Vintage Silvertone 1303 / Danelectro U2 – USA 1959

by Silvertone

$2,495.00 21125

This is a Silvertone 1303 (Danelectro model: U2) electric guitar made by Danelectro of Neptune, New Jersey in 1959. 

Silvertone was a house brand owned and used by Sears and Roebuck between 1941 to 1970. There was no company or factory - Sears owned the name and applied it to various products from such manufacturers as Harmony, Valco, Danelectro, and Kay. 

This one is the two pickup model & is generally regarded as more desirable than the single pickup models. It has the classic black and silver finish with two lipstick pickups and a semi-hollow body.

From the 1959 Sears catalogue -

Silvertone Solid-body and Hawaiian Electric Guitars - (All with cord, pick and complete instructions)
Single and Dual-Pickup Guitars. 

Steel reinforced neck resists warping.

Extra slim for easier fingering.

Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. 

Accurately fretted.

Solid center body.

Hardwood core balanced by hollow wing sections.

4-way adjustable bridge--up, down, forward, back.

Split shell metal-enclosed pickup/s.

3-position switch.

Double tone, volume control knobs for each pickup.

Bronze or black lacquer finish.

Contrasting edge trim.
38 3/4 x 13 1/4 x 1 5/8 inches.

The guitar appears to be in amazingly original condition. The black lacquer is in in fine shape with very few marks or blemishes. The spangly silver edging is 90% present and in good order. 

The lipstick pickups are just fabulous – there’s nothing quite like them. They are bright and sparkly, but give ‘em a bit of grunt and they produce a bite and crunch unlike any other pickup design. Just ask Jimmy Page who famously used one of these guitars for years.

The neck is straight with a nice fast action. The guitar has been refretted with quality medium jumbos which are in excellent condition. It is definitely a professional job and the edge rounding and fret finishing is superb. The lovely Brazilian rosewood fingerboard is there in all its dark glory, and in great condition with no pitting.

It has some minor dings on the back of the neck and the black lacquer has worn off in places.

The original wood and steel bridge is in place and works amazingly well considering its simplicity.

The electronics all work correctly, and nothing appears to have been changed inside the wiring cavity. The tuners are in good working condition and hold tuning well. The stacked control knobs appear to be original and are good shape.

Scale: 24 7/8"
Width of the nut: 1 5/8"
Weight: 6.34 lbs

This guitar feels and sounds just great. It’s a moment in garage band history – these guitars were made to be not only affordable but very playable, and they were used by hundreds of players back in the day who couldn’t quite make the budget for a Fender or Gibson. And some examples such as this one have stood the test of time most admirably.

Comes in a basic gig bag in good condition.

Video demo of 1956 model -



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