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Back in the 1960s, catalogue guitars were the backbone of the US guitar industry, and this Silvertone 1457 offered ultimate convenience with a guitar and amp combo. HUW PRICE finds out if two-in-one offers bang for buck…


The Danelectro rosewood bridge could be moved around for intonation adjustment

Next time you’re out shopping, pop into Argos and flick through the laminated pages of its famous catalogue. Inside, you’ll find a few budget guitar and amp packages aimed at beginners, but they won’t be anywhere near as cool as this 1964-’66 Silvertone 1457 guitar and case/amp combo, which was sold through the famous Sears mail-order catalogue.

Taking advantage of the explosion of guitar music, Sears commissioned various manufacturers to produce guitars and amps for its catalogue under the Silvertone brand – these included famous names such as Harmony and Kay, but in this instance we have a guitar made by Danelectro, and an amplifier built into a hard case, probably manufactured by Valco.

Sears described this compact combo as “our finest allin- one guitar outfit” and when new, budding guitarists would have found a 45rpm ‘how-to-play’ record, some beginner charts and a pick inside in the case. There would also have been a wedge-shaped tremolo footswitch covered in the same vinyl as the hardboard case, but none of these items remain with this example.

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About Guitar Magazine

The August 2017 edition of the UK’s most affordable and most in-depth guitar magazine is on sale now! You might notice a slightly different name on the cover this month, but inside you’ll find your regular monthly fix of the best gear reviews in the business, DIY tutorials, tone and playing tips, artist interviews, breathtaking photography of vintage instruments and whole lot more besides. This month there’s a feast for Fender offset fans as we offer pro set-up tips, show you how to upgrade your Jaguar or Jazzmaster and find out if Fender’s new American Professional series has finally delivered offsets for the masses. Elsewhere, we interview Joe Bonamassa, Darrel Higham, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Paul Gilbert, pay a visit to Norman’s Rare Guitars in Los Angeles, delve into the snake-oil surrounding tonewoods and give you the chance to win a Shergold electric worth a whopping £835.