Full Whack

19 02 2008

silvertone-1470-15.jpg

 If you haven’t already figured it out, this amp is a Silvertone 1470. There’s hardly anything on the ‘net about this model, just two entries of small substance on Google the last time I checked. The only way I knew what it was is that it still has the schematic pasted on the inside of the cabinet.

At 100% volume, the little guy starts to roar a bit on the chords but still with a lot of touch sensitivity and it won’t bother anyone in the next room, let alone the neighbors. The bridge pickup sounds like a razor when you chop hard on a chord fragment or bluesy seventh chord while it’s a bit duller but still crunchy on the neck pickup. Single note lead lines are downright ratty and a bit harsh (probably has a fair bit to do with the Realistic speaker) on that bridge pickup while they sound gritty but definitely smoother on the neck pickup. It’s a good setting for moderate electric blues leads or gutty sixties rhythm guitar work but if you want to produce anything that packs a real punch, a stomp box would be a must.

I bought it from the music store I described a few entries ago, along with another small 60’s tube amp, which was even more obscure and that I’ll profile in the near future, for a grand total of $200 for both amps. I met the guy who owned it previously, he’s in his early sixties I think, and he had it for a long time and had no idea (or interest) on it’s history before he got it; he just played blues harp out of it.

I’ve run a ’74 Les Paul Recording (pictured below) through it at band rehersals and mic’ed it through our small pa, with a old early 80’s DOD 250 Overdrive for leads and it’s impressed people with what it puts out given what they think when they look at it.

To be honest, it’s a good amp but not a great one. For what it is, a tiny, quiet student practice amp with one nob, it’s pretty amazing but don’t get the idea that it’s anything other than a tiny, quiet student practice amp with one nob. If I can get it together to post sound clips here, I will.

Judging from other Silvertones, the graphics on the faceplate of the amp lead me to believe that it’s born on date is sometime between 1966-68, at the tail end of the Danelectro manufactured era and about the time when Sears started to phase out tube amps in favor of solid state technology.

I’m amazed that it still works after 40 years and works well. It was made out of the cheapest available components at the time but clearly manufactured with a lot of ability by Danelectro.


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