In the early '50s, Nathan Daniel began experimenting with Danelectro electric guitar designs, and his intention was mainly to secure the contract to provide electrics for the Sears catalog. By saving costs and increasing production speed, the goal was to produce no-frills instruments with good tone at affordable prices. But perhaps unintentionally—with their masonite hollow-body construction and lipstick pickups—the Danelectro guitars bring something entirely new to the table. With their retro stylings, vintage Danelectros capture a tone and feel entirely their own.
Danelectros with the "Silvertone" brand name were sold exclusively through the Sears catalog. The Silvertone 1444 is essentially the bass version of the classic single-cutaway U-1. The 1444 model features the classic masonite design, a 30" scale length, "dolphin" headstock, and a single lipstick pickup.
Both pots on this 1444 date to the last weeks of 1960, so this bass probably rolled out in 1961. It still sports its original Kluson Deluxe tuning machines, and all of the electronics are original. At some point along the way, the original knobs were changed out, so it found us with some cool '60s Japanese-made knobs (similar to what you might find on an old Teisco or Prestige). They aadd a touch of flair, and they match the black finish.
This 1961 Danelectro-made Silvertone 1444 finds us in nice shape all around. Sure it has some bumps and bruises (see photos), but no breaks, repairs, or issues. The action is low, and the neck is perfectly worn-in. These old Danelectros are nice and lightweight, and the shot scale is manageable. Plugged in, the tone is fat and punchy with that distinct lipstick-pickup character. This 1961 Silvertone 1444 includes a gig bag.