Silvertone 1446 Curiosity

GitFiddle

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Have been the sole owner of this model since I got it for Christmas back in 67. I even have the original case and the plastic jacket for the guitar. Was made by Harmony and sold by Sears under the Silvertone name. On various sites with bits of information on this guitar, there are references about some point in the past where Harmony made some kind of exchange with Gibson, trading guitar bodies or parts, for pickups and supposedly this model has early Gibson mini-humbuckers. Are there any Silvertone experts in here that may know if this is true or not? If so, is there any more information to the story?

Silvertone 1446 guitar - made by Harmony

1965 Silvertone 1446L > Guitars : Hollow Body | Gbase.com

VintageSilvertones.com - For Sale

Just pulled it out of the closet a couple weeks ago, cleaned it up and gave it some fresh strings and man these pickups have quite the balls. I remember years ago taking it for a spin at a gig and could barely play because it was feeding back so much. There is no solid block down the center just completely hollow. Its been stuck back in a closet ever since. Never could part with it since it was my first and never thought it was worth much anyway. I guess Chris Isaak has made it popular somewhat.

BTW: any idea where the serial number may be located?

quote: "There's rumors that Harmony made guitars for Gibson for a while in the mid-1960's and it's believed this is the same guitar. Apparently, Gibson traded pickups for guitar body's with Harmony so that's how this got the mini-P90's."
http://www.vintagesilvertones.com/forsale_silvertone_1446-4-2009.html

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

QuicksilverSS

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Very cool! My 2ed guitar experience was on a Silvertone amp in case model that dad got when i was very young. 1st one was plastic...
I used to play using a 1 finger barre chord. I learned how to tune it with records and colored stickers that you put on your fingernails to match the chords in the book.

299fc10c.jpg


I was probably 6 years old and used to strum to The Chimpmonks Sing the Beatles Hits record.

It was this album,I played the grooves off that album!!

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFHxTt7ublU]YouTube - Alvin and the Chipmunks meet the Beatles - All My Loving[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6HVgOwzQFc]YouTube - The Chipmunks - P.S. I Love You (1964)[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlNPpBA15jM]YouTube - The Chipmunks - Do You Want To Know A Secret[/ame]
 

OldGuy

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@GitFiddle: The Silvertone 1446L is also my first guitar, bought for me by my father in 1965 (I'm pretty sure). I, too, have been looking for the serial number on it, but so far no luck. I did have a dealer tell me that he thought the number was stamped on the inside of the neck where it meets the body, but I'm not willing to remove the three screws and take the neck off to check! If you find a serial number inside the body somewhere, let us know!

By the way, everything I've ever seen written about the pickups on the 1446L confirms that they are indeed Gibson mini-humbuckers. Pretty cool, really...
 

GitFiddle

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I found the serial number. It is printed on the underside of the top piece just below the lower f-hole. You need one of those little mechanic or dentist type mirrors to see it. The kind you can pick up at the counter at an auto parts store. It should have about 9-10 Characters. Something like: xxxxH1446L. There is also a date stamp but I could not find one in mine. In my guitar the 1446L part of the number is almost faded away and it runs right under where they glued the side piece, so the entire sequence is not visible. Apparently my number was stamped just a bit too close to the edge before assembly.

I found some info describing the serial numbers:

The first part of the serial number has no precise meaning relative to the date of production. It seems Harmony reset these numbers in every batch of the model, so a "6690H22" can be older than a "123H22" for example. Tip : on many guitars (easy to check on flat top acoustics), Harmony stamped the top of the guitar as well as the back, so if the number on the back is difficult to read, use a mirror and check under the top (near the neck)
The other smaller stamp is the date stamp and indicates the year of production. It's said that the letter at the beginning indicates the period of the year, like "F" for "Fall" or "S" for "Spring". That was before Ed, a former worker from the Harmony factory, said : "The company closed down production every July for two weeks. During the last two weeks of June an effort was made to finish as many orders as possible and not start any new orders. The last days of June, we had a complete inventory. I believe the "F'" and "S" may have stood for first and second half of the year."

Harmony guitars database

And yes every reference I have seen so far states that it has mini-humbuckers. I guess this model was not typical of the normal Harmony model line.

OldGuy, Hope this helps.

I do recall long ago, my mother telling me when they were shopping for a guitar for Christmas, they found this model at Sears, which someone had special ordered but never came to pick it up, so my parents picked it up instead. My Dad was crafty though, he did not buy an amp to go with it. Just the hollow body electric guitar. I played that thing for over a year before it was ever plugged into an amp. His scheme backfired though. One day while he was at work, I fiddled around and discovered that I could set his reel-to-reel Akai tape deck on record/pause and play my guitar through the stereo system. So during the day I jammed through a Kenwood stereo amplifier and Pioneer speakers. I got by with that for quite a while before he found out, heh heh. I eventually got a little Univox amp the following Christmas. After much time spent begging my Mom for a cheap fuzz box and an Electric Mistress, then it was all Hendrix all the time! I still got that Flanger and it still works like a champ. Damn, these Silvertones will drag you right down memory lane. Haven't thought about that in eons.
 

GitFiddle

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Quicksilver, bwahahahaahah I remember those records. My little sister had them and we would dance around the house. I was lucky though, I had an older brother too, who had the real albums and would borrow them when he was not home. I just read an old interview with Les Paul the other night, and he was telling this story how he dropped in this studio and showed them how to record to get the sound of the Chimpmunks.

Les Paul Interview
 

QuicksilverSS

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Quicksilver, bwahahahaahah I remember those records. My little sister had them and we would dance around the house. I was lucky though, I had an older brother too, who had the real albums and would borrow them when he was not home. I just read an old interview with Les Paul the other night, and he was telling this story how he dropped in this studio and showed them how to record to get the sound of the Chimpmunks.

Les Paul Interview

HAHAHA..That's great! I didn't realize that Lester had such an impact on me at such an early age!!
I LOVED that record!!:D
 

OldGuy

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@GitFiddle: Great info on the serial number! I'm going to get one of those little mirrors in the next day or so and check it out. And a very funny story from your youth!

In my case, Dad ordered the guitar from the Sears catalog at my behest (I remember daydreaming about it for quite a while before I got it); he also bought me that large amp with the cabinet that held six 10" speakers! I have no idea what happened to that amp, but I'm glad I've still got the 1446L!

Hmmm, I found a forum post about that amp:

a 60s Sears Silvertone amp @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com Forum Archive

Memory lane, indeed!
 

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