Friday, July 1, 2011

Insanity on eBay - Teisco made Silvertone 1435 sells for $560 + $31 - WTF??

There are periods of madness in the used guitar Market based on a variety of factors and now seems to be one of those times. The rise in Vintage Gibson and Fender prices has left many smaller collectors out in the cold so they are migrating to lesser known and unlikely models. Here is a perfect example - $560 + $31 shipping for a 1965 Teisco MJ-2L labeled as a Silvertone 1435.

Now I've been singing the praises of these early mahogony bodied Teiscos with the 4x2 headstocks for years - but only as low-priced easily found and modified players - not as anything of great value or collectibility. Apparently that is no longer the case - scarcity (and buyer frustration) is breeding a frenzy and this simple guitar fetched 45 bids for a heretofore unheard of sum.

Note: I won't underestimate the value of this seller's extensive description and various soundfiles etc - it all adds to the interest and shows savvy marketing on his part.

Strange days indeed... - JC

********************************




rare 60's Silvertone (by Teisco) model 1435 electric guitar


a completely stock, deluxe guitar design from the mid 1960's Japanese import boom!


two soulful single coils that are like a Strat pickup on steroids!


amazing performance with incredibly low action!


a cool guitar in the clean condition! superb recording and live tone!

Includes original case! Starting at only 99 cents with no reserve!

This is an auction for a clean example of a mid 60's Teisco made Silvertone electric guitar. These were sold as part of a full catalog line of instruments under the Silvertone name through Sears catalogs with some of the line that were made in Japan and some that came from companies like Harmony, Supro, Danelectro, and Kay. When this wave of new Japanese guitars hit the US it spelled certain disaster for the future of budget American made instruments from these US companies and by the early 70's they were all folding. But these cool and wacky early Japanese imports occupy a certain space in my heart I cannot ignore. The sound of many of them is raw and nasty in all the right ways, but they have a lot to offer someone in terms of high quality tone. They did things in their designs that the Fender and Gibson brands never would have tried and had a certain Si-Fi Modernist Futurism to the lines, look, and vibe of their instruments. But in examples like this one they achieved pretty amazing results in keeping a close eye on US pickup design and construction while doing their best to make a very decent product.

This guitar is one of many Teisco made Silvertone guitars I have owned in my time. I would say that I have owned this model more than 20 times in different configurations of color and pickups. I have always been impressed with their playability and quality of their construction as opposed to what other makers were doing at the time. I think that is why there is such a large following for Teisco guitars these days. A lot has been document on the internet about these first wave import Teisco guitars, and even to the untrained collector it is clearly an early product of the pre-Kawaii owned Teisco guitar factory as it has recognizable parts from the higher end Spectrum series so coveted by collectors and players. Part of the magic of these higher end Teisco guitars is that had flashy, cutting edge neo-Futuristic styling that looked like something Ultraman might play after destroying a marauding alien, but they also function great! Their 4/2 split tuner exaggerated headstock, two tone metal pickguard, raygun style controls and unusual inlay markers were certainly as 'space aged' as you can get, but they also were reliable players with a decent sound unlike most of the single pickup midget student garbage guitars a lot of people think of when you say Teisco. Nope, these were a hot commodity back in Japan and have certainly been embraced by a cult following in modern times that are constantly driving prices up.

This guitar came to me as you see if from a guy who had owned it for a long while. It seems he misplaced the tremolo arm long ago, but apart from that it is stock. I inserted a Jazzmaster bar into the slot and it seemed to work well, so if someone wanted to rig one of those up for it this would be an easy solution. Also, for what ever reason the guy removed the strap buttons (I think he needed the strap locks he had on it). I forgot to replace these before taking the photos, but if someone wants me to install them I will do so for free with new quality ones from Allparts that I have in stock. Condition wise, it is quite clean, though. Some small dings and some overall wear to the finish, but I think the photos tell the whole story here so check them out. The headstock still has its Silvertone logo, which is almost always missing on these. The electronics all work well, even the flip switches for the pickups. They move very easy and were probably sprayed out before I got it as they work great. The knobs are on well but a little bit crooked but still turn well without issue. The tone pots work in reverse as all Teiscos are from this era. The original tuners work well. One has a small bend in it, but I did not even notice this when I was buying it that is so slight. You can see it in the photos if you look hard. Really just cosmetic. What else? Well, it still has its original nut, cool chrome bridge, black round knobs, big tremolo assembly and cover, and awesome aluminum pickguard. Man, I love the two tone stripes of that pickguard! So...uh, so...Jetsons! I was really happy to land this guitar as it was clearly in need of a new home! The strings on it when I got looked like they had been on it for 15 years. So I restrung it, cleaned it up, and plugged it into an amp as fast as I could. I was smiling immediately!

Yes! Oh, man. It sounds so cool. Whenever I see a Teisco with these I know it is going to sound unique and awesome. And they almost always do. The are a little Strat-like to my ears, but with a sort of more wooly midrange and beefy output that is different. They have a lot of top end in the bridge pickup, and sound like a Sherman Tank in the neck position. I like there brillance, too. It is not harsh at all or shrill when clean, but can do awesome gigantic deep slab o' granite (as well as abrasive insect-like tones) with some fuzz on it. It also holds up so amazingly well with fuzz and overdrive, and it seemed to love every single pedal I threw at it. It will deliver a totally awesome retro tone all the way! But it sounds nice even with light overdrive or sparkly clean. I had a hard time getting a tone I did not like. It has a lot of clarity to it, but can get nasty. It is almost like a Strat pickup someone threw a little P-90 sauce into. Check out the soundfiles! I think these are some of the best pickups in any Japanese guitar from this era if you are looking for a very usable tone that is different from your average Fender. They will do an amazing clean or slightly overdriven sound with lots of detail and definition you would not expect to hear from looking at this guitar. All in all, I am a huge fan. You probably could tell that by now. But this would be a great guitar for doing a fuzzed out 60's Pop thing, Garage Rock, Punk, Indie Rock, Alt Country, or even electrified Blues. It does that whole Jon Spencer/Hound Dog Taylor 'amp about to blow up' tone so well!

The action is pretty low on this guitar. I have not done a setup or action adjustment as it seemed like it was sitting in a nice place once I restrung it. The nut and bridge are very well set for this low action, and it is easy to play. I did not notice any buzzing when I played it , but the frets seem like they could probably had a fret dress at one point. Just as most of these Teisco's could. But there is plenty of life left in them as they are. The neck has a nice round C shape sort of like the Strat/Jazzmaster of the mid-60's meets a SG from the same time. Wide and flat feeling in a nice way. It is pretty nice and comfy in my book! Big thumbs up. The neck looks very straight. It has an adjustable truss rod that I tried and seemed to work. The body shape has a cool sort of if-a-Strat-and-a-Melody Maker-shacked-up-together look to it that is totally awesome. Man. What is not to like about this guitar?

Here are a bunch of cool links to check out on this neat old Silvertone 1435...

...A cool profile on this model from the best Silvertone collectors website...

...The same guitar at a Silvertone website that is already sold...

...A great website with tons of Teisco photos, info, and insights...

...And finally an example of a page from a Sears catalog showing models made by Harmony, Kay, and Danelectro all on the same page...

Well, you certainly have been well behaved. Now enjoy some sounds of this guitar going off the rails. It is such a fun one to play! Here is some audio of me playing it into a '65 Fender Deluxe at about 4 on the volume with the EQ flat. I both pickups in the on position and tons of reverb...



And now a few more to wreck your ear holes...

...a searing garage rock type tone from a 50's Supro amp...

...lovely 60's clean tones with the neck pickup...

...both pickups for a massive fuzz assault!...

...more killer clean tones on both pickups...

...gnarly electric blues from a 60's Octave pedal and bare fingers!!...

...another burner on both pickups into the Supro...

...more f'd up heavy fuzzed blues tone from the neck pickup...

...blowing the doors off with a Germanium fuzz on the bridge pickup...

...finally a burly rhythm tone on the neck pickup into the 50's Supro again...

This vintage Japanese made Silvertone guitar comes with its original case you can see. It is in great shape and was the same company that supplied cases through Sears for Harmony, Supro, Danelectro guitars and the like in this era. It works great without issue, all the latches, handle, and hinges are in nice working order. Check out the photos to see what I mean. It will help protect it. I will package it well so that it arrives to your door in one piece. No matter if it goes to Sydney, Sacramento, or Seville. I will pack it well, folks! Promise. Why? Because I love this guitar! It may make sense to remove the neck for international bidders, as it is a long one! But I will do a good job. Check my feedback if you doubt it. Over 10 years selling (crap) on here and still 100% feedback. Did I mention it is starting at 99 cents?

2 comments:

  1. Certainly a nice looking guitar, though I'm really not that crazy about the aesthetics of the headstock. I think that you are spot on as to why this sold for so much. Many people are desperate to get into the collectible guitar market and figure that things will only be going up. (And they're probably correct, although one still needs to be somewhat selective...)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with you; it's hard for me to see these instruments as big-ticket items. I've never handled one that wasn't deeply flawed in some way. And while it sounds bitchen', we're hearing a bitchen' amp as much as that guitar, not to mention gobs of effects- a pet peeve of mine in guitar demos.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your comments but please no commercial links or non guitar related conversations. Thank you. - JC

IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL READERS

I am reposting items here that are listed on CRAIGSLIST throughout the USA. I am not selling any of these items and I cannot facilitate the sale of anything here - so please do not comment or post questions like "Is this still available?" or "I am interested in your guitar please call me, etc." You need to contact the seller directly by calling the phone number listed on the post or by going to the CL listing and emailing them. NEW FEATURE: Click on the title of the CL Listing inside my post to LINK thru to the original Post. If the original CL listing is deleted the item most likely is no longer available. Thanks for checking out my blog and GOOD LUCK!

Please don't call, contact, bother or harass these sellers long after their post is expired. Take for granted if the listing is over 30 days old that the guitar or amp is LONG GONE! Thank you.