The Silvertone 1342 debuted in the 1950 Sears catalog in a rare but aesthetically pleasing trapezoidal cabinet shape and a green and tan color scheme. The catalog described the shape of the amp as “low, wide and handsome”. The 1342’s amplifier featured one microphone channel with one input and one instrument channel with two inputs and produced about 12 watts through two 6V6 power tubes. It had a 12″ speaker for “large auditorium use” according to the catalog. The tone of this amp is best described as dark, thick cleans to low breakup and drive. This isn’t a heavy distortion amp like its later 1960s cousins.
This 1951 Silvertone 1342 has survived in wonderful, mostly original condition and is ready to go back to work. It’s still got either the original tubes or new old stock replacements. The speaker is original and sounds strong. A three prong power cable has been installed for safety and the death cap removed. The filter capacitors were replaced at the same time along with a few resistors that had drifted out of spec. The original back panel had been lost to time so a matching replacement was cut out of press board similar to the original.
The Silvertone 1342 is a rare bird with unique styling and tone. It’s one of those pieces that can inspire just by passing by and catching a glance. The tone too is unique in its thick cleans and early drive. While the catalog may describe it for “large auditorium use”, it’s actually best at home in a studio or private collection.