Rickenbacker International Corporation, also known as Rickenbacker (pronounced /ˌrɪkənˈbækɚ/) ), is an electric guitar manufacturer, notable for putting the world's first electric guitars into general production in 1932. . All production takes place at its headquarters in Santa Ana, California. Founded in 1869 Santa Ana ( is the most populous city in Orange County California and is the County seat and a city of about 353184 people. Rickenbacker is the largest guitar company to manufacture all of their guitars within the United States.
The company was founded as the curiously-named Ro-Pat-In Corporation by Adolph Rickenbacher and George Beauchamp in 1931 to sell electric "Hawaiian" guitars which had been designed by Beauchamp, helped by his fellow employees at the National String Instruments Corporation, Paul Barth and Harry Watson . George D Beauchamp (1899 &ndash 1941 inventor of musical instruments and co-founder of National Stringed Instrument Corporation and Rickenbacker. Year 1931 ( MCMXXXI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Paul C Barth ( 1858 - August 21 1907) was Mayor of Louisville Kentucky from 1905 to 1907 Harry Watson may refer to Harry Watson (ice hockey b 1898 - amateur ice hockey player from the 1920s For these guitars, they ultimately chose the brand name Rickenbacher (later changed to Rickenbacker), though early examples tend to have an Electro brandname on the headstock .
These instruments, nicknamed "frying pans" due to their long necks and circular bodies, are the first solid-bodied electric guitars, though they were not standard guitars, but a lap-steel type. The "Frying Pan" was the first Electric guitar ever produced A solid body electric instrument is a String instrument such as a guitar, bass or Violin built without its normal Sound box and relying An electric guitar is a type of Guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into an electrical current which is made louder The guitar is a Musical instrument with ancient roots that is used in a wide variety of musical styles The lap steel guitar is a type of Steel guitar, from which other types developed They had huge pickups with a pair of horseshoe magnets that arched over the top of the strings. By the time production ceased in 1939, several thousand frying pans had been produced.
Right from the start, Electro String also sold amplifiers to go along with their electric guitars. A Los Angeles radio manufacturer, Mr. Van Nest, designed the first Electro String production-model amp. Shortly thereafter, design engineer Ralph Robertson was hired to further develop the amplifiers and by the 1940s at least four different Rickenbacker amplifier models were made available. James B. Lansing of the Lansing Manufacturing Company designed the speaker in the Rickenbacker professional model. During the early 1940s, Rickenbacker amps were sometimes repaired by fellow Californian Leo Fender, whose repair shop soon evolved into the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company. Clarence Leonidas Fender ( August 10, 1909 - March 21, 1991) also known as Leo Fender, was an American inventor who Fender Musical Instruments Corporation of Quincy Illinois is a manufacturer of stringed instruments such as solid-body Electric guitars including the
The origins of today's Rickenbacker Guitar Corporation begin with two men: George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacher. George D Beauchamp (1899 &ndash 1941 inventor of musical instruments and co-founder of National Stringed Instrument Corporation and Rickenbacker.
George Beauchamp was a vaudeville performer, violinist, and steel guitarist who, like most of his fellow acoustic guitarists in the pre-electric-guitar days of the 1920s, was searching for a way to make his instrument cut through an orchestra. He first conceived of a guitar fitted with a phonograph-like amplifying horn, and approached inventor and violin-maker John Dopyera to create a prototype which proved to be, by all accounts, a failure. John Dopyera (born Ján Dopjera) (1893-1988 was a Slovak - American Inventor and Entrepreneur, and Their next collaboration involved experiments with mounting three conical-shaped aluminum resonators into the body of the guitar beneath the bridge. These efforts produced an instrument which so pleased Beauchamp that he told Dopyera that they should go into business to manufacture them. After further refinements, Dopyera applied for a patent on the so-called tri-cone guitar on April 9, 1927. Thereafter, Dopyera and his brothers began to make the tri-cone guitars in their Los Angeles shop, calling the new guitars "Nationals". On January 26, 1928 the National String Instrument Corporation was certified and, with its new factory located near a metal-stamping shop owned by Adolph Rickenbacher and staffed by some of the most experienced and competent craftsmen available, began to produce Spanish and Hawaiian style tri-cone guitars as well as four string tenor guitars, mandolins, and ukuleles . The tenor guitar is a slightly smaller four-string version of the steel-string acoustic guitar or Electric guitar. A mandolin is a musical instrument in the Lute family (plucked or strummed The ukulele (ˌjʉːkəˈlɛɪli from ʻukulele /ˌʔukuˈlele/ variantly spelled ukelele (particularly in the UK) or alternatively abbreviated uke
Adolph Rickenbacher was born in Switzerland in 1892 and emigrated to the United States with relatives after the death of his parents. Sometime after moving to Los Angeles in 1918 Adolph changed his surname to "Rickenbacker". This was done probably in order to avoid German connotations in light of the recently concluded First World War as well as to capitalize on Adolph's distant relation to World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy Aircraft during aerial combat Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (October 8 1890 &ndash July 27 1973 was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient In 1925, Adolph Rickenbacker and two partners formed the Rickenbacker Manufacturing Company and incorporated it in 1927. By the time he met George Beauchamp and began manufacturing metal bodies for the "Nationals" being produced by the National String Instruments Corporation, Rickenbacker was a highly-skilled production engineer and machinist. Adolph soon became a shareholder in National and, with the assistance of his Rickenbacker Manufacturing Company, National was able to boost production to as many as fifty guitars a day .
Unfortunately, National's line of instruments was not well diversified and, as demand for the expensive and hard-to-manufacture tri-cone guitars began to slip, the company realized that it would need to produce instruments with a lower production cost if it was going to succeed against rival manufacturers. Dissatisfaction with what John Dopyera felt was mismanagement led him to resign from National in January 1929, and he subsequently formed the Dobro Manufacturing Corporation, later called Dobro Corporation, Ltd, and began to manufacture his own line of resonator-equipped instruments (dobros). Dobro is a Trade name now owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation and used for a particular design of Resonator guitar. Patent infringement disagreements between National and Dobro led to a lawsuit in 1929 with Dobro suing National for $2,000,000 in damages. Problems within National's management as well as pressure from the deepening Great Depression led to a production slowdown at National, and this ultimately resulted in part of the company's fractured management structure organizing support for George beauchamp's newest project: the development of a fully electric guitar .
By the late twenties, the idea for electrified string instruments had been around for some time, and experimental banjo, violin and guitar pickups had been developed. George Beauchamp had himself been experimenting with electric amplification as early as 1925, but his early efforts involving microphones did not produce the effects he desired. Along the way Beauchamp also built a one-string test guitar made out of a 2X4 piece of lumber and an electric phonograph pickup. As the problems at National became more apparent, Beauchamp's home experiments took on a more rigorous shape, and he began to attend night classes in electronics as well as collaborating with fellow National employee Paul Barth . Paul C Barth ( 1858 - August 21 1907) was Mayor of Louisville Kentucky from 1905 to 1907 When the prototype electric pickup they were developing finally worked to his satisfaction, Beauchamp asked former National shop craftsman Harry Watson to make a wooden neck and body to which the electronics could be attached. It was nicknamed the frying pan because of its shape, though Adolph Rickenbacker liked to call it the pancake . The final design Beauchamp and Barth developed was an electric pickup consisting of a pair of horseshoe-shaped magnets that enclosed the pickup coil and completely surrounded the strings .
At the end of 1931, Beauchamp, Barth, Rickenbacker and with several other individuals banded together and formed the Ro-Pat-In Corporation in order to manufacture and distribute the newly-developed Frying Pan lap-steel electric guitars. In the summer of 1932, Ro-Pat-In began to manufacture cast aluminum production versions of the Frying Pan, and these instruments were the first electric guitars placed into general production. Not only that, but Ro-Pat-In was the first company in the world specifically created to manufacture electric instruments. In 1934, the Ro-Pat-In company name was changed to the more conventional Electro String Instrument Corporation. In 1935, owing to the fact that the original aluminum Frying Pans were susceptible to tuning problems from the expansion of the metal under hot performing lights, Electro began to manufacture Frying Pans from Bakelite, an early synthetic plastic . Bakelite (ˈbеɪkɨlaɪt is a material based on the thermosetting Phenol formaldehyde resin polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride developed in 1907–1909 by
Rickenbacker continued to specialize in steel guitars well into the 1950s, but with the rock and roll boom they shifted towards producing standard guitars, both acoustic and electric. The 1950s Decade refers to the years of 1950 to 1959 inclusive Rock and roll (also known as rock 'n' roll) is a form of Music that evolved in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s with roots in mostly African In 1956, Rickenbacker introduced two instruments with the "neck through body" construction that was to become a standard feature of the company's products — the Combo 400 guitar and the model 4000 bass. Neck-through or neck-thru (or in full form neck through body) is a method of Electric guitar or Bass guitar construction that involves extending
In 1958, Rickenbacker introduced its "Capri" series, including the double-cutaway semi-acoustic guitars which would become the famous Rickenbacker 300 Series. The Rickenbacker 300 series is a series of Semi-acoustic guitars manufactured by the Rickenbacker Company In 1963 Rickenbacker developed an electric twelve-string guitar with an innovative headstock design that enabled all twelve machine heads to be fitted onto a standard-length headstock by alternately mounting pairs of machine heads at right-angles to the other. Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. A machine head, also called a tuner, gear head, or tuning machine, is part of a string instrument ranging from guitars to double basses a geared apparatus The first prototype of this 12 string electric guitar (originally produced as a "show and tell item" only) was ultimately sold by then Rickenbacker CEO/Owner F. C. Hall to Suzi Arden, a Las Vegas country and western music entertainer, in 1963. The second electric 12 string prototype, which was somewhat different, was given by F. C. Hall to Beatle George Harrison in February 1964.
During the 1960s, Rickenbacker would enjoy an incredible endorsement when a couple of Rickenbacker models became permanently intertwined with the sound and look of the most popular band of the 1960s and arguably the most influential band of the 20th century: The Beatles. The Beatles were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1960
In Hamburg 1960, then-unknown John Lennon bought a 325 Capri, which he used throughout the early days of The Beatles. Hamburg (English, German: ˈhambʊɐk local pronunciation Low German / Low Saxon: Hamborg) is the second-largest city in Germany John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (born He eventually had the guitar's natural alder body refinished in black (a color later to be officially known as 'Jetglo' by Rickenbacker), and made other modifications. In its Beatles era final modified form, Lennon played this guitar during The Beatles' famous 1964 debut and third appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television Variety show that ran from June 20, 1948 to June 6, (This has led to much confusion over the years, since the first and third Beatles headlining shows on The Ed Sullivan Show, were taped to time on the same day with different live studio audiences). During Lennon's post-Beatles years in NYC, this very same Rickenbacker 325 guitar was "refurbished" somewhat, with its black paint stripped, stained in a "honey colored" tinted finish and the gold pickguard replaced with a white plastic one.
A brand new one-off custom second 325 model was created just for Lennon and shipped to him while The Beatles were in Miami Beach, Florida, on the same 1964 visit to the US. Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the He used this newer model on The Beatles' sequentially "second" appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show which was broadcast live for the east coast and simultaneously taped to time for same-day broadcast to the other US time zones.
Lennon accidentally dropped the second 325 model during a 1964 Christmas show, breaking the headstock which made the instrument go hopelessly out of tune every time he played it. While it was being repaired, Rose Morris, the official UK importer of Rickenbacker at the time, gave Lennon an export version of the 325 called the 1996. (This 1996 was later given by Lennon to fellow Beatle and friend, Ringo Starr. Ringo Starr, MBE (born Richard Starkey on 7 July 1940 is an English Musician, Singer, Songwriter and Actor Fear that the guitar had been destroyed in a 1979 fire at Starr's Los Angeles home was laid to rest in 2005, when Starr and his lead guitarist used it on a recording. Ringo owns this Lennon RM 1996 Rickenbacker guitar to this day. )
In 1963, George Harrison of The Beatles bought a 425. George Harrison, MBE (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001 was an English rock Guitarist Singer - Songwriter, Author In February of 1964, while in New York City, F. The City of New York C. Hall of Rickenbacker gave Harrison the second prototype model OS 360/12 FG electric 12-string Rickenbacker ever made. This instrument became a key part of the Beatles' sound on A Hard Day's Night and other Beatles songs through late 1964, and was played by Harrison throughout his life. A Hard Day's Night is the third album by The Beatles, released in the UK on 10 July 1964 as the Soundtrack to their first
In August 1965, during a Beatles concert tour, a Minnesota radio station presented Harrison with a second model 360/12 FG "New Style" 12-string electric guitar, which he toured and recorded with until it was stolen after The Beatles' last public concert at Candlestick Park in 1966. Minnesota ( Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers Candlestick Park (also commonly referred to as Candlestick or The Stick) is an outdoor sports and entertainment stadium located in San Francisco California
Though some say the 12-string 360/12 Ric series may be challenging to fret cleanly (the 12 strings are on a conventional width six-string neck) the guitar remains extremely popular because it is still the only way to get the true "12 string Ric" sound, one of rock music's most distinctive sounds since 1964.
After the Beatles 1965 summer tour, Paul McCartney frequently used a left-handed 1964 4001S FG Rickenbacker bass since its tone was better suited to recording than the lightweight Hofner basses he had used previously. Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942 is an English rock Singer, Bass guitarist songwriter Composer, The instrument became popular with other bassists influenced by his highly melodic style, as it produces a clear tone even when played high up the neck, its deep cutaways allowing easy access to the higher frets. McCartney predominantly used a Rickenbacker bass until the late 1970s during his time with Wings. (He has used varied other basses live and in studio since then, including a return to the use of a Hofner from his Beatle years. Karl Höfner GmbH & Co KG is a German Manufacturer of Musical instruments with one division that manufactures Guitars and basses, and another )
Perhaps at least partially due to the Beatles' popularity and their persistent use of the brand, Rickenbackers were quickly adopted by many other 1960s notables, including Mike Pender of The Searchers, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, Pete Townshend of The Who, Pete Watson of The Action, Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, Jerry McGeorge of the Shadows of Knight, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Al Nichol of The Turtles and Steppenwolf. Mike Pender was born on March 3, 1942 in Kirkdale, Liverpool and was an original founding member of Merseybeat group (part of The Searchers are a British rock band who emerged as part of the 1960s Merseybeat scene along with The Beatles, The Swinging James Roger McGuinn (known professionally as Roger McGuinn, previously as Jim McGuinn, and born James Joseph McGuinn III on July 13, The Byrds were a popular American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964 Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969 was a founding member and Guitarist of the English Rock group The Rolling Stones. Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born 19 May 1945 in Chiswick, London) is an English rock Guitarist, Singer, The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend The Action were an English band of the 1960s They were part of the mod Subculture, and played Soul music -influenced Pop music Carl Dean Wilson ( December 21, 1946 – February 6, 1998) was an American Rock and roll Singer and Guitarist The Beach Boys is an American rock band Formed in 1961 the group gained popularity for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California Youth culture Jerry McGeorge (born October 22 1945 in Cincinnati, Ohio) came to prominence in late 1965 as a Guitarist with the Chicago rock band The Shadows of Knight' are an American rock band from the Chicago Suburbs formed in the 1960s who play a form of Paul Lorin Kantner (born 17 March 1941 in San Francisco, California) is an American Rock musician, most noted for Jefferson Airplane was an American rock band from San Francisco, a pioneer of the Psychedelic rock movement John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American rock singer Songwriter, and Guitarist, best known for his Creedence Clearwater Revival (often abbreviated CCR) was an American Rock and roll band who gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s with The Turtles are an American pop and Folk rock band which produced at least a dozen memorable radio-friendly chart singles but remain best known for Steppenwolf is a rock band that helped establish Heavy metal music in the late 1960s along with bands like Blue Cheer and Iron Butterfly
As both the British invasion and the 1960s came to an end, Rickenbacker guitars fell somewhat out of fashion; however Rickenbacker basses remained highly in favor through the 1970s and on. Perhaps as an echo of the past, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Rickenbacker guitars experienced a renaissance as many New Wave and jangle pop groups began to use them, with notable users including Tom Petty, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Marty Willson-Piper of The Church, Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, Paul Weller of The Jam, punk funkster Rick James (as pictured on the "Street Songs" Album), and Johnny Marr of The Smiths. New Wave is a Rock music genre that existed during the late 1970s and the 1980s Jangle pop is a genre of Alternative rock from the mid-1980s that "marked a return to the chiming guitars and pop melodies of the '60s" bands such as The Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty (born October 20 1950 is an American singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist REM is an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by Michael Stipe ( lead vocals) Peter Buck ( Guitar Peter Lawrence Buck (born December 6, 1956 in Berkeley California) is the guitarist and co-founder along with Bill Berry, Mike Mills Marty Willson-Piper is a guitarist and member of Australian independent Rock band The Church. Susanna Lee Hoffs (born January 17, 1959) is an American Vocalist, Guitarist and Actress best known as a member of The Bangles are an American all-female band that originated in the early 1980s, scoring several hit singles through much of the decade The Jam were an English Mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s Rick James (born James Ambrose Johnson Jr) ( February 1 1948 &ndash August 6 2004) was an American musician Street Songs is a 1981 Rick James Concept album. Most of the songs on the record deal with Prostitution. Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is an English Guitarist, The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982
Rickenbacker guitars and basses continue to be very popular to this day with demand persistently and exponentially outstripping new factory supply. Demand is particularly high amongst retro groups who have been influenced by the sound and look of the 1960s.
Current Rickenbacker CEO/Owner John Hall (son of the late Francis C. Hall) remains adamant that these legendary and fabled instruments continue to be manufactured only in the USA under the most exacting quality control standards.
Many Rickenbackers — both guitars and basses — are equipped to be compatible with a "Ric-O-Sound" unit via an extra "stereo" output socket that allows the two pickups (or neck and middle pickup combined/bridge pickup, in the case of three pickup instruments) to be connected to different effects units or amplifiers. Stereophonic sound, commonly called stereo, is the reproduction of Sound, using two or more independent audio channels through a Symmetrical Another idiosyncrasy of Rickenbackers is the use of two truss rods (rather than the usual one) to correct twists, as well as curvature, in the neck.
Known for their distinctive jangle and chime, Rickenbacker guitars in general were equipped with lower-output "Toaster" pickups until they were phased out circa 1969-70. Hereafter, most Rickenbacker guitars were equipped with the newer design "Hi-Gain" pickups. In most cases, these pickups had twice the output of their illustrious predecessors. This change was almost certainly due to the trend toward the louder "Rock" sounds of the 1970s. Because of their tone, the guitars tended to be favoured by Jangle Pop, Power Pop and British Invasion-style groups. Jangle pop is a genre of Alternative rock from the mid-1980s that "marked a return to the chiming guitars and pop melodies of the '60s" bands such as The Power pop (or powerpop) is a popular Musical genre that draws its inspiration from 1960s British and American pop and Rock music. The British Invasion was the term applied by the news media — and subsequently by consumers — to the influx of Rock and roll, beat and pop performers However, in recent years, a diverse cross-section of artists have started to favour Rickenbacker guitars. In particular, the older "Toaster" pickup-equipped 12-string guitars have been associated with The Who, The Byrds and The Beatles among others. By 1979, Tom Petty and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers would adopt the Rickenbacker 12-string "toaster" jangle into their records and still use the vintage 1960's models. Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty (born October 20 1950 is an American singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael (Mike Wayne Campbell (born February 1 1950 in Panama City FL in the U The post-60's "Hi-gain" pickup-equipped guitars are associated with The Jam and REM. The "Hi-gain" pickups are well suited to harder spiky pop/rock sounds as well as the classic clean chime.
The 4000 series were the first Rickenbacker bass guitars, production beginning in 1954. The 4000 was followed by the very popular 4001 (in 1961), the 4002 (limited edition bass introduced in 1977, only 100 or so models were produced), the 4008 (an 8-string model introduced in the mid-1970s), the 4003 (in about 1980 and still in production in 2008), and most recently the 4004 series. There was also the 4005 which was a hollow-bodied bass guitar (discontinued in the 80's); it did not resemble any of the other 4000 series basses, but rather the new style 360-370 guitars. The 4001S (introduced 1964) was basically a 4001 but with no binding and dot fingerboard inlays. It was exported to England as the RM1999. However, Paul McCartney received the very first 4001S (and his was left-handed). Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942 is an English rock Singer, Bass guitarist songwriter Composer,
Rickenbacker basses have a distinctive tone. The 4000 bass has neck-through construction for more solid sustain due to more rigidity. The sustain at the bottom end is particularly striking, and by routing the two outputs from the stereo 'rick-o-sound' output, the lower, brighter pick up through a guitar rig and the bassier upper pick up through a bass setup, the classic Rickenbacker bass sound is produced. The 3000 series made from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s were cheaper instruments with bolt-on 21 fret necks.
Aside from McCartney, some of the earliest Rickenbacker bass users were John Entwistle of The Who, Peter Quaife of The Kinks, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. John Alec Entwistle ( October 9, 1944 – June 27, 2002) was an English Bass guitarist, Songwriter, Singer The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend Peter Alexander Greenlaw Quaife (born December 31, 1943) is an English Musician artist and writer The Kinks were an English pop and rock group formed in 1963 and categorised in the US as a British Invasion band George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943 in Great Bookham, Surrey) is an English rock musician Pink Floyd are Rickenbacker basses became a staple of 1970s hard rock and were featured on countless recordings of the decade. This article is about the Decade 1970-1979 For the Year 1970 see 1970. Hard rock (also referred to as heavy rock) is a variation of Rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage and Psychedelic rock A good example is Roger Glover, who used Rickenbacker basses on all of his early work with Deep Purple in the seventies. Roger David Glover (born November 30, 1945 in Brecon, Wales) is a Welsh / English Bassist, Keyboardist Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertfordshire in 1968 Another good example is Geddy Lee of Rush who used a 4001 bass from around 1975 to 1984, and was seen using a Ric bass again on Rush's 2007 tour. Geddy Lee OC (born Gary Lee Weinrib on July 29, 1953 in Willowdale Toronto) is a Canadian musician best known as the lead vocalist Lee also occasionally used a double-neck Ric instrument.
These instruments were also widely used among progressive rock bassists, like Yes's Chris Squire, Genesis' Mike Rutherford, Renaissance's Jon Camp, and Cobol Tongue's Rory Hinkel, among others. Progressive rock (often shortened to " progressive " " prog " or " prog rock " is a form of Rock music that evolved Yes are an English Progressive rock band that formed in London in 1968. Christopher Russell Edward "Chris" Squire (born March 4, 1948) is an English musician best known as the Bass guitarist and Genesis are an English rock band formed in 1967 With approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide Genesis are among the top 30 highest-selling recording artists Michael John Cleote Crawford Rutherford (born 2 October 1950 in Guildford, Surrey) is an English Musician. Renaissance were an English Progressive rock band most notable for their 1978 UK top 10 hit "Northern Lights" Another notable player was Rod Deas of rockabilly exponents Showaddywaddy. Showaddywaddy are a 1970s pop group from Leicester, England. They specialised in revivals of hit Songs from the 1950s
Rickenbacker basses were not as visible among the punk/new wave explosion of the late 1970s and early 1980s; however there were some notable users: Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols played a Rickenbacker during his tenure with the band, allegedly stolen, like all the Pistols' equipment, from David Bowie's band. Glen Matlock (born 27 August 1956 in West London, England) is a Bass guitarist most famous for being in the original lineup of the Punk rock The Sex Pistols are an English Punk rock band that formed in London in 1975 Lemmy Kilmister of Hawkwind and Motörhead has played a Rickenbacker his entire professional career. Lemmy (born Ian Fraser Kilmister, December 24 1945) also known as Lemmy Kilmister, Ian Willis or Lemmy von Motörhead Hawkwind are a British rock band, one of the earliest Space rock groups Cliff Burton of Metallica played a modified Rickenbacker 4001 bass early in his career in Metallica. Clifford Lee Burton (February 10 1962 &ndash September 27 1986 was a bass guitarist best known for his work with the American heavy metal band Metallica Metallica is an American heavy metal band that formed in 1981 in. Bruce Foxton of The Jam played a Rickenbacker 4001 through the group's first two albums (both released in 1977), in part because the band strived to emulate the "mod" look and sound of the 1960s and the Rickenbacker label had the ultimate mod pedigree thanks to Pete Townshend's use of Rickenbacker guitars. Bruce Foxton (born 1 September 1955, Woking, Surrey) is an English Rock and roll Musician who is best remembered The Jam were an English Mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s Also 1977 (album by Ash. Year 1977 ( MCMLXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born 19 May 1945 in Chiswick, London) is an English rock Guitarist, Singer, (The Jam's guitarist, Paul Weller, played Rickenbacker guitars throughout the group's existence. The Jam were an English Mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s Paul Weller (born John William Weller 25 May 1958 in Sheerwater near Woking, Surrey) is an English Singer-songwriter. ) Paul Simonon of The Clash used a black Rickenbacker that he received as a gift from Patti Smith, but later would switch to a Precision Bass. Paul Gustave Simonon (born 15 December 1955 is an English musician best known as the Bass guitarist for Punk rock band The Clash. For the debut album by The Clash see The Clash (album The Clash were Patricia Lee Smith ( born December 30 1946 is an American Singer-songwriter and poet Former Stone Roses bassist Gary "Mani" Mounfield used a Rickenbacker 4005 bass covered in Jackson Pollock-style drip paint during the band's peak period (1989–90). The Stone Roses were an English Alternative rock band formed in Manchester in 1984 Gary "Mani" Mounfield (born 16 November 1962 in Failsworth, Lancashire) is an English rock Bassist Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28 1912 &ndash August 11 1956 was an influential American painter and a major force in the abstract expressionist movement John Taylor of Duran Duran occasionally used a Rickenbacker around the time of the bands first album. John Taylor (born Nigel John Taylor on June 20, 1960 in Birmingham, England) is the Bass guitarist and co-founder Duran Duran are an English Pop rock band famous for a long series of popular singles, albums and vivid Music videos for which they've won two Jerry Only played a modified SB4001 in the early days of The Misfits, before switching to Rand (and later Gothic Customs) Annihilator basses. Jerry Only (born Gerald Caiafa on April 21 1959 in Lodi New Jersey) is the bassist and current Vocalist for the Horror punk The Misfits are an American Karl Alvarez of Descendents and All used a Rickenbacker Bass in 1985. This article is about the band For other uses see Descendant. All is a Fort Collins Colorado based Punk rock band formed by Descendents members Bill Stevenson, Karl Alvarez, and Stephen Brian Helicopter of The Shapes was also an early punk adopter of the 4001 bass in 1977, and still uses them to this day. Brian Helicopter is the Stage name of Gareth Holder (born 27 June, 1958, in Leamington Spa) an English musician based in the Paul D'Amour of early Tool fame Played a 4001CS Chris Squire signature. Paul D'Amour (born May 12, 1967 in Spokane Washington) was the original Bass guitarist for Tool. Tool is an American rock band that was formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California. Chris Ross of Wolfmother is known to use a mapleglow Rickenbacker 4001 bass in which he gets his distinctive fuzzy tone along with various pedal equipment. Chris Ross was made famous for his former role as bassist/keyboardist of Australian rock band Wolfmother. Even Kurt Cobain was said to have a lefty Rickenbacker 4001. Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20 1967 – c April 5 1994 was an American musician who served as lead singer, Guitarist, and songwriter for the Seattle
In recent times, many bass players have continued to play Rickenbackers. (see "Ric" players section below)
Rickenbacker has produced and/or sold a number of uniquely-designed and distinctively-trimmed acoustic guitars through the last half-century of its history. Beginning in about 1957, these ranged from flat top western-styled guitars like the models 385 and 390 (both built in the mid-1950s) to archtop jazz guitars like the modern model 760J "Jazzbo", notable for its hand-carved ("German-carved") top and back, in the tradition of luthiers from the southern German town of Mittenwald.
Although a small number of Rickenbacker-branded acoustic guitars were sold in the 1950s and were seen in the hands of stars like Ricky Nelson and Sam Cooke, the company concentrated on their electric guitar and western steel guitar business from the early 1960s through the electric guitar boom of the mid-1960s through early 1970s. From about 1959 through 1994, very few Rickenbacker acoustic guitars were made. In 1995, an effort was made once again to re-introduce acoustic instruments, with factory production beginning in the Santa Ana manufacturing facility in 1996.
Four models of flat top acoustic Rickenbackers were depicted in factory literature. These were built in "jumbo" body size and style, designated as Model 700, and "dreadnought" body style, designated as Model 730. Additionally, there were variations of wood, using rosewood and maple as back and side tonewoods, with all tops being fashioned of spruce. Rosewood jumbos were called "700S" (for "Shasta"); maple jumbos were "700C" (for "Comstock"). Rosewood dreadnoughts were called "730S" (for "Shiloh") and maple dreadnoughts were "730L" (for "Laramie, retaining the Western theme to the nomenclature). Each of these four models was also available in both six- and twelve-string configurations, yielding a range of eight distinct instruments.
The exquisite 760J "Jazzbo", though it was shown repeatedly in factory sales literature and displayed at trade shows, was only built as a prototype, with three examples known to exist.
Although the acoustic guitar line was built by hand by skilled luthiers in a dedicated area of the Rickenbacker factory, the line was painted in the same area as the electric instruments, being returned to the acoustic area for assembly, trimming, detailing, and setup. It is estimated that less than 500 Rickenbacker acoustic guitars were built before the factory shut down the acoustic department in mid-2006.
In the Fall of 2006, the license to build Rickenbacker acoustic guitars was granted to Paul Wilczynski, a luthier with a workshop in San Francisco, California. He continues to offer all eight models of the Rickenbacker flat top guitar line, with the distinction of each instrument being 100% handbuilt to the customer's order. These guitars are built to Rickenbacker standards and are identical to the factory-built guitars in nearly every detail; they are built from wood procured from Rickenbacker's own acoustic wood stock when the factory shut down production.
Rickenbacker manufactures three distinct pickups for their current standard models: Hi-gain, Vintage Single Coil Toaster Top, and Humbucking. A pickup device acts as a Transducer that captures mechanical vibrations (usually from suitably equipped Stringed instruments such as the Electric guitar All three pickup designs share the same footprint, allowing them to retrofit into most current or vintage models.
Most models come with single-coil Hi-gain pickups as standard equipment. Many post-British invasion Rickenbacker players such as Peter Buck, Paul Weller, and Johnny Marr have used instruments with these pickups. Peter Lawrence Buck (born December 6, 1956 in Berkeley California) is the guitarist and co-founder along with Bill Berry, Mike Mills Paul Weller (born John William Weller 25 May 1958 in Sheerwater near Woking, Surrey) is an English Singer-songwriter. Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is an English Guitarist, Rickenbacker's humbucker/dual coil pickup has a similar tone to a Gibson P-90 pickup, and comes standard on the Rickenbacker 650 C. A conventional humbucker (or Humbucking pickup) is a type of Electric guitar pickup that uses two coils both generating string signal The Gibson Guitar Corporation of Nashville Tennessee, USA is a manufacturer of acoustic and Electric guitars The company's most popular guitar The P-90 is a Single coil Electric guitar pickup produced by Gibson since 1946. The pickup itself is also available for purchase at Rickenbacker's online boutique. Vintage reissue models, and some signature models, come with Toaster Top pickups, which resemble a classic two-slotted chrome toaster. Despite their slightly lower output, "Toasters" produce a brighter, cleaner sound, and are generally seen as key to obtaining the true British Invasion guitar tone, as they were original equipment of the era. The British Invasion was the term applied by the news media — and subsequently by consumers — to the influx of Rock and roll, beat and pop performers
Within the Toasters, there are four subgroups based on impedance and time of release. The original pickups were used from approximately 1956 to 1968 (although 4001 models continued to use the Toaster for a neck pickup until around July of 1973). Later came the Vintage Reissue pickups of the mid-1980s and 90s; with approximately 12 kilo-ohms of resistance, they had a similar impedance and sound to the high-gains, and are seen by many to be strictly for aesthetic purposes. In the late 1990s, more accurate, scatterwound pickups were made, with about 7. 5 kilo-ohms of resistance, closer to the originals. The final group are found only on 325C58 models, and are designed to replicate the toasters of the 1950s, with about 5 kilo-ohms of resistance.
In addition to the standard pickups, some vintage reissue bass models are equipped with Horseshoe wrap-around style pickups, very similar to the pickups on the earliest Rickenbacker Frying Pan models.
Some of Rickenbacker's most popular models include the following:
Rickenbacker has produced many colors that are often unique to their company. The colors' names usually have official abbreviations such as 'JG' which stands for 'Jetglo' (black). Rickenbacker often produces a 'color of the year' which is only made available for a limited time. Many colors have been produced over the years though there are three that are perhaps the most well known due to their quite lengthy runs; 'Fireglo', the company's longest running color option, has been made available every year since 1958, with Jetglo and Mapleglo right behind, being made available every year since 1959. Since Rickenbackers are hand-sprayed, thus left to the judgment of the professional sprayer, shading can vary slightly from one guitar to the next. However, even the most extreme differences in shading are quite minimal.
|Color of the Year||2000s|
Non-standard, only available for 4004 Cheyenne II model:
Non-standard, only available for 650 series):