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Thread: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

  1. #1

    Default maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

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    Blonde Archtop Tenor Guitar
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    no serial number, label or trace of prior badge
    f-holes, paint-stripe binding, MOTS pick guard (added later?)
    hard-V neck profile, thumb-wheel bridge, open gears
    overall length = 37.5”, lower bout = 14.25”, upper bout = 10”
    bent steel tailpiece, 23” scale
    strings: std. acoustic guitar, 4D-3G-2B-1E (personal preference)
    same head shape as Silvertone 57H661L <flat-top round hole 1964-1966
    same headstock shape as a similar Kay flat-top round-hole tenor

    your thoughts/comments, please (noob here)

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    The number you referenced (57H661L) is a Harmony model number. The body shape and headstock shape don't look like a Harmony guitar to me. I was buying these new in the 60's and this one doesn't seem right. There is some good Harmony tenor information here. Are there any numbers stamped inside the f holes? I think it's a Kay.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    I don't know anything about it, but I like it. How does it sound?
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

  4. #4
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I think it's a Kay.
    Me too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The number you referenced (57H661L) is a Harmony model number. The body shape and headstock shape don't look like a Harmony guitar to me. I was buying these new in the 60's and this one doesn't seem right. There is some good Harmony tenor information here. Are there any numbers stamped inside the f holes? I think it's a Kay.
    I found that Sears number here: http://www.silvertoneworld.net/acoustic/661/661.html
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    With an inspection mirror and good lighting, I searched all thru from the f-holes - even up to the butt of the neck. No letters or numbers anywhere. I don't find a blonde f-hole tenor in anyone's online collection or anywhere.

  6. #6
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by bbalsley View Post
    Having no markings is fairly common - and that link also suggests it was made for Silvertone by Kay.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    There was a Kay tenor that was blonde on Reverb. I find reference photos but the item is sold. Silvertone was a Sears brand. Although there was a connection to Harmony financially for a period of time, they also bought from other makers. They didn't manufacture anything.

    Kay must have added Harmony like model numbers at some point. I don't ever recall seeing a Kay with a model number that long but hey, I've been wrong before.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  9. #8
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Silvertone was a Sears brand. Although there was a connection to Harmony financially for a period of time, they also bought from other makers. They didn't manufacture anything.
    Silvertone mostly bought from Kay, Harmony and Danelectro.

  10. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    Sears owned Harmony for several years. They also bought from Oscar Schmidt in the early 1900's. I'm sure they bought from Regal as well. The Silvertone brand name was a late comer. By the time of the Folk Music Revival of the 60's they probably bought from everybody they could. Lots of guitars got sold in those years.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #10

    Default Re: maker/year? > vintage blonde archtop tenor

    Thanks, guys. I just found this flat-top tenor with a Kay badge.Click image for larger version. 

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    However, no blonde archtop shows up yet....

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