Silvertone 1484 / JHS Twin Twelve

mike1100

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Silvertone 1484.....who here had one? Loved it? Hated it? 179.95 from Sears = 1,470.19 in 2021 USD.


Today is NPD for me, as I'm waiting on a JHS Twin Twelve V2 to be delivered. Should be a fun new tone to play around with (see 3:55 video below).

 

shihan

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Elmore James was a fan C3C9B30D-57C1-4AD8-811B-1E2559AC58B3.jpeg
 

secndshft

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I had one. It was noisy, even after service. I’ll stick with fender amps plus pedals.
 

Guildedagain

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Had one, went beyond "creamy distortion past 4", it was an absolute monster wide open, very impressive. Reverb needed some tlc, sounded decent once in working order.
 

SFIV1967

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To veer a bit, that's an interesting setup on his Kay guitar with an original bridge with pins and an added floating tailpiece.
Plus a large soundhole pickup and an added DeArmond Rhythm Chief 1000 (hidden under his hand) where the two control knobs are next to the bridge. Also it almost looks like there is a third pickup near the neck in the soundhole. Crazy! Looks like he experimented with a lot of pickups and also in the last pickture it looks like he screwed a plate over the soundhole as feedback supression.

The right small picture is not his exact guitar, just to show where the Rhythm Chief sits.

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Ralf
 
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F312

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There was a similar solid-state version that came out around this time. What model was that?
 

shihan

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Ralf, I know Elmore was a radio repairman before he was a full time musician, so it stands to reason he experimented with pickups, placement and such. He must have really liked that particular guitar to alter it so much. I think the results were well worth the work!
 

wileypickett

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I think the results were well worth the work!

You ain't kiddin'!

Many of those slide players (Hound Dog Taylor, J.B. Hutto) got the grittiest, most amazing sounds out of the cheapest, off-brand guitars.

J.B. Hutto settled in Boston for several years, with the remnents of Hound Dog's old band. I saw them play dozens of times.
 

shihan

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You ain't kiddin'!

Many of those slide players (Hound Dog Taylor, J.B. Hutto) got the grittiest, most amazing sounds out of the cheapest, off-brand guitars.

J.B. Hutto settled in Boston for several years, with the remnents of Hound Dog's old band. I saw them play dozens of times.
Man, I’m jealous, I never got a chance to see J. B. or any of the great slide players. He sure stepped into a great band.
My first HS band was a copy of the Houserockers, me playing slide on a Silvertone hollowbody, my buddy on second guitar through a twin 12, and a drummer. Nothing but fun For us, and a headache for the neighbors!
 

Rambozo96

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The twin twelve is a real oddity, used a voltage doubler and the 1485 had two output transformers which seeing how Silvertone/Danelectro was trying to cut costs wherever possible I’m not sure how you could accomplish that with two output transformers as opposed to one unless it’s the same one used for the 1484 and they bought in mass quantities and cut costs that way. In my experience these sound like nothing else but maybe a vague cross between a Vox and a Fender twin. The reverb on these absolutely suck but it’s literally a single spring in a cardboard tube.
 

mike1100

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The reverb on these absolutely suck but it’s literally a single spring in a cardboard tube.

That's interesting about the two output transformers. This video shows the infamous reveb tank, its parts and why it doesn't function particularly well 15:30 - 21:20.

 

Rambozo96

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That's interesting about the two output transformers. This video shows the infamous reveb tank, its parts and why it doesn't function particularly well 15:30 - 21:20.

That’s gotta be the jankiest thing I seen in a long time. Explains why it’s not unheard of for the reverb on these amps to not work properly
 

Bill Ashton

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When I was in Junior High, two of the kids in my neighborhood that I played in a makeshift back-porch band with got NEW Sears Twin Twelve amps, within about a month of each other. $189.95 new. So we went from Fender tweed Champs to this in one swoop. Two 6L6 power tubes so loud as all get out, our first brush with (our own) reverb, so we didn't think it was bad, although obviously when you cranked it up or hit the top of the amp you got a snowstorm (LOL). I remember the reverb tanks being a aluminum tube with a couple pivot points on it, but perhaps there were Danelectro mods as it aged. "Ours" (bought just before the Twin Twelve went to the solid state Model 1464) were probably late in the line.

From what I remember reading, these amps are strictly point-to-point wired, and not in a good (Fender) way. Maybe that is why when they fail, they FAIL! Miserable to trouble-shoot.

BTW, the Twin Twelve did not have two output transformers...the big one is the power transformer, the smaller chassis mounted one to the left is the output transformer...still big though, compared to Fenders. The LARGE Silvertone 6-10" amp with four 6L6's may well have had two output transformers, as it was almost wired as a two-channel stereo amp...but not ;) The amps did indeed come with only two-wire power cords (not polarized), if it buzzed you flipped the "death switch" on the front panel and then it was quiet...the three switches had little red plastic caps on them, thats probably what saved our lives...sometimes...nothing like getting a shock from an Electro-Voice 664 straight into your braces o_O

@Default , Steve where are you, jump in and bail me out here!
 
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mike1100

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...the three switches had little red plastic caps on them, thats probably what saved our lives...sometimes...nothing like getting a shock from an Electro-Voice 664 straight into your braces o_O

Oh wow! Seriously?

So when you say......cranked it up or hit the top of the amp you got a snowstorm (LOL)"....in a "Fuzz-face" sort of way, or crazy hiss, (laughing) or both?
 

Bill Ashton

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I am sorry, I probably did not describe that clearly....I was describing the reverb, that everyone seems to hate on these amps. You had to keep it dialed back otherwise you sounded underwater pretty quick! Hit the top of the amp and you got a "snowstorm" or maybe that wicked big wave the surfers all talked about...the reverb itself was anything but weak, so I am thinking guys with those amps have a problem with them. Both of ours...that is Bruce's and Burke's...bought maybe a month and a half apart, sounded identical.

As to the amps overdriven distortion, I truly have no idea. Think here, we were coming off tweed Fender Champs, little mush-boxes, very little headroom. The music we were playing was "Spooky" by the Classics V, "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tommy James and the Shondells, "Kicks" by Paul Revere and The Raiders, "Love Is A Beautiful Thing" by The Young Rascals...clean, clean, clean is what we wanted and the Sears amps gave us plenty of that for the loudness we wanted. Think the heaviest thing we played was "For Your Love" by The Yardbirds. Tunes were about to change, but had not yet..."Satisfaction" was about the only thing with distortion!
 

HeyMikey

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…. Hit the top of the amp and you got a "snowstorm" or maybe that wicked big wave the surfers all talked about...
I remember doing that. My Ampeg VT-22 had a super sensitive reverb and I would whack the cab on a song or two when we were getting psychedelic. Just disengaging the reverb lock would cause a wicked kick if I didn’t turn the volume down.
 
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