The Silvertone 1300 amplifier was one of the very first electric guitar amplifiers that were available in the USA. If you wanted one "back in the day", you would order it through the Sears catalog from 1947 to 1950. The Silvertone was responsible for a lot of the early country recordings that are considered classics today including the Johnny Cash classics "Folsom Prison Blues", "Hey Porter", and "I Walk the Line". A Silvertone 1300 is proudly displayed at both the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The amp at the Johnny Cash Museum is the actual amp that was used by Luther Perkins during the early Sun Studios recording sessions for such hits as "Folsom Prison Blues", "I Walk the Line", and "Hey Porter". You can read about it on my blog article My Visit to the Johnny Cash Museum.

I am fortunate enough to say that there is also a Silvertone 1300 proudly on display in the music room of my house.

The Silvertone 1300, pure vintage bliss!


Several years ago, by absolute luck, I ran into someone that recently was given the amp by their grandfather and they weren't interested in keeping it. Their grandfather had purchased the amp in 1948, didn't play it very much, and then put it into a shed where it sat undisturbed since the early 1950's. Everything, including the speaker and tubes, is original and the only real sign of age on the amp is the cloth speaker cover. The amp is beautiful and after some minor haggling over the price, it was mine!

The sound from this gem is pure vintage heaven and impossible to accurately describe with mere words so if you ever have a chance to play through one, I highly recommend you give it a try. It is an absolute pleasure to play through either clean or with the tubes slightly overdriven to give the tone a nice Rockabilly crunch. I have a few vintage amps (what guitar player doesn't collect vintage amps?) but this one, by far, is my favorite. I was surprised to discover that you can still find one from time to time on eBay in varying conditions. If you are a fan of vintage amps, a big fan of Johnny Cash like me, or you just like to play guitar and want to replicate a vintage sound, watch for one and you may be lucky enough to find one for yourself.

You might be wondering if I ever take the Silvertone 1300 out for a gig and the answer to that question would be, "No!". The thought of this is quite tempting but the wear and tear of gigging with it would simply be too much. I keep it safely in the corner of a room and rarely power it up. I want it to last another 60+ years so that I can pass it on to another Johnny Cash fan one day.
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