Posted by: Dustin Faulkner | July 27, 2008

My next time and wallet waster…

My great-grandfather(who I never met) bought a Sears brand Silvertone amp in 1959. The street price then was $37.98. Let that sink in. Granted, the Sears brand of amps were supposed to be cheaper than their higher priced competitors like Fender and Vox. But the idea of a class A tube amp for that price just blows my mind. I don’t have a job and I could afford that.

Well eventually the old thing was given to my dad(along with a vintage mandolin, but I’ll talk about it some other time). He, of course has no idea about guitars and junk so it was put in storage. Now I’ve known about this little amp for years. And there’s been times when I’ve even got it out and looked at it. But I’ve never played it. Never really given it much thought. I mean, I would love to have a nice tube amp but it always seemed like it was unfixable. Or at least unfixable to me. But today I started thinking about it again and my dad and I got it out.

The first thing we noticed was the replaced power cord. Unfortunately it’s only 2prong. That wil be replaced. Next thing we notice is the missing fuse. I could not find a 2 amp fuse that would fit so I could try turning it on. But I would be scared to anyways because…

As you can see, the tubes(original from 1959!) will almost certainly be in need of replacement. Sitting around with out being turned on they should be so overbiased that they won’t hurt anything if I turn them on. Probably will sound like crap though. Here’s the preamp:

So the tubes will eventually have to be replaced but I’m excited to just turn it on. Need to find a fuse. I’m scared I’ll need to replace the fuse holder too. Here is where the tubes plug in:

I will admit that I know very little about guitar amps. Probably more than the average person. And more than most teenage guitar players, but from a technical standpoint there are very few things I can do. Not only due to inexperience, but because of the lack of tools. For example, I’m pretty sure you need an o-scope to do the bias. I wish I had one, but sadly I don’t. I also don’t have any soldering tools. I really do wish I had a simple set of those. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found my self in a position to use some.

This is pretty cool. This is how I found the date. This number is actually a code that will tell you when the speaker was made. the first 3 numbers, 285 refers to the manufacturer. the last 3 refer to the date. In this case, the 32nd week of 1959.

I’ve looked up all the parts I’ll need. Depending on how crazy I go with the tubes, to get this thing running sweet again will cost anywhere from $50 to $100 dollars. Not bad at all when you think about it. It’s a absolute perfect amp to record with. I’m confidant I will be able to get some killer tone from this thing. Bee Tea Double-you, Jack White from The White Stripes plays a Silvertone amp…
Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me.

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Responses

  1. This is an excellent post. So was the one before. I bow down to your blogging prowess.

  2. thanks blake. i’ve been practicing.

  3. nice blog,
    I recently found a sears guitar /amp in case, model 1458, at a garage sale , paid $50. 00 the guitar looks and plays great, been unsure on amp, which is built into ths case. Its all orignal with tubes, but it is missing fuse and fuse holder;any ideas where i can get one?
    thanks Gary


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