If you’re around the guitar world long enough, you’re sure to stumble across Silvertone Guitars. Silvertone is a brand of guitars and amps made by Sears department store, and they used to be EVERYWHERE!
So you might be wondering, are Silvertone guitars good? Are their electric and acoustic guitars worth buying today?
Silvertone Guitars is a long established brand, while some vintage models are desirable by collectors, overall their products are considered cheaper value. For the cost of a Silvertone guitar, you will likely be able to purchase a solid guitar, by a much more reputable guitar maker.
When did Silvertone start making guitars
Silvertone started making guitars for the Sears department stores in the early 1900s. They were common sight in stores and became quite popular due to their cheap cost, and basic value.
Over the years they came out with higher end models. For example, many 1960s era Silvertones are sought after by collectors.
However, the collectable range of Silvertone guitars is quite small relative to the amount they produced.
Silvertone continues to manufacture guitars to this day.
Who makes Silvertone guitars
Silvertone has been manufactured by many different companies over the years, and has never really had their own in-house luthiers.
Opting for a third party manufacturer allows for cheaper price points for the instruments, however, makes consistency very difficult.
This is why only certain eras of Silvertones guitars are sought after, and not all vintage models.
Silvertone has been produced by Harmony, Thomas, Kay, Teisco and Valco just to name a few.
With this many difference producers, you really have to look into what model and year you’re buying, when looking at Silvertone.
Where are Silvertone guitars made?
The location of Silvertone’s manufacturing varied greatly, depending on which company was producing for them at the time.
Historically, Silvertone was made in America, and various Asian countries.
Currently, Silvertone Guitars are produced in Samick‘s production facility in Cileungsi, Indonesia.
Indonesian musical instruments are typically known for decent quality, but very focused on cost savings, therefore is not typically a desirable location for instruments to come from.
Did Harmony make Silvertone guitars?
Yes, Harmony produced the Silvertone guitars from approximately 1915-1940, until another manufacturer took over the Silvertone brand.
The Silvertones made by Harmony are certainly vintage, however, are not the most sought after.
The Harmony guitars are sought after for their antiquity, rather than their status of quality vintage.
Are Silvertone guitars good, when they were made by Harmony?
Harmony was not the best manufacturer of the Silvertone brand.
Is Silvertone a good acoustic guitar
Silvertone acoustic guitars are good for beginners. They are an affordable option to start on, so you can get to playing and see if you enjoy playing guitar.
While low cost, unless you are spending less than two hundred dollars on a Silvertone, you will certainly be better served by going with a reputable luthiering brand.
Silvertone’s history started out as a department store brand.
This means that they were never focused on just making guitars, but also making guitars.
While Silvertone has had great guitars made, those were short lived, they hold a reputation of being “toys”.
If you can pick up a Silvertone acoustic guitar for really cheap, to see if you like guitar, that’s a great option.
However, you can also purchase a quality, real guitar, made by a luthiering company for under three hundred dollars.
Acoustics made by Silvertone are good for their price, but are not celebrated as the greatest brand.
So if you do want to purchase a Silvertone acoustic guitar, just understand that it is at the low end of the entry level spectrum for guitars.
Budget friendly, yes, high quality, no.
Is Silvertone a good electric guitar?
The electric guitars made by Silvertone, and their line of amps are very similar to their acoustic line ups.
Both the electric guitars, and their amps are of okay quality.
Silvertone electric guitars are budget friendly, however, you will quickly find yourself wanting to upgrade to a studier guitar within 6 months to a year of playing.
The expensive electric guitars you’ll see from Silvertone are usually from a very specific era of manufacturing.
Otherwise they are sought after for simply being vintage and antique, rather than their playability and quality.
If you’re nostalgic for Silvertone, or you’re able to get your hands on a good one, all the power to you!
The Guess Who started out using Silvertone instruments, once upon a time.
While they aren’t a high end line up of guitars, they are still decent, playable and can get you started on the right track.
If you’re a beginner-intermediate guitarist, looking for their second guitar, I would strongly suggest looking at a different brand.
So, are Silvertone guitars good? Yes, so long as you get them on the cheap, or get the right vintage model.