The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve

I don't usually write long stories but this is my turn.

Dreams do come true. I never win anything. No raffles. No door prizes. When I comb the amp forums so many times I read about the guy who got the tube amp for free. That prospect has always evaded me. Last night my fortunes changed. I got a message from a guy with a tube amp which he describes as working and sounds great with a les paul through it. I call the guy back today and he says he's old and the amp it too heavy. You can have it. Well doesn't it figure my car is under repair and won't be fixed until the end of the week. But he says it yours...don't worry...I'll hold on to it. He said he was going to drag it out to the street and put a sign on it that says free, but the weather called for rain and he figured it would be ruined. I asked, not that it mattered, but does he know what kind of amp it is. He says it was made by Sears or Montgomery Ward and it's too damn heavy.

It was driving me crazy today having to wait until the end of the week. Even if he did say its mine. Until its in my hands anything can happen. I tried to get my car back going but, no go. Then my 16 year old son messages me for a ride from school. He lives with his mother and should get his license in a couple weeks. I say my car is not working, but I could ride my bike to his house and use his mother's spare car to get him and btw I have this tube amp I can get for free if i could get that too. He checks with his mom and tells me where the keys are. I grab my 3 year old daughter, put her in a bike trailer, throw the car seat in the trailer and ride my bike about 5 miles to my Xs house. I pick up my son from school, but when I tell him the amp is 45 mins away he doesn't want to go. And he's the one who plays guitar. I say how about I take you home and make the run for the amp. He agrees, so I drop him home and go.

I got to the guys house at about six tonight. He can barley walk up the stairs. He shows me the amp and cabinet. The amp is sitting inside the back of the cabinet. He insist on showing me its working even though I'm reluctant to have it powered up. There are mouse dropping in the bottom of the cabinet and it looks like a nest behind a tube. But it works. I get the amp and my daughter in the car and as I'm driving away I get a call from my X. She's pissed and lectures me about asking her not her son. Of course I say, so sorry. I drive my ass to my house, drop off my daughter and the amp, stop to fill her tank and get her car back to her house. Then I ride my bike five miles back home.

It happened to me! It was free! Except for some peddling. Now I have a Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve amp.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Here are pics.
Attached Thumbnails
Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1029192143.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1029192141a.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1029192141.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1029192139b.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Be careful not to remove the mouse droppings or nest. It could kill the tone.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Be careful not to remove the mouse droppings or nest. It could kill the tone.
You could be onto something!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
I strongly suggest doing whatever suits you best to get a matched pair of output tubes, unless you just happen to really like how it currently sounds since those 6L6es obviously do not match. That particular amp can be a wolf in sheep's clothing. One of the best amps I ever heard was a Bass version of this 35-40 watt (rated ridiculously at 50 watts) sleeping dragon through good speakers. Not that the stock speakers weren't adequate but this amp through top notch speakers really sings. This, my brother, is a major score!... and a steal at twice the price
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Now that's an amp story!

My 1484 finally "died" after over a decade of heavy use. Rather than repair it AGAIN I shipped it away. I'll get another one someday.

First thing you absolutely need is a grounded power cable. Disable the ground toggle switch on the front.

I like a bright cap on the first channel, I forget what value maybe 150 pF, something similar to what a Fender would use. They are a little dark, stock.

Preferred speakers for me are a Weber 12F150 paired with a Celestion Vintage 30. Or you could go with a pair of either rather than the mix.

You can find a little wire on the OT and wire it up to output 8 ohms instead of just 4 ohms if you want/need to.

These amps are special but delicate, old, and cranky.

Most definitely going to need capacitor replacement at this point as well, I am really assuming no work has been done.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Chassis removed.
Attached Thumbnails
Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191118a.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191119.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191122.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
RicTone's Avatar
 

Regarding the mouse droppings there is a very rare but deadly virus, Hantavirus, that can be transmitted via inhaling the dust around/from droppings or touching droppings or urine. Best thing to do is mist the droppings with a disinfectant spray before messing with them. I was putting away tools from my garage workbench about six weeks ago and happened to put my hands in a box someone had given me that had mouse droppings in it. I touched a bunch of them but they haven't killed me, yet. :-)

https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/index.html
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
I've got one of those. Got it cheap, and told my amp guru guy to lay into it. Whatever it needs, do it. He put in grounded AC and IEC socket, changed out the caps, NOS tubes, etc... It's basically a new amp, and it sounds amazing. The greatest studio head around. Congrats. You worked for it, though, haha!

Actually had some guy claim that I messed up the tone by putting in the IEC socket. No crap. Caps, tubes, etc... were OK, but that IEC socket trashed the poor thing.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Nut
 

I exposed the speakers. Jensen C12Q that date to 1966. Only one is connected.

I also found a pile of money! I mean mouse ****.
Attached Thumbnails
Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191403.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191403a.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191403b.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191404.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Great find! I have the model 1474 combo version made in 1961. The reverb is shot but the tone is killer and doesn't sound like any other amp. I'd like to get a grounded IEC plug and external speaker jack installed someday.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
C12Q are pretty terrible sounding. I recommend a fresh set of speakers, but that's just me.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
I've owned a bunch of those. Great amps, but the power output is drastically over rated - real power output is around 25-30 watts IIRC. The plate voltage on the 6L6s is really pretty low compared to other well known amps. The reverb tank in those is pretty weird - unlike the rest of the world, Danelectro did not use a Hammond/Accutronics tank, they used some weird thing of their own design. Consequently you can't get an exact replacement.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Power is about 20 watts at best. In some situations, it's not going to keep up with the drummer/bassist in a power trio. Just barely though. It's a pretty good rating though because you can crank it up and that's when it really starts to sound good.

Reverb is "quirky" but that's also what makes it special. Turn the channel volume all the way down and turn the reverb up for a "special effect."

Tremolo is one of the best I have heard, when it's working.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Here are the the speakers removed. They look intact, but one seems like it could be brittle.

It seems to me the baffle is a weak link. Looks like 1/4" masonite board. Very flimsy. I'm thinking I should epoxy coat the inside of the particle board cabinet for longevity and replace the baffle with plywood.
Attached Thumbnails
Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191602.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191602a.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191602b.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191603.jpg   Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve-1030191614.jpg  

Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
The weak baffle is part of the secret of the sound of that cab. I'm serious. It adds a slight "compression" to the tone that you wouldn't get with a normal hard baffle. I personally would love it for what it is.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Power is about 20 watts at best.
Yes, they are not loud amps. When I was a kid, I had one. We had two other players, one with a Vox Buckingham and the other had a Deluxe. The Twin Twelve couldn't keep up with either of 'em, and the guys were always on me to get a louder amp. But I loved the sound of the TT, even with the original speakers.

Never thought about the flimsy baffle being a part of the cab's tone. I run my head through a modern cab.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
The weak baffle is part of the secret of the sound of that cab. I'm serious. It adds a slight "compression" to the tone that you wouldn't get with a normal hard baffle. I personally would love it for what it is.
I never would have guessed that. I have a silvertone 1430 that sounds great with a solid cabinet and baffel.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Now that's an amp story!

My 1484 finally "died" after over a decade of heavy use. Rather than repair it AGAIN I shipped it away. I'll get another one someday.
What died on it?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerzilly View Post
What died on it?
I'm not really sure. It started blowing fuses. I was so fed up for various reasons I just sold it for parts. It was pretty rough looking anyway.

I'd like to get a replacement in better cosmetic condition sometime and do the normal maintenance on it.

Maybe I gave up too soon but it felt right at the time.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Yes, they are not loud amps. When I was a kid, I had one. We had two other players, one with a Vox Buckingham and the other had a Deluxe. The Twin Twelve couldn't keep up with either of 'em, and the guys were always on me to get a louder amp. But I loved the sound of the TT, even with the original speakers.
I think of a Deluxe Reverb when I think of 20 watts.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
One of the reason we are seeing estimates of anywhere from 20 Watts to 40 Watts, is initial voltage which is quite low but made far lower by sag due to low capacitance values. I say screw all the naysayers that imagine a damned IEC has any affect on tone, embrace the dual facts that many if not all amps prior to Boutique were built down to a price point not up to a quality, and that we've actually learned a thing or three since the '60s. Granted there has been no shortage also of self-styled techies that think complexity shows off skilz just like some guitar players imagine more notes, faster makes better music, but the KISS Method (not necessarily the band) always rules.

If you increase the value of the filter caps the amp will put out substantially greater apparent SPLs AND will also have less noise and IM distortion which just is not musical in anybody's brain. If you think this is blasphemous consider that nobody in their right mind would reduce the values of the filter caps on a Matchless, Mesa or any other high quality, very expensive guitar amp. 40uf is bare minimum in any self-respecting designers POV. If you find that the sag is reduced to the point that overdrive is impacted in a way you don't like then just reduce negative feed back and not only will the sag return, but clearer and louder and far more open sounding. If that isn't enough then increase the gain of one or more preamp stages, preferably in a balanced manner viewed on a scope. I have done such modifications to hundreds of amplifiers for hundreds of pro players and not one single one took me up on the offer to "put it back" for no charge. Not one. I have had guys ask me to "put back" more radical mods, which I happily did, but most of those involved Master Volume controls. They are not as simple as they may seem, especially when they were new and few players understood the difference between Gain and Volume..

I mentioned earlier the Bass Guitar version of this amp as one of the best sounding amps I've ever heard or had the pleasure of playing. In his case, he was playing it through a Dual Showman cab loaded with 2 x JBL D130F 15 inchers and he had zero problems keeping up with anything short of 100 watts. His tone was glorious even with a Fender Jazzmaster. I'd dearly love to know what happened to that amp but the band changed personnel after a few years an we lost touch.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Everybody posting above is full of it on the power rating.

Those amps are [roughly] 37.7373737373 watts, with mouse droppings undisturbed.

If you molest the mouse droppings, it will drop to around 5 watts.

If you can get your hands [gloved] on some additional high quality mouse droppings, in good condition, and then just kind of spread them around in the back of the amp, you can boost the amp to, say [and this is again just a rough estimate], 99.9999199991999 watts or so.

Plus, mouse droppings don't weight very much, but a Twin Reverb is super heavy. So you figure it out.

Most pet stores will hook you up for cheap.

You're welcome.

Great story, cool amp!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Also, let the record show that it was the OP who brought up the mouse droppings. So don't everybody get mad at me. What did you expect? : )
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Also, let the record show that it was the OP who brought up the mouse droppings. So don't everybody get mad at me. What did you expect? : )
Unfortunately I cleaned out all the mouse droppings. The good news is that the aluminum chassis cleaned up well. A steel chassis would have been rusting from the urine.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
Don't ignore this advice. I had a 1484 as teenager learning to play guitar around 1967 or so. I can't tell you how many times I got knocked back by 120V because of ground problems when playing outside or on a concrete surface, and touching my lips to the microphone. It will knock you back a couple of feet.

Lots of great memories with that old amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
...

First thing you absolutely need is a grounded power cable. Disable the ground toggle switch on the front.

...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerzilly View Post
Unfortunately I cleaned out all the mouse droppings. The good news is that the aluminum chassis cleaned up well. A steel chassis would have been rusting from the urine.
Oh well, not to worry. I will probably still sound really good. Not mouse droppings good, mind you, but still good.

Then, if you just put a little cheese in the back of the amp, before you know it you'll have mice lining up to poop in the amp, and it will be back to its former glory, or maybe even better.

Mouse droppings are important, for sure. Everybody knows that. But they are just one of many factors. You can put all the mouse dropping you want in a crappy amp, and it won't help much at all. Just a waste of good mouse droppings.

But you've really got the goods with that old Sears amp. You almost don't even need any droppings [except the wattage will drop as I explained earlier].
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drichard View Post
Don't ignore this advice. I had a 1484 as teenager learning to play guitar around 1967 or so. I can't tell you how many times I got knocked back by 120V because of ground problems when playing outside or on a concrete surface, and touching my lips to the microphone. It will knock you back a couple of feet.

Lots of great memories with that old amp.
I have a very low tolerance for getting zapped so I had this job done quickly after buying the amp. Bright cap also came pretty quickly.

I believe the filter caps work in some kind of charge pump function but I'm not sure how the electronics work.

Personally I wouldn't want to mess with the formula of how this amp sounds too much.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
I would like to emphatically second drichard's stance.

Back in the early 70s before electrician's standards, in the US anyway, evolved and improved to where there was any hope of quality and consistency, and nobody had heard The Killer Cap controversy, I am admitting that in my ignorance., I insisted that my Bass player's funky little Traynor bass amp combo be outfitted with the Killer Cap as it was rather common that when I plugged in my old BlackFace Princeton Reverb, which actually did have a 3 wire power cable installed by me, but retaining the deadly Fender "Polarity Switch" his signal would end up in my amplifier and LOUD! in some clubs. Once I heard of the problems some were having (I never got knocked back but did get a few uncomfortable buzzes on mics) I called him, as he'd left the band, and offered to make the change or pay for a tech to do so that I had insisted on before I knew the risks.

Bottom Line - If you have an old 2-wire amp, get that modded ASAP to suit what has happily become proper modern standards.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drichard View Post
Lots of great memories with that old amp.
I bet those zaps erased a few.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump