The Sea and Cake guitarist/singer Sam Prekop hath guitar affection for the Silvertone, which he said he played almost exclusively on their latest album, The Midnight Butterfly. It's not his road guitar, so he probably won't be playing it at The Crocodile tonight, sadly. But afterward he will be giving a solo concert at the Volunteer Park Greenhouse, where he will play Rush's Moving Pictures in its entirety, on a Silvertone guitar. Behold the Silvertone Guitar by Danelectro. Distributed by Sears Roebuck. Semi-hollow body. Made out of Masonite hardboard. That would be Mr. William H. Mason who invented Masonite, in Laurel, Mississippi, 1924. Mason disintegrated wood chips and blasted them with pressurized steam, then released them into atmospheric pressure, and molded the fibers into boards on a screen, where he pressed and heated them to form the finished product.
Tone-wise, Masonite accentuates the highs and rolls off the lows. Mids are smooth and clean with a humbucker/single coil combination. Silvertones have almost no sustain. In 1963, Sears musical buyer Joe Fisher and Nathan Daniel came up with the beautiful idea to put a 5-inch speaker and amplifier in the guitar case. Thus, the Silvertone was affordable, and complete. A workhorse. The body didn’t matter, they said, as opposed to Les Paul’s fine wood usage. Daniel said the neck was more important. His pickups were strange then and still are today. He used lipstick tubes, wiring them in series. There you have the unique Dano/Silvertone sound now proudly played by collectors and musicians worldwide. Even if you don't love guitars, you love this guitar.