This clean package just breezed through the shop: a 1965 Silvertone 1457 commonly referred to as the amp in case guitar. These were manufactured and finished by Danelectro, in Neptune, NJ and are uniquely constructed and wired. Nathan Daniel’s design wonderfully combined a classic electric guitar layout (two single coil pickups with a bolt on neck) with totally unique styling cues and construction techniques. Most players wouldn’t consider these “better” than electric guitars by Fender or Gibson but I would bet that every player out there has room in their stable for a vibey Dano guitar. They’ve got a tone and feel that more expensive vintage guitars can’t match.
The body of the 1457, and most Danelectro guitars from this time period, is constructed with a solid Pine center plank and rim with Masonite top and back. It’s a really unique design that was easy to manufacture, affordable, light weight, and has a distinctive feel and tone. The edge of the body is wrapped in a textured material that provides a little friction to keep the edge of the guitar in place when played sitting down. It’s finished in a very cool red burst lacquer with metal flake sparkles throughout.
The neck construction is also one of a kind with its Poplar neck, Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, Aluminum nut, and two metal stabilizing rods inlayed between the Rosewood fretboard and Poplar neck. It’s a remarkably stable design but doesn’t have an adjustment nut to dial in the relief. I was surprised when I measured the nut width and found that it’s 1 3/4″ wide at the nut and .8″ deep at the first fret. Also surprising was the scale length: 25″ from nut to saddle. It’s in between typical Gibson scale length (24 3/4″) and Fender scale length (25 1/2″).
The 1457’s pickups and electronics are my favorite part of the guitar. It’s the standard Danelectro set up with two single coil pickups housed in what was originally intended to be a lipstick tube! They’re lower output pickups but have a character all their own. The typical Danelectro wiring scheme is to have a three position switch with the middle position being both pickups wired in series instead of parallel like Gibson and Fender guitars. Series wiring boosts the output so it drives the amp a little harder and is a bit louder. The control layout has volume and tone for each pickup but stacked concentrically for a clean look.
Here are a few more shots of this beauty! The information in this post comes from my experience with Danelectro guitars and the fabulous Neptune Bound: The Ultimate Danelectro Guitar Guide by Doug Tulloch.
I highly recommend this book for any guitarist and collector but especially for those bitten by the Danelectro bug. You can purchase the book from Amazon here. If you follow that link to purchase then you’ll pay the best price on Amazon and I’ll get a little kick back for connecting you with it. It helps me stay motivated to create fresh content like this. Thanks for checking it out.
Do you have a vintage Silvertone or Danelectro guitar that you would like to sell? I’d love to check it out. You reach me here at my Sell A Vintage Guitar page. Send me some pictures and information so I can check out your guitar.