Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: private owner
Features — 8
Made for the Sears catalogue in the early to mid 1960's, the Silvertone 1484 is made of the finest press-board and wallpaper-tolex available. The 1484 has two channels: one clean, and one that features it's surprisingly nice tremolo, and god-awful spring reverb. Unlike it's larger 100 watt cousin the 1485, the 50 watt 1484 features a 2x12 cab, with room to tuck the head into the bottom. It's powered by a pair of 6l6's, 3 12zx7's in the preamp, a pair of 6fq7's for phase inversion and the reverb, and a solidstate rectifier.
Sound — 9
The 1484 has a beautiful, warm clean tone that produces a nice gritty distortion as the volume knobs creep up. This amp is perfect for bluesy, and classic rock tones. When run with a high-gain overdrive out front the amp "fights back" and really screams with a nice thick, crackling tone, perfect for Dinosaur Jr.-esque sounds. Naturally, it's ideal for the "Jack White" tone when paired with a high gain overdrive, or a fuzz pedal but don't expect to get any tight, well-defined high-gain tones out of this amplifier.
Reliability & Durability — 6
In the 4 years I've been playing with this amplifier, I've had very few issues. I replaced the original powercord with a proper grounded 3 prong powercord to ward off that unpleasant tingling feeling you might get playing an ungrounded amplifier. As far as true durability, however, this 50 year old amplifier's seen better days. The pressboard and thin dry tolex is less than perfectly robust. Gigging with the amp has worn the tolex on the edges and corners. I've had no *functional* issues with the amplifier, but the aesthetics parts are - as I said - less than durable.
Overall Impression — 10
This amplifier is absolutely perfect for me. The warm, slightly crunchy natural tone of the amplifier cleans up perfectly when you roll off the volume on your guitar, and when pushed with distortion and overdrive the amp positively screams. It's got a nice thick, full, warm low end and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I tend to gig out with my Egnater Tweaker 40 head and 2x12 cab more than my Silvertone anymore purely because I would rather not ding the old girl up any worse than she already is. This is still my favorite home and recording amp, and I'm actively seeking out a second to gig with while keeping my baby nice and safe.