Gone are the days when anyone could walk into your local department store and buy a 60 watt all tube guitar amp that one day would become a vintage collectors piece!
This Silvertone Model number 1484 (commonly referred to as the Twin 12) was sold in Sears, Roebuck and Company from 1963-1967. This amp sports an all tube front end with two independent channels that can be used separately or daisy chained together to get an extra gain stage out of it. The output tube section is powered by two 6L6 output tubes producing about 60 watts. The head can be stored in the back of the amp for safe transport and has a 25ft speaker cable so you can separate the head from the cab to reduce feedback (at least that was a selling point at the time) Oh little did they know what was about to happen to Rock and Roll! The amp also sports an all tube tremelo and reverb tank which is foot-switchable and both are part of that vintage silvertone sound. The amp was originally marketed as a medium sized amp for both guitar or bass, and was equipped with two 12″ Jensen C12 speakers so it could handle a wide frequency range.
Silvertone as a brand started around 1915 with hand cranked phonographs, and then they quickly branched off into radios (in the 1920’s) and finally landed on instruments and amplifiers in the following decade. The most famous instruments from that time period are the 1448 and 1449 guitar models which are very collectable on the vintage guitar market. These are referred to as the “amp in case” models, because they actually have a very small 3 watt amp with a 5 inch field coil speaker built into the case. The models were usually sold with a “learn to play” 45 record and cost around $68 in 1962. The guitars were a 3/4 sized guitar perfect for kids learning to play, and were built from poplar with masonite tops and backs. These guitars have a had a multitude of top stars playing them for decades, some of them being Beck, Cat Power, and Dave Grohl.
Most of these guitars and amps were actually built by a variety of different manufacturers who were building similar types of instruments and amps at the same time. Most of the makers were big named companies such as Danelectro, Valco, Teisco, Kay, Thomas, and Harmony. All of which are collectable on the vintage market with their own products not just with their branded Silvertone products.
The twin twelve was truly a breakthrough as far as marketing a cost effective amp that was of professional grade for the masses. I can recall many a story from old timers who got one of these at an early age when they first started their garage bands. They could plug two instruments in at once, a guitar and a mic into the other channel so they could use it as a small portable PA system. Some notable users of the twin twelve over the years have been Pete Anderson, Coldplay, Jack White, and Beck. Among all its awesome usable tones my personal favorite is all knobs up through a modern 412 cab. This tone will cut through the densest of guitar mixes with tons of character. We are very glad that we have this amp as part of our arsenal down here in the studio.