Silvertone 1423

A beautiful example of 60’s Americana… the Silvertone 1423.

A few days ago, guitarnerd reader Mark T. asked if I’d like to test out his newly acquired Silvertone 1423 and do a guitarnerd story on it. Yes. Yes, I would. So Mark dropped it round to Tym’s and I gave the Silvertone a blast with at my band rehearsal. Here are the results… sexy, sexy results.

First up, these Silvertones were built by Harmony and are based on the similar Stratotone… which was reissued in the last few years. I’ve played the reissues and they’re great guitars.

Unfortunately in Australia they were priced very close to the original 60’s Harmony guitars they’re based on, so I’m not sure how well they sold. But anyway, the Silvertones came in the classic black Silvertone sparkle finish that was also used on the 60’s ‘amp in case’ guitars.

The construction is like the Stratotone, pretty much hollow so this guitar is ridiculously light weight.The neck join is a simple system and upper fret access isn’t too bad.

The pickups are Dearmonds and as usual sound fantastic. The bridge ‘floats’ above the body on two little posts attached to the base plate. These sound warmer than the new Harmony reissues.

The neck has a beautiful Brazilian rosewood board with MOP (like) inlays that give a very Les Paul vibe. The neck shape is narrow with rounded edges from years of playing, so it fits like a glove in my small hands. The frets are vintage so you have to concentrate to dig in.

Strapped on, as I mentioned this guitar weighs practically nothing. I tried it with a Big Muff and the pickups really didn’t agree with it. The subtle nuances of these awesome low powered pickups were overtaking by the grunt of the Muff.

But when I just used my Tym Treble Booster pedal, it came alive. These guitars don’t need much to get a great sound. Clean, they have a warm, jazzy tone which can be quite brittle if needed. Slightly overdriven and you get that ‘clang’ made famous by the Hot Snakes.And the hollow body let you feed back any note you wanted to if you stood in front of your amp the right way.

So yeah, great guitar. Thanks to Mark for letting me try it out. I thoroughly enjoyed it.