with the 1x12 1482 which though prized today, sounded like a woofy, distorted, sh!tbox to my ears then.
Work on that reading comprehension in your spare time buddy.
My dad ordered this Supertone through the Sears catalog for $3 and used to take it with him herding cows. That was probably late '20s. When I got the guitar it was literally in pieces and I rebuilt it. This picture was taken just a month or so before he passed away at age 92.
So does the neck have the laminations going parallel with the strings and the fretboard is planar with the body? It must weigh a ton!
I'd be so tempted to sand that neck down and revel in all the laminated glory...
That is awesome
doubtful; something like that would have an ordinary maple neck with an ordinary rosewood fretboad, bolted to the soft plywood body.
I've posted this before on TGP; it's my 1965 or '66 Silvertone 1435, a rebranded Teisco MJ-2L. Somebody probably bought it at Sears (about $90 at the time) for their teenage son who was desperate to join a group due to his passion for the Beatles or the Stones. Considering the nearly perfect condition it's in, the kid probably gave up pretty quickly and it then sat in its case for a few decades. (I have the original case too.) I bought it at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, CA last year, mostly just to have a guitar that's about the same age I am.
What can you not comprehend? That they are the same amps and guitars as those sold in catalogs as if you did not know? So why nitpick.The guy has some cool pics to add to this post.
That is a great pic. Can tell you loved your dad.