One of the greatest guitars Harmony (Silvertone) ever made was the 1446L commonly referred to as the “Chris Isaak” model.  Chris posed with this model for a couple of advertisements and also named an album “Silvertone.”  What makes this guitar special is a combination of dashing looks, Gibson made and Seth Lover designed mini-humbuckers used only on this model and the Bigby vibrato.

The Gibson made miniature humbuckers really are the big attraction to this guitar.  If you want a guitar with these pickups you must buy this model or find some loose pups for sale (good luck!!).  Early production 1446 pickups came with the same “Patent Applied For” stickers as the highly sought after “PAF” pickups that came in 1957-1960 Les Pauls.  The PAFs in those Les Pauls are worth about $2000 each in good shape.  I think the 1446L is very undervalued at $1500 for one in great condition from a big vintage dealer.

The rest of the electronics are good, solid American made just like what came in an LP from that time period.  It has the same setup as well with two pickups, 2 volume and 2 tone knobs, and a 3 way switch.  The whole guitar just seems so solid even though it was manufactured by a budget company.  



I’m a big fan of the Bigsby B3 vibrato that came on these guitars.  The subtle, wavy, almost dreamy vibrato is a lot of fun to play around with.  I naturally lean towards blues licks when I’m playing so I haven’t sought after guitars with vibratos.  I did seek out these pickups and I’m glad I was introduced to a good solid vibrato as a result.

If there was one drawback to this guitar it would be in the neck construction.  It does have a truss rod but doesn’t taper in width from the heel to the nut.  It seems a little “cheap” at first but I got used to it very quickly and grew to really like it.  The nut width is small but I haven’t measured it.

Bottom line:

This is a professional grade vintage instrument at a “prosumer” grade price.  It has the tone and feel of the early 1960s and the looks certainly don’t disappoint.  This model shows no sign of declining in popularity and therefore value so it would likely be a good investment as well.  However, because of the nut width and neck construction this guitar may not be the answer for the player looking to own just one guitar.  

Do you have one of these that you would like to sell?  I’m looking for another.  Please email me about what you have for sale.

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