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Silvertone, that other '60s guitar

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Okay, technically '50s and '60s, but you get the idea.

In my early years of guitar playing, I remember coming across Silvertone electric guitars every so often. And wow, were they crap. They could not hold tune, were impossible to intonate and were just generally difficult to play.

The new reissue guitars, thankfully, benefit from modern manufacturing processes. This makes them much, much better in every way. And I really do mean every way. Woods, electronics, tuning stability, playability, and so on. All better.

Said very honestly, there's no way you could ever get me to buy a vintage Silvertone electric guitar. But with these new ones, I could actually play one of these and enjoy doing it.

This is the most affordable way to get '60s guitar mojo

If the headstock said Fender or Gibson on this guitar, it would be selling for over $1,000. The Silvertone Model 1449 however is nowhere near that price. Much more affordable.

What you get is a solid mahogany body 24.75" scale (like a Gibson) guitar with 2 volume and 2 tone controls for the pickups.

"But I only see 2 knobs." Correct. Each knob is stacked where the center post is the volume and the ring is the tone control. One for each pickup.

You also get real-deal lipstick pickups in this guitar. If you're not familiar with those, they use bar magnets and are ridiculously responsive and twangy in a good way.

The best part about a lipstick pickup is that every string gets "full coverage" while vibrating, so to speak. Instead of each string hovering over a small pole piece magnet, they're all hovering over a bar. The end result is a huge, twangy sound on both pickups.

Lipstick pickups typically do sound best clean, but with overdrive they can totally do a '60s acid rock tone easily. Just bear in mind that they do feed back quite easily, so don't get too crazy with your overdrive.

If you dig the whole '60s guitar thing but the Fender and Gibson offerings are out of reach, get the Silvertone. The new one is absolutely better than the original, easy to set up and easy to play. And it won't sound like any other guitar you have (in a good way, of course).

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  10. Silvertone, that other '60s guitar