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Rickenbacker guitar dating
A friend of mine just bought an old Rickenbacher off of an old gentleman last week and he is trying to find out what year it was built and what it is worth.
As I have no knowledge concerning lap steels I thought I would check here for him.
My Rick had the serial number in the end of the tuning piece; stock or whatever it's called. I'm told when the strings go thro' the actual guitar body (not a chrome endplate) it is prewar. Early models had a little octagon shaped knob for the volume control; flat in shape. Note: I have posted similar information on this Forum before.This is my latest review on these instruments and while there still might be some "bugs", I think and hope it will help you identify better your instrument or any guitar you might consider for sale or purchase. The company was issued a patent on the pick-up in 1937.However, I do not guarantee the information below (don't you come sue me! They where the company's second steel guitar model after the legendary "A"-model (aka. A Standard guitar version was also issued but with much less success. The body was entirely made of the world's first plastic; Urea-Formaldehyde (aka.As on the "Fry-pan" they all featured an electromagnetic "Horse-shoe-magnet"-pick-up, invented not by Mr. "Bakelite"), black in color (much like the old telephones), a concept for which the company immediately filed and received a patent. This was the first electric solid body instrument with this feature ever (a feature they seem to have forgotten to file a patent for...Oooops).1 or 2 controls: If two, they're located on opposite plates, not both on the treble side plate.If one (volume), chances are the knob will be of an octagonal shape (first two years). Later and until August 10th 1937, the little tabs or "ears" on each side of the pick-up will bear a "PAT PEND.".Starting 1940 (second genreation, see below) both controls on the treble side. From 08/10/'37 on a patent number replaces the "PAT PEND." stamping.(While I think that the new pick-up it's still a very decent sounding one, I agree, it's not the real deal. However, I don't think that it's the size of the magnet plates that really made the difference but the much smaller winding of the bobbin and the "screw-on" bridge.)Probably in order to reduce the risk of body breakage, Rickenbacker also quit the string-thru attach design and introduced a plated metal tail piece (much like on semi-acoustic Jazz-guitars or Dobro's).Earliest models may have no mention of any US-patent of metallic parts. You have to understand that bakelite is a very hard and abrasive to machine material, requiring tool to be re-sharpened very, very often.Soon thereafter the logo changed to a "T"-shaped one, bearing the new spelling of the company RICKENBACKER, vertically.The word is, that the company wanted to set itself apart from it's "German" roots of the name (funny however is, that ol' Adolph Rickenbacher and Beauchamp were both of Swiss background...). But most interestingly, on it's last models, the company returned to the much preferred "string thru the body attach" approach.In the 1950's the logo changed again, to a vertically mounted and spelled arrow shaped logo. There have also been some brownish bakelite models made for a third party company.