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alt.guitar.rickenbacker Frequently Asked Questions

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Archive-name: music/guitars/rickenbacker
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 2002/09/08
Version: 2.7
URL: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/music/guitars/rickenbacker/
Copyright: (c) 2002 Gerard Lanois
Maintainer: Gerard Lanois <gerardlanois@netscape.net>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
             Frequently Asked Questions For alt.guitar.rickenbacker
                            by Gerard Lanois
                               gerardlanois@netscape.net


Subject: 1. Introduction Welcome to alt.guitar.rickenbacker! This newsgroup is dedicated to the discussion of musical instruments manufactured by the Rickenbacker International Corporation. The purpose of this document is to present the answers to the most frequently asked questions on the newsgroup. Those who are new to Usenet newsgroups will want to pay a visit to the Usenet Information Center at http://sunsite.unc.edu/usenet-i/home.html Please send corrections, updates, and additions to the maintainer at gerardlanois@netscape.net The most recent version of this document can always be found at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/music/guitars/rickenbacker/
Subject: 1.1 Legal Disclaimers And, lastly, the lawyers asked me to state the following: This article is provided as-is without any expressed or implied warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, the author assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use or mis-use of the information contained herein. Any product or service mentioned in this document does not constitute any kind of recommendation or endorsement by the author. Should you decide to make use of any such product or service mentioned in this document you do so at your own risk. And while we're on the subject: This document, its associated web site, and its author are in no way affiliated with the Rickenbacker International Corporation. All trademarks mentioned in this document are property of their respective owners.
Subject: 1.2 Summary Of Changes For This Version 5.4 What kinds of strings work well with Rickenbacker guitars? UPDATED [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 08/27/2002]
Subject: 2. Table Of Contents 1. Introduction 1.1 Legal Disclaimers 1.2 Summary Of Changes For This Version 2. Table of Contents 3. A Brief History Of alt.guitar.rickenbacker 4. Jargon / Glossary, Miscellaneous Lore and Traditions 5. Frequently Asked Questions 5.1 How do I pronounce "Rickenbacker"? 5.2 What is Rick-o-Sound and how do I use it? 5.3 What are the neck widths of the various Rickenbacker models? 5.4 What kinds of strings work well with Rickenbacker guitars? What are Pyramid strings? Where can I buy them? 5.5 What are some suggestions on how to re-string my Rickenbacker 6-string or 12-string guitar? 5.6 How does the serial number system work? My guitar (or bass) has serial number XX-1234. What year was it made? 5.7 How can I get "The Sound" without owning a 370/12 RM? 5.8 How do I care for my Ric's finish? 5.9 Oil finishes too? 5.10 Will unwinding my vintage re-issue pickups make them sound better? What is the procedure? 5.11 What are the types of magnets used in the different kinds of pickups and their sonic characteristics? 5.12 What are the differences between a 4001 and a 4003 bass? 5.13 Where can I buy a Rickenbacker acoustic guitar? 5.14 Can I get a tour of the Rickenbacker factory? Is there a showroom where I can try/buy guitars? 5.15 Can I order a custom-made guitar/bass from Rickenbacker? Can I send my guitar/bass to Rickenbacker to have them customize it for me? 5.16 How can I rewire my 325 or 350 to make the 5th knob function as a volume knob for the middle pickup? 5.17 How can I reduce the hum my guitar/pickups are putting out? 5.18 How do I adjust the action/truss rods? 5.19 Which Rickenbacker did which Beatle use to record which song? 5.20 How is a model 330 different from a 360? 5.21 Why doesn't Rickenbacker manufacture (overseas) a budget range like Squier/Epiphone/DeArmond? 5.22 What string gauges does Peter Buck use? 5.23 I would like to buy a new truss rod cover. Why does Rickenbacker require me to trade in my old one? 5.24 Why don't modern Rickenbackers have the same inlays as they did back in the sixties? 5.25 Can I use a Schaller strap lock system with a Rickenbacker guitar? 5.26 What is the difference between Autumnglo and Walnut? 5.27 What is the relationship between Electro, Ryder, and Rickenbacker? 5.28 What gauge wire is used in Rickenbacker pickups? 5.29 What type of material is used for Rickenbacker pick guards? 5.30 What type of wood is used for Rickenbacker fret boards? 5.31 What is the dark wood used in the laminated maple necks of Rickenbacker guitars? 5.32 Where can I get the font for the Rickenbacker logo?
Subject: 3. A Brief History Of alt.guitar.rickenbacker These are not necessarily frequently asked questions, but serve to bring new and potential readers up to speed on the purpose of this newsgroup.
Subject: 3.1 When was this newsgroup created? Who created it? What is the charter? On 11/19/1997 Peter McCormack [mccorp@nbnet.nb.ca] posted his proposal to the the alt.config newsgroup. Here is a copy of Peter's original proposal: "I would like to propose a newsgroup for guitar enthusiasts interested exclusively in the History and Technical aspects pertaining to the Rickenbacker guitar, past and present. This would be different from the alt.guitar newsgroup as it would have a specialized interest in the Rickenbacker models and the Artists who play them. The first real electric guitars were Rickenbackers and as such there is a longstanding history. I believe that the readers of the alt.guitar newsgroup would grow weary of this topic and it is probably best to have a unique newgroup. This would also provide a forum that does not have to be monitored by a single individual, a most exhausting undertaking. Of course, the decision on this will be made by the readers. Please tell me what you think." On 11/25/1997, Peter posted this charter along with his newgroup control message: "Charter: The group is interested in the history of the rickenbacker guitar and bass, related technical aspects pertaining to the instruments and the sounds produced by artists using them. Justification of Readership: A substantial interest in the rickenbacker guitar has developed in the alt.guitar newsgroup, however, the narrow scope of the topic coupled with the increased high volume provides justification for a more specilaized group. A very fine web site called the rickenbacker project has generated ongoing interest, however, there is no interactive forum for its regular viewers. In summary, this newsgroup will provide a specialized forum for readers on more technical and historical matters that are not considered appropriate for alt.guitar." On 3/3/1998, Peter posted this review to news.groups.reviews: "Most people interested in Rock Music are familiar with The Beatles, The Byrds and Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Who as these groups shaped the lives of millions of enthusiastic Baby Boomers during the 1960's. But how many rock music enthusiasts know anything about the very fine Rickenbacker guitars that these musicians played. Well this is your opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn about how the classic jingle jangle of Mr. Tambourine Man and the mystery beginning and unique ending of A Hard Day's Night came about. You can expect to meet some of the friendliest and knowledgable Rickenbacker die hards on the planet with an insatiable desire to let those interested know all about their guitars and basses. The depth of historical and technical knowledge to be had in this newsgroup is truly amazing and interested readers can be expected to be introduced to such topics as: how to find a Rickenbacker guitar and bass; cost appraisals; the best way to ship an instrument around the world; who played what guitar when; and how to make modifications, adjustments and repairs. Of particular interest is the enthusiasm and participation of Mr. John Hall, the CEO of Rickenbacker International Corporation and Mr. Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. This group has brightened the day of many Rickenbacker fans since its creation on November 25, 1997. Regular readers have expressed concern about irrelevant and offensive posts and nobody welcomes spam at anytime. My view is that the benefits of this newsgroup far outweigh these difficulties and for a group that is only three months old a loyal following is evident. Being involved as a reader of this group is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had with respect to the internet. Special mention must be given to Evil Bob at the Rickenbacker Project, Eugene Calame at Texas net and Bob Bellof for it is their enthusiasm that sparked the creation of this group. Most of all what makes this group invaluable is the devotion of its readers who take the time to share their knowledge and hearts with others."
Subject: 3.3 What kinds of topics are appropriate for discussion? Anything to do with Rickenbacker, really. Some examples follow, both good and bad. Examples Of Appropriate Topics: - Anything manufactured by Rickenbacker International Corporation including guitars, basses, banjos, pedal steel guitars, amplifiers, and accessories. - Artists who use Rickenbackers, and the music they have recorded and/or performed using Rickenbacker equipment. In such cases you might consider to cross-posting to an artist-specific newsgroup, such as one of the ones given below (see Subject 6.1). - Rickenbacker equipment for sale, or trade, or wanted to buy. - Recent sightings of Rickenbacker instruments on television, movies, live performances, and printed media. - Models, colors, factory options, technical specifications. - Collecting - Maintaining, repairing, upgrading, ehancing. - Amplification, effects. - Questions on any of the above (but read this FAQ first). Examples Of Topics To Avoid: - Equipment other than Rickenbacker for sale. - "Yo dewds, Rickenbacker suxx, Fender/Gibson rulez" religious wars. - Binary files. This is considered bad netiquette. Please consider putting together a web page, or maybe contributing your pictures to one of the existing web pages (I'm sure the web masters would appreciate some new pictures).
Subject: 3.4 Is this group archived? Yes. See http://groups.google.com/ Follow the link "Groups Help" for detailed instructions on how to use this service. [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 6/1/2000] [David Fell, david@phaseshift.com, 05/26/2002]
Subject: 3.5 My ISP doesn't carry this group. How can I read it? Some ISPs won't add the group unless you ask them to. Other ISPs will wait for the newsgroup to show up at their site before adding it. [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 9/1/1998] Alternatively, you can use Google groups at alt.guitar.rickenbacker">http://groups.google.com/groups?group=alt.guitar.rickenbacker [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 05/26/2001]
Subject: 4. Jargon / Glossary, Miscellaneous Lore and Traditions Here are some terms and acronyms which you may find unique to this newsgroup. "OHSC" - Original Hard Shell Case. "Toaster Top" - The original style chrome pickup covers resemble miniature chrome toasters (as viewed from above). The vintage re-issue models have replicas of these types of pickups. "RM" - shorthand for the holy grail of Rickenbacker guitars - the Roger McGuinn Limited Edition model 370/12RM. "The Guitar" - George Harrison's model 360/12. "The Sound" - Refers to the unique tonal characteristics of Rickenbacker guitars and basses. "8MH" - shorthand notation for "Eight Miles High". "MTM" - shorthand notation for "Mister Tambourine Man". "NAMM" - "National Association of Music Merchants", this is the big music industry association, they have a big convention once a year (in January), plus a summer show (in July). "CW" - The Carl Wilson Limited Edition Guitar. See http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/360cw.htm "GC" = "Guitar Center", a large chain music store.
Subject: 5. Frequently Asked Questions
Subject: 5.1 How do I pronounce "Rickenbacker"? It is Ricken-BACK-er, by the choice of Adolph Rickenbacker. [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 3/3/1998]
Subject: 5.2 What is Rick-O-Sound and how do I use it? Some Rickenbacker models include a 1/4" stereo output jack which separates the signals coming from each of the pickups. In the case of three-pickup guitars, the stock wiring circuit combines the neck and middle pickups onto one channel, and the bridge pickup is on the other channel. There are three ways to use it: 1. The official Rick-O-Sound adapter 2. A stereo Y-splitter available from Radio Shack 3. Use a stereo guitar cord (you may have to build one yourself) This allows you to use different amplifiers, effects, and/or equalization on each channel resulting in some very interesting possibilities to create new sounds with your instrument. [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 8/31/1998] See the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual section on Rick-O-Sound, http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/ros.htm [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999] "I finally had a chance to try out the Horizon "insert" cable I purchased from Musician's Friend. This is a 10' 3-conductor cable with a 1/4" stereo male plug on one end at two 1/4" mono male plugs on the other end. In terms of noise and signal quality, I think it worked very well. I'm not impressed with the strain-relief on the plugs - they used fairly cheesy crimping style plugs. So, I'd bless it for the home studio, but I wouldn't trust it to gig with regularly, and I certainly wouldn't dare go out on the road with it. In case you want to try this yourself, the Horizon part number is "HYS-P-10" for the 10ft version (they make a 3ft and 6ft version as well). This type of cable is usually employed in a PA effects loop, but I'd always wanted to try it with a guitar. Until now I couldn't find one with 1/4" male mono plugs. I got mine from Musician's Friend (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/). Their stock number is "336120 154 01". They charged $19.95. I did find the 10ft length a little short for my liking; I usually prefer a 20ft cord (so I can jump around like the wildman that I am)." [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 7/24/1999]
Subject: 5.3 What are the neck widths of the various Rickenbacker models? The exact neck widths for each model currently in production (basses too) are included in the specifications for each model on the Rickenbacker web site, http://www.rickenbacker.com/ Most Rickenbacker guitars in production today come with a neck that is 1 5/8" wide at the nut, and 1 15/16" at the 12th fret. But there are also some Rickenbackers guitars in production which have a wider neck, measuring 1 3/4" at the nut and 2 1/16" at the 12th fret. If you're looking for a guitar with a wider neck, here is what John Hall has to say: "The Tom Petty Limited Edition, the 380L Laguna, and the 650 Series all have the same wider neck, essentially the same as a Les Paul (although we chose to have a different shape). But we also announced two new models to our dealers on Decmber 24th [1997]. . . the Model 660 six stringer and the Model 660/12 twelve stringer, which all have this wider profile neck. These are now in standard production and pretty well gives everyone a choice of their favorite neck width in the Rickenbacker line." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 12/26/1998]
Subject: 5.4 What kinds of strings work well with Rickenbacker guitars? What are Pyramid strings? Where can I buy them? More and more Rickenbacker players are singing the praises of flat wound strings: "Pyramid flatwound strings are distributed by Vintage String Distributors, http://www.pyramidstrings.com/ and are available either directly from Vintage String Distributors or from selected Pyramid String Dealers in the USA. The Pyramid 12 string set is approx. the same gauges (.010-.0465) as the old Rick/Maxima # 483 flat wound 12 string set as well as being pure nickel." [info@pyramidstrings.com 9/5/1998] "Tomastik-Infeld flatwound strings are available from John M. Connoly & Co. Inc. 24 Vernon Valley Road East Northport, NY 11731 516-757-0110" [rick12dr@aol.com 9/5/1998] "The best [...] flatwounds for 12-string come from Pyramid [...] The strings are expensive but well worth the $35 or so you will spend, as they last a very long time, and the tone is the right one. GHS also will put together a custom set of flats, and I have discussed it with a rep at Thomastik-Infeld, but don't even ask how much THEY were! GHS really don't do it for me, as their flats are just not nearly as smooth. The company that should make 12-string flats is D'Addario, whose High Finish Ribbon Wound flats are EXCELLENT for the money ($10 or less for a 6-string set)." [Bob Belloff, BobKat2@worldnet.att.net, 1/6/1998] John Hall had this to say about the effect string choice has on the intonation of twelve-string guitars which have a six-saddle bridge. Even if you have a six-string guitar, you'll find his observations about the uniformity of diameter of strings fascinating: "There are actually only a very few string factories producing guitar strings in this country, and all the rest of the brands . . . including some of the really well known brands . . . are done as private label production. Certainly we do the same thing; it's a very specialized business and we certainly know more about making guitars then we do about making strings. The base problem is that the strings coming out of these very few factories are simply not created equally. There's one very prolific producer out there that simply makes a very poor quality product, and at times, strings from this factory end up marketed as expensive, quality brands. On the other hand, the identical strings also appear as bargain brands, just as some truly good strings do too. I am specifically referring to uniformity of diameter, as this is where almost all intonation error originates. If you have a guitar that doesn't want to intonate but is otherwise in good adjustment, and you have a micrometer available to you, measure the diameter up and down the string. I virtually guarantee that you'll find significant manufacturing variation over the length of the string. Basic physics tells you that it will be utterly impossible to adjust this out, no matter whether you have a 6 or 12 saddle bridge. Again I'll say it: if you use a quality . . . uniformly gauged . . . string set on a twelve-stringer, you will have no difficulty whatsoever intonating the guitar using a 6 saddle bridge." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 8/29/1998] See the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual section on strings, http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/strings1.htm [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999] "Think about this for a second. Surely everyone knows that the pitch of a string vibrating is directly proportional to the tension and the mass of the string. Imagine that your string is just slightly oversize but say only between the 5th and 6th fret. You tune your string to an open note which is the entire string vibrating. Now you set the intonation when fretting out at the 12th fret, and that's supposed to be an octave higher since the mass is exactly one half. (The tension stays the same, neglecting fretting imprecision.) But in fact there's less than half the open string mass because more is centered back there between the 5th and 6th fret. Now it gets worse. You play notes on the 5th fret and below and that extra erroneous mass is still in there affecting the pitch. Play on the 6th fret and above, and it all goes away. Inconsistent strings won't intonate no matter how many saddles you have. Laws of physics. Period." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 8/27/2002]
Subject: 5.5 What are some suggestions on how to re-string my Rickenbacker 6-string or 12-string guitar? "The problem is the "R" tailpiece which relies on the tension of the strings to hold it in place. It has to be doen carefully, no more than 2 strings at a time or the tailpiece starts sliding around." [RV, rvwrlee@aol.com, 3/20/1998] A popular approach is to change only one string at a time, with the following benefits: a. It maintains tension on the neck. [Bob Belloff, BobKat2@worldnet.att.net, 3/20/1998] b. So you don't forget which string goes to which peg. [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 9/3/1998] If you need to replace your strings after having removed them all (perhaps for repair or cleaning purposes) you can use this technique (which also applies to 6 string models as well): "When I string a 12, I do the 12th string and the 1st string first, to keep the tailpiece in place." [Bob Belloff, BobKat2@worldnet.att.net] "Before and while you restring, take that empty string envelope and slide it under the strings behind the bridge and under the tailpiece--this helps prevent the ball ends from scratching the surface of the guitar. Try it !!!" [RICK12DR, rick12dr@aol.com, 3/20/1998] "Stick a little piece of scotch tape to the ball end. Pull the ball into the R tailpiece with the sticky side up, so it holds the ball in the groove in the R tailpiece long enough to get tension on it. It pulls loose easily once the tension is on the string." [John Sessoms, jsessoms@pagesz.net, 3/20/1998] If you are fortunate enough to own a 360/12v64, you may find it easier to use a 12-hole tailpiece. "RICK12DR" sells a custom 12-hole trapeze tailpiece to replace the stock 6-hole tailpiece. Contact rick12dr@aol.com for more info. [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 9/5/1998] "I like using a Zap-It, which essentially is a string winder that fits on a cordless screwdriver. That way it's very easy to wind the strings with your left hand while holding the string at tension with your right hand. Besides the cordless screwdriver gives a very even rotation of the tuner." [Dave Deckman, davedeck@ix.netcom.com, 10/14/1998] "Here's how I do it (for a 12-string): 1. take all strings off 2. put strings in all the recessed pegs first a. put 3rd and 4th strings on first (d and g) They are highest on the head stock. This keeps things clear for the lower sets on the head stock. b. cut string about 2 - 2 1/2" longer than the post c. position post hole so that you are pushings string thru downward towards the body. d. w/needle nosed pliers, pull about 1/2" or less of string thru. e. wind so the coil goes to the outside of the headstock (the low and high e's may try to bind on the head stock name plate otherwise) f. do the next two lower strings on head stock, i.e. a and b. g. do the high and low e's next. 3. put remaining strings on the upright posts. This keeps things pretty clutter free. Changing strings on my 620-12 is a study in Houdini-like contortion. I keep the body braced against my left thigh and foot and wrap my right leg around it to keep the body still. I use my left hand to keep the sting ball in place until I can make tension w/my right hand, using my index finger to hold the string away from the head stock. Then I use a manual winder w/my left hand. Simple, ain't it?" [Bruce Terrell, bterrell@ocean.nos.noaa.gov, 1/16/1999] "I use a Kyser (quick release) capo to maintain tension, while changing one string at a time on my 360/6. Works well." [laker@cwia.com, 1/20/1999] I realize this isn't practical for most of you, but I'll relate how we string these in the factory. It might stimulate some creative thinking! On a padded table, we lay down the tailpiece face down and insert the ends of the strings into the fingers of the tailpiece, spreading out the strings lengthwise. We then put a piece of masking tape over the back of the tailpiece, holding all the ball ends in place. Now the tailpiece is placed on the guitar's bracket, while the highest and lowest E strings are tightened up a bit. Using a Zap-It tool inserted in a common electric screwdriver, all the strings are brought up to rough pitch. The tape is removed before the guitar gets a fine tuning. Takes five minutes, tops. As I said, it's not practical outside the shop. We've always recommended that you only change one or two strings at a time. While it does have the side effect of keeping the tailpiece and bridge in position, this advice really was related to keeping the neck under tension, to avoid truss rod slippage and/or "rubber neck" syndrome. However, my opinion is that models made since 1984 with the new truss rod system are probably not going to be adversely affected much by changing strings this way and it certainly does make it much easier to clean the fingerboard as well. [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 09/17/2001]
Subject: 5.6 How does the serial number system work? My guitar (or bass) has serial number XX-1234. What year was it made? This system is given on Mike Parks' web page: http://www.the-music-connection.com/ricinfo.htm#ser [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999] You can use the official Rickenbacker serial number decoder on the web. You type in your serial number, and it spits back the year and month of manufacture: http://rickenbacker.com/cgi-bin/sn.cgi [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 9/1/1998]
Subject: 5.7 How can I get "The Sound" without owning a 370/12 RM? "I think an external compressor is a better solution anyway. It gives you more options. I have a DBX MC6 Mini-Comp that allows me to adjust the Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release, and Output Gain individually, select a hard or "soft" compression knee, or use auto programmed presets (vocal or instrument); and I'm not limited to having it on just one guitar." [John Sessoms, jsessoms@pagesz.net, 5/22/1998] "I'll vouch for Boss compressors, too, although I don't use the current CS-3. http://www.rolandus.com/products/MI/MIboss_CP-EQ.html#CS-3 http://www.harmony-central.com/Effects/Data/Boss/CS-3-01.html Some people still swear by the old MXR Dyna Comp, though. http://www.jimdunlop.com/mxr.html http://www.harmony-central.com/Effects/Data/MXR/Dyna-Comp-01.html http://www.soundbarrier.com/top10vin.htm Me, I've been using the old Boss CS-1 for eons. 60dBs compression with a treble-enhance mode switch. (Musta had the Byrds in mind when they designed it.)" [Tomcat, 813@SPAMBLOCKmlode.com, 5/21/1998]
Subject: 5.8 How do I care for my Ric's finish? "The factory cloth is the best for the finish but at some point, everyone will need something a little more aggressive. Pure Carnuba wax is the preferred polishing agent but some liquid auto polish, like Turtle Wax, diluted a bit with water can be used on a particularly dirty or scratched instrument. The cloth used should be very soft and should also be dampened a bit. You know you're doing it right when as you wipe you see little beads of moisture and it wipes clean just as the surface dries up. If the polish gets sticky, leaves a film, or turns powdery, then it's not quite dilute enough or the cloth is too dry. But done right, the surface will be smooth as a mirror, with no haze or swirls. Whatever you do, try to avoid waxes with silicone. Silicone is used to disperse the wax evenly in a compound or on a cloth and doesn't harm the finish per se . . . but it goes right through the paint into the wood and makes it just about impossible to even refinish it." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 12/31/1997] "The wax I use all the time is Meguiar's liquid Carnauba. It goes on and comes off easily, is not really abrasive, but will remove small swirls, arm marks and imperfections, and leaves no residue. I use the wax, then go over with Martin Guitar Polish and an old terry washcloth. Nobody polishes their guitars more frequently than me, and I have used this method for years." [Bob Belloff, BobKat2@worldnet.att.net, 12/31/1997] See the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual section on Guitar Care and Finish Maintenance, http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/finish.htm [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999] "Car polishes with silicone may cause some problems for your guitar's finish, and make it really difficult to refinish! The polishes mentioned, Meguiar's (#7 & #9) and Novus #2, contain no silicone and both do a great job." [Bruce Hames, 9/13/1999, luthier43@aol.com] "You can the find nearest dealer/distributor or purchase from Novus Inc. at 800-548-6872. Novus #2 is about $6.95 an 8 oz bottle -- enough for a very very long time as it is used sparingly. Maybe 100 guitars worth." [Encapsulight, 9/13/1999, NoSPAM@Please.com]
Subject: 5.9 Oil finishes too? "Tung oil or even tung oil with a bit of polyurethane works great. You rub it in with 0000 steel wool until the scratches are gone and the surface burnishes, wipe off the excess and let it dry overnight. The result will be like glass, but with no drag on the neck like a high gloss finish. It's the most durable finish we make and almost every guitar I have in my studio these days has this finish." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 12/30/1998] See the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual section on Guitar Care and Finish Maintenance, http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/finish.htm [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999]
Subject: 5.10 Will unwinding my vintage re-issue pickups make them sound better? What is the procedure? You might like the difference it makes, but Rickenbacker put quite a bit of effort into into the design of these pickups. Here's what John Hall has to say about it: "The modern reissues measure about 11.2K with a lab grade ohmmeter. As I said before, you'll find genuine vintage pickups which have a variety of specs . . . sometimes as high as 16K and as low as 7K ohms DC resistance. The modern one is indeed a compromise between output and a particular type of sound, but not any greater of a compromise than many of the original, unspecified or less-than-consistent units. During the vintage pickup "redesign" phase, we tested close to 100 pickups from a variety of parameters and the current product is essentially an average or composite of all these units. But beyond this, we even looked through all of our old production and purchasing records to make sure we are using materials of the genuine specs. I can tell you that again that nothing other than #44 wire has been purchased, although several different insulation materials and other wire coatings have been used through the years." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 7/10/1998] Here is the unwinding procedure, as given by Ted Breaux: Ric Pickup Unwinding Procedure Materials Needed: small soldering iron electrical tape small flat-head screwdriver Phillips-head scredriver Ohmmeter 2-hours and maybe a beer towel cigarette lighter 1) Lay the instrument on a soft, supportive surface, and loosen strings. Remove small bidge cover plate so that strings can be moved to side of bidge. 2) Using the Phillps screwdriver, remove the top pickguard section, being careful not to lose the small rubber grommets which are under the screws. 3) Carefully unscrew the center screw on each side of the bridge pickup. When these become loose, carefully remove the small rubber grommets under the corner pickup screws. If one of these falls into the 'f'-hole, you'll be lucky to get it back. 4) Carefully pull the pickup away from the body of the guitar. Cupping the pickup firmly in your hand, unscrew the corner pickup screws while holding the nuts on the bottom side. Remove all four screws and nuts. One screw holds the ground lug. Rest the backing plate on the guitar body. 5) Using the small flat-head screwdriver, pry the pickup body from the toaster cover. Carefully unwind the sticky electrical tape from the pickup windings. Stick this in a hanging position somewhere, as you will reuse it later. 6) On the bottom of the pickup body, you will see the magnet poles and two terminals. If you measure the resistance between the two terminals, the reading will likely be between 11.7-11.9k ohms. You will see the fine coil wire pass in a slot in the plastic bobbin near the outermost terminal. Don't worry about trying to unsolder it, just gently pull it from the terminal, and it will easily pop off. 7) Now, holding the pickup in one hand such that the face of the pickup is sideways, grip the little end of loose wire, and pull it away from the face. The first few times the wire will keep snapping off due to the glue, but soon, you'll be pulling a long, silky stream of wire off the pickup. Don't be bashful, you should be pulling off at least several windings per stroke of the hand. Make about 200-250 hand strokes, then break the wire. 8) Using the cigarette lighter, quickly burn the end of the wire. You'll see a little piece melt off, but the new end will be free of insulation. Carefully pinching the tiny end to one probe of your meter (with your finger), touch the inside terminal on the pickup with the other probe and measure the resistance. Make a mental note of this and continue unwinding. 9) When you reach about 7.5k, break the tiny wire such that you can carefully return it to its tiny channel near the edge terminal. Place the pickup upside down on a towel. Place the tiny wire against the solder bead on the terminal, and just touch the tiny wire against the terminal with the soldering iron until the solder melts around the wire. The hot tip of the soldering iron will melt the insulation off the tiny wire, so don't be too concerned about that. Trim off any excess wire to prevent a short due to a dangling end. Measure the resistance between the two terminals to verify a good connection. 10) Carefully rewrap the factory electrical tape around the coil, and follow with 2-3 turns of your electrical tape to compensate for the slightly smaller coil size. Verify the connection again with the meter. Press the pickup body back into the chrome top. It should fit snugly. Carefully remount the pickup to the guitar body. Plug the guitar into an amp and tap the pickup with a screwdriver to verify the connection. If all is well, repeat for the remaining pickup(s). When you go to play the guitar, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. You'll notice that it sounds virtually identical to the Ric guitars in the famous records from the 60s. [Ted A. Breaux, tabreaux@bellsouth.net, 7/8/1998]
Subject: 5.11 What are the types of magnets used in the different kinds of pickups? "The vintage reissue guitar pickups use cylindrical Alnico magnets... like the originals. The vintage reissue bass pickups use tungsten steel 'horseshoes' as polepieces... like the originals ... coupled to ceramic magnets (instead of the tungsten being magnetized like the originals). Our humbucking pickups use Samarium-Cobalt magnets. The modern guitar and bass pickups use "rubber" magnets . . . which are actually a zillion magnetic bits supported in a synthetic block. Each has unique properties for which they were selected to optimize performance in a given application." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 5/28/1998] "The principal difference is that the High gains have a single strong ceramic magnet on bottom that contacts 6 screws that are capped with buttons and the vintage reissue toasters have individual alnico pole piece/cylinders under each string in the bobbin wound with magnet wire--almost exactly the same as the original old ones(just the corners of the new bobbins inside are a different shape more 4 corners looking whereas the old ones were 1/2 round on each end ---but you wouldn't know if you did not take one apart. They do sound very much the same -- the high gains and the toasters of today, just slightly different!! The high gains being louder as you say. This is not so however when you compare 1950's & 1960's toasters to today's high gain pickups and reissue toaster pickups.---go figure?? The original toasters were brighter, clearer, and more HiFI/lower distortion and lower output compared to today's-----most of the middle 60's toaster pickup coils were 7,500-8,000 Ohms ---- the reissue toasters are 11,200 - 12,700 Ohms or thereabouts which makes them sound more like the standard high gains than like the original toasters. Late 50's and early 60's toasters were even brighter and lower output than the middle 60's toasters were usually being somewhere around 5,000 Ohms. The beauty of the reissue toaster is that the physical structure is the same and if you like, you can easily recreate/cause it to sound like any real 50's or 60's toaster pickups sound/makeup by simply having the coil/bobbin rewound to the same value with the same wire as the original you like and get substantially the same sound as the original vintage non reissue pickup!! Linda Fralin of Lindy Fralin Pickups does this for $30 per pickup and Seymore Duncan will do it for $40-50. Some in this group have been able, successfully, to unwind the new reissue toaster coils to lower ohm values which they report gives them the 60's sound they are seeking thereby saving the cost of rewinding. The above are just my observations based upon investigations over the past few years into how to make my own new reissue instruments sound, as much as possible, like the originals." [Encapsulight, 11/1/1998, NoSPAM@Please.com]
Subject: 5.12 What are the differences between a 4001 and a 4003 bass? Here is a history of 4001 and 4003 production, composed of information from the sources given below: 4001 - '61 to '80 (or possibly as late as '81) 4001S - '61 to '69, '80 to '84 4003 (1st version) - '80 (or '81) to '84 truss-rod adjuster at body end two-piece pickguard 4003 (2nd version) - '84 to '95 truss-rod adjuster at headstock end one-piece pickguard 4003S (1st version) - '81 to '84 truss-rod adjuster at body end two-piece pickguard 4003S (2nd version) - '84 to current truss-rod adjuster at headstock end one-piece pickguard ["The Bass Book" by Bacon and Moorhouse, as quoted by Matthew Thallmayer, iconoclast@erols.com, 3/12/1998] [Chris Capozza, growlyman@aol.com, 3/12/1998] "The 4001 ended sometime during 1980, maybe even '81. That overlaps too, but that's the difference between the catalog or price list dates which reflect inventory, and actual production dates. Without a doubt there are even a few 4001's with later serial number dates, which would been 'stragglers' through the production process or 'clear off the shelf' goods." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 3/13/1998] "The string tension of a round wound string, especially a nearly pure iron string like those in the Roto Sound class, is almost 100 lbs. greater than a typical flat wound string. The 4001 neck was designed in 1956 for the only type of strings available then . . . flat wound . . . and since the design favored a slim neck, the neck strength was right on the edge of the envelope. Round wound strings took many of these instruments beyond their rated capability for string tension, resulting in various problems. But of course there are many types of strings, not to mention that every piece of wood is different, so plenty of 4001's have been used with round wound strings for decades with no ill effect. The best advice on these older basses is to use the light tension string you can stand. The 4003 has a completely different truss rod design and can handle any type of string you prefer. Fretwire has nothing to do with any of this, as we've always used the hardest alloy available. But it is true that a round wound string will tend to wear down any bass's frets faster." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 12/17/1998]
Subject: 5.13 Where can I buy a Rickenbacker acoustic guitar? "All acoustic guitars are handcrafted. Due to the exclusive nature of these guitars and tremendous product demand throughout our line, delivery for new acoustic guitar orders now exceeds three years." [ from http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/700.htm ] "You might not have too long to wait now! The air clamping and production workstations are being installed now. A rather large new area of the plant has been allocated to this department and things are coming together very rapidly. The first products off this new line are expected in July." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 4/23/1999]
Subject: 5.14 Can I get a tour of the Rickenbacker factory? Is there a showroom where I can try/buy guitars/basses? "We've never had tours and are not open to the public, as our business is wholesale only. That is, of course, why we tried to make our web site as complete as possible." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 2/8/1998]
Subject: 5.15 Can I order a custom-made guitar/bass from Rickenbacker? Can I send my guitar/bass to Rickenbacker to have them customize it for me? "There is no custom shop and we don't do custom work... we just have too many orders in house for standard products to even think about custom work or new models." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 1/16/1998] "I really do hope that there will be a time when we can do custom work...certainly would be a nice change of pace. In reality, most custom work really is "cut and paste" [...] so anything's possible. But we'll all just have to wait and see." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 10/28/1998]
Subject: 5.16 How can I rewire my 325 or 350 to make the 5th knob function as a volume knob for the middle pickup? "What you end up with is a regular acting 2 pickup rick, less 5th knob, and the fifth knob acts as a volume for the middle pickup. The mid pickup functions independently of the switch, and it does not utilize a tone knob. Works great on my 350, but takes a little getting used to. To utilize the mid pickup by itself, you'd have to kill the volume on the other 2 pickups. To perform this, have the headstock facing away from you. Remove the pickguard and flip it over: 1. Disconnect the middle pickup lead from the top right post on the selector switch. Also, remove the mid pickup ground (braided wire) from the bass tone control, or whichever pot it is soldered to. 2. Find the red wire running from the left post of the 5th knob to the center post of the bass volume pot and remove this wire completely. Keep the wire as you'll need it later. 3. Find the red wire running from the bottom right post of the selector switch to the middle post on the 5th volume pot. Remove wire at middle post of 5th knob, and solder it to middle post of bass volume pot. 4. Solder the mid pickup lead to the center tap on the 5th pot. 5. Solder the mid pickup ground (braided wire) to the left tap on the 5th pot, as well as to the pot itself. You may have to strip the wire to have enough braid for this. I ran the braid through the tap, soldered it at the tap and then to the pot. 6. Utilizing the wire removed in step 2, run it from the right tap of the 5th pot to the left tap of the bass volume pot. Tracing this wire, you'll see that it is the hot supply from the input jack, which is jumped through the treble volume pot as well. That's it. Let me know if you need any help, and also let me know how you like it when it's done. Good luck, Chris" [Chris, cdbnat@erols.com, 9/29/1998]
Subject: 5.17 How can I reduce the hum my guitar/pickups are putting out? "Sounds like you have a fairly "noisy" recording environment. It would be a good idea to see if you can isolate the source of the hum and reduce it as much as possible. Poor grounding, ground loops and dimmer switches are common culprits. Make sure your guitars are properly grounded internally as well. Using amps with two-prong power plugs? Get 'em upgraded to three-prongers. I got rid of much of the noise in my little home studio when I junked all the dimmer switches in my house. My guitars with single-coil pickups (meaning just about all my guitars) are way less noisy now. I can pretty much kill the hum completely by being careful about where I sit or stand while playing." [daverk, daverk@msn.com, 11/15/1998] "Another thing you can do with the single-coil equipped Ricks to help some with the noise, is to take the pickguard off, completely remove the wiring harness from the lower pickguard, and cover the entire underside of the pickguard with aluminum foil tape, the sticky-backed stuff with peel-off backing, that you can find in 2" wide rolls at the local hardware store in the dept. Where the heating/ductwork supplies are. The stuff is used to wrap around the junctions of the duct pipes. While this does not completely solve the problem, I have found it does help noticeably, and I have done this to nearly every Rick I have had." [RICK12DR, rick23dr@aol.com, 11/16/1998] "Done right (and preferably with coil foil tape) this can help... a bit. Unfortunately, if you leave the wiring harness intact with its daisy chain ground, and then also short out the pot and switch shell with the tape, you'll have a wonderful ground loop, likely to make the problem worse than better. Cut the foil back around the pot mounting and make sure the foil only touches ground in EXACTLY one place. The far better solution is to remove or otherwise eliminate the source of hum in the environment. My studio is right on the ocean, for instance, and I pickup the radar of ships in every piece of gear (especially in bad weather!). The trip is to have one central ground point to which everything is connected, even if you have to have to rewire the plugs in the recording area. In my studio I make sure that I and other guitars players are also personally grounded with a clip lead to a watch strap or something like that, but you must be sure that all of your wiring is correctly polarized and grounded, otherwise you run the risk of electrocution." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 11/16/1998]
Subject: 5.18 How do I adjust the action/truss rods? "What you want is a business card thickness between the 5th fret and the strings when pressing down the string against the first and last fret on the bass side less on the treble side. As straight as you can get it with no fret noise except when you hit hard -- then a little fret slap is acceptable ---but clean during normal playing lower then bridge accordingly after the truss rod adjustments." [Encapsulight, NoSPAM@Please.com, 11/2/1998] "You do not need a pro--just use common sense when adjusting the truss rods and only turn the nut 1/6 of a turn at a time taking a look at what you have done to the neck each time!!! Just make sure that you adjust the so the neck is as as close to dead straight as you can get it a full pitch string tension, without causing any fret buzz related problems- --then lower the bridge till you just start to get some buzzing of strings on frets while playing and raise the bridge slowly till no more buzzing occurs. That will be the best you can do with the neck set that is!!" [Encapsulight, NoSPAM@Please.com, 11/1/1998] "My favorite way of doing truss rods is the way Fender recommends - Use a capo (lightly) on the 1st fret, hold down the string at around the 19th fret(avoids measuring ski-slope), and measure the relief with a flat automotive feeler gauge(couple bucks at K-Mart) at the 7th or 8th fret. On Ric 12's, I like about .008" on the bass side and around .004" on the treble side. Old-style rods are a whole different story in themselves - doing them wrong can cause the fingerboard to separate from the neck down by the nut." [Teleologist, Teleologist@Sorry.NoEmail, 11/4/1998] "This is absolutely true and for the most simple of reasons. The old style truss rod requires that the person doing the adjustment pushes the neck into position and only THEN turns the truss rods to snug up the tension to hold that setting. The old rods were not designed to actually move the neck . . . only hold it in place after manually moving it. When tightened without releasing pressure from moving the neck, most of the energy of the rods is directed to popping off the fingerboard. It's a good system when you know how to use it, but unfortunately many people didn't understand it." [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 11/05/1998] See the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual section on String Height Adjustment, http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/height.htm [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999] See the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual section on Neck Adjustment, http://www.rickenbacker.com/us/neck.htm [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 2/4/1999]
Subject: 5.19 Which Rickenbacker did which Beatle use to record which song? See Takumu Tada's Beatles Page, at http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~tadatk/music/fab4.html Follow the "Rickenbacker" link, or just go to http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~tadatk/guitars/ricks.html [Tomcat, 813@SPAMBLOCKmlode.com, 11/7/1998]
Subject: 5.20 How is a model 330 different from a 360? "The 360 was originally the deluxe version of the 330." [Ted Breaux, tabreaux@neworleans.net, 11/4/1998] "The choice was made to call the Deluxe model a 360 and the standard model was a 330 --- the terms WB, OS, & WBBS did not exist at the time----the 360 was enough different to warrant its on model number designation because of the Deluxe features --- more features higher model number. That is a simple question to answer ---way back when----in the early 60's before 64 there were no 360's with rounded top edge and binding on back only---the originals were 330 thin semi hollowbody and 360 deluxe thin semi hollowbody the only difference between a 330 and a 360 was the 360 had white binding, front and back, bound fingerboard, triangle neck inlays, and both standard & Ric O Sound jacks----they shared a common body. It was not until the new 360 body style came out in 1964 with the rounded front edge and binding only on back came out, that the original style body became known as 360OS (old style) at first then 360WBBS(white binding both sides) was used later then even later 360WB( white binding ) was used to refer to the original style 360 binding style. The answer, I guess, is that the term WB did not exist/was not in use at that time in history." [Encapsulight, NoSPAM@Please.com, 11/4/1998] "Well, the 330 is a bit more acoustic, and that is reflected somewhat in the plugged-in sound. The 360 has quite a bit more wood at the edges, while the 330 is routed out quite a bit more. This is just a guess, but the interior air volume of a 330 if probably 15% greater than a 360, and only some of that comes from having a fully developed lower bout. It's not a huge difference but it IS noticeable." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 1/14/2000]
Subject: 5.21 Why doesn't Rickenbacker manufacture (overseas) a budget range like Squier/Epiphone/DeArmond? "It'll never happen. We need the work here in America." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 4/20/1999]
Subject: 5.22 What string gauges does Peter Buck use? "There was a question awhile back about what type and gauge strings Peter Buck uses on his Rickenbacker 360 JG. My answer was that all I remembered was that it's a rather heavy set. But now here's the definitive answer: ..013 Plain- Swedish Steel ..017 Plain- Swedish Steel ..026 Wound- Nickel Steel ..036 Wound- Nickel Steel ..046 Wound- Nickel Steel ..056 Wound- Nickel Steel These are Dean Markley individual strings. His guitar (the one with the trucker's playmate sticker on it) is currently here at the factory so that we can set up a new instrument exactly like his old one, using the string set listed above." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 4/14/1999]
Subject: 5.23 I would like to buy a new truss rod cover. Why does Rickenbacker require me to trade in my old one? "The recent spate of 'copy guitars' sporting genuine Rickenbacker nameplates, has forced us to adopt a stringent nameplate replacement policy. Customers must return at least half of any nameplate in order to purchase a new one. While it might be relatively easy to counterfeit some of these parts, it's also a serious crime. Moving a legitimate plate to a non-Rickenbacker is primarily a civil issue, while making counterfeit plates is a criminal matter which may result in imprisonment. Jack plates, which generally have the guitar serial number stamped on them, are also a controlled item. In order to obtain a new jackplate with proper serial number, the buyer must return the existing plate, otherwise a special sequence serial number, registered to the buyer, will be applied to the new plate. Finally, all limited edition guitar signature pick plates are similarly restricted. A broken plate must be tendered in order to buy a replacement. These measures are directed primarily toward retaining the resale value of genuine Rickenbacker guitars for their owners. It is also designed to protect somewhat less knowledgeable buyers from those who would offer non-Rickenbacker products as the genuine article. Finally, our name is our reputation and we must be sure we're able to insure that the goods sporting the logo meet the quality standards our customers demand." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 7/26/1999]
Subject: 5.24 Why don't modern Rickenbackers have the same inlays as they did back in the sixties? "There's only one correct answer [...] this material hasn't been made for more than 20 years. We've looked at a zillion samples of materials purported to be "just the same" but they are not. When something comes along that looks just like the original, be assured that we'll use it. In the meantime, we continue to search for this from every vendor we can find but to date it's been fruitless." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 12/22/1999] "The original material was an acrylic resin material in sheet form. The pearlescent which rather looks like sea snail shell was also acrylic. It appears to have been made by grinding the shell sheet material and pouring that together with the resin. The Japanese company which made this specialized in drum shell coverings, so I suppose this was essentially a by-product made from scrap material. All of the samples we have seen through the years differ significantly from the original material in a variety of ways. In many the colors and/or degree of pearlescence is just wrong. Other material has a grain that is too coarse or too fine. Finally. much material is not mechanically suited to being inlayed, crowned, coated, and polished. The process we use now . . . . still all synthetic . . . has come through a long evolution and doesn't much resemble the process as described elsewhere in this thread. Extensive procedural and formula changes were made in 1984 and again in 1990. This is about the only area in our process that we truly consider a "trade secret". It's also very demanding and the materials themselves are difficult to work with. If the old material were available, we'd jump back to using it in a minute!" [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 12/24/1999]
Subject: 5.25 Can I use a Schaller strap lock system with a Rickenbacker guitar? "Order a Rickenbacker 05904 strap button, which lists at $2.50. Unthread the existing strap button bolts and screw in the new one. These are made by Schaller to fit their locks, but to our specs to fit our bolt hole. Non-reissues have come standard from the factory with this button for a number of years now. Reissues can be retro-fitted such that they can be returned to factory condition by simply reversing the process. Black and gold also available." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 1/8/2000]
Subject: 5.26 What is the difference between Autumnglo and Walnut? "The earliest version of Autumnglo was simply shaded brown. The middle clear areas on most of these old guitars have yellowed, but wasn't originally apparent. The next version was just Fireglo laid on rather heavily. The last version was back to that original brown, but in a satin finish, while the gloss version of that color was designated Walnut. So when someone says Autumnglo, you always have to ask "WHICH Autumnglo"?" [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 2/17/2000]
Subject: 5.27 What is the relationship between Electro, Ryder, and Rickenbacker? "Originally, Electro String Instrument Corporation (ESIC) was the name of the parent company that produced "Rickenbacker" brand products. The "Electro" name was the main name, while it was "Rickenbacker" that was the pseudonym! Other product names which were often made by ESIC include Ryder, Symphonia Grand, Academy, NHF, and Contello, but these were private label goods which might also have been made by other suppliers as well. The only direct brand names that I recall being owned by the company are Rickenbacker, Electro, and Road (now owned by Celestion of England). By the way as an historical aside, ESIC remains in existence today, as it's name was changed to Rickenbacker International Corporation as part of a series of corporate mergers, which happened only about 2 years ago, to reunite the various pieces of our guitar business." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 10/27/1999]
Subject: 5.28 What gauge wire is used in Rickenbacker pickups? "#44, as it has been forever." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 3/22/2000]
Subject: 5.29 What type of material is used for Rickenbacker pick guards? "We used genuine Rohm & Haas Plexiglas brand until approximately 1995, when they stopped making it. At that time, we had no choice but to buy from other makers of sheet polymethyl methacrylate. We still buy from multiple sources because, as I said, each batch is decidedly different and we try to select as much as possible, for the original look, just slightly transparent. But each of the materials has a different color, and each changes its color differently depending on the type of light, i.e. incandescent or fluorescent. Add aging and reaction to air pollutants, and you can get as many shades of white as you find "white" paint chips at the paint store." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 6/12/2000] "For many years we used only Rohm & Haas brand of sheet polymethyl methacrylate. This was the most consistent and sound material on the market. Unfortunately, R & H, even though they were the inventors of Plexiglas, decided to exit that market and things haven't been quite the same since. We find each batch to have very different characteristics, the color being only one difference, and no maker to date has nailed it yet on this issue. It's gotten to the point where we basically have to select the material just about the way we do wood, which is ridiculous for a manufactured material. This is speaking of American-made product, by the way, as we haven't considered the foreign-made materials for use in production. Anyway, the bottom line for the moment is that the color is going to vary until someone gets it right . . . unless we just stop making guitars with plexi components, of course." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 6/11/2000]
Subject: 5.30 What type of wood is used for Rickenbacker fret boards? "We use both African Rosewood and Bubinga, which are very similar close relatives. Both are also classified as Hong Kong Rosewood sometimes, which is closer to the mark, since it is grown in Asia rather than Africa." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 11/09/1999] "We do not use nor have we used commonly available Paduak, which is Pterocarpus soyauxii. In past years we used Hong Kong Rosewood (Dalbergia family) or African Rosewood (which is true Bubinga in the Guibourtia family) which we continue to use. I will grant you that Hong Kong Rosewood has been colorfully referred to as Indonesian Paduak by wood suppliers. In the end, without the species, the trade names of wood are almost useless." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 04/24/2000]
Subject: 5.31 What is the dark wood used in the laminated maple necks of Rickenbacker guitars? "Depending on models and the year of a given instrument, Walnut or Shedua is the centerstripe lamination material." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 09/25/2000]
Subject: 5.32 Where can I get the font for the Rickenbacker logo? "My mom did design the logo, coming up with the shape as a variation from the cats-eye soundhole. She made the first one by cutting up some paper with scissors. But she didn't do the lettering . . . nobody seems to know who did. Anyway, it's a hand lettered style, not any particular font that I've ever seen. It'd be difficult to read in any case, considering the full underline." [John Hall, jhall@rickenbacker.com, 09/02/1999]
Subject: 6. Other Resources This section describes other resources and sources of information to enchance your enjoyment of your Rickenbacker instrument.
Subject: 6.1 Other Usenet Newsgroups You may also enjoy reading the following newsgroups: alt.music.bangles alt.music.byrds alt.fan.kinks alt.music.smithereens alt.music.who rec.music.beatles [Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 9/1/1998]
Subject: 6.2 World Wide Web RIC site -- http://www.rickenbacker.com/ The Rickenbacker Page -- http://www.the-music-connection.com/ric.htm The Rickenbacker Registration Page -- http://www3.nbnet.nb.ca/mccorp/ BobKat Guitars -- http://home.att.net/~bobkat2/home.htm John Williams' "Another Unofficial Rickenbacker Site" -- http://www.homestead.com/aurs/index.html Bjorn Eriksson's Rickenbacker Page -- http://www.geocities.com/~doublemusic/ Susanna Hoffs' Rickenbacker -- http://www.geocities.com/vickenbacker/home.html Tatado Rickenbacker Page -- http://www2.wbs.or.jp/~tatado/Ricks_index.htm History of Rickenbacker Guitars, Lap Steels, 1932 to 1970 -- http://www.amug.org/~necro/clay/rick.html Rickenbacker Electro Spanish Guitar -- http://www.gruhn.com/articles/rickelectro.html Electric Guitars Are the 'Forte' for Rickenbacker International -- http://www.iswonline.com/cwb/rickenbacker.html [Contributors : Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 4/2/1999 Tomcat, 813@SPAMBLOCKmlode.com, 11/8/1998 John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 11/11/1998]
Subject: 6.3 Books _The History of Rickenbacker Guitars_ - Richard R. Smith, ISBN 0931759153 _The Rickenbacker Book_ - Tony Bacon, Paul Day, ISBN 0879303298 _Rickenbacker: Pioneer Of The Electric Guitar_ - Naoki Ogane (Rittor Music, February 1995) (out of print) _Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars_ - George Gruhn and Walter Carter, ISBN 0879301953 [Contributors : Gerard Lanois, gerardlanois@netscape.net, 12/11/1998 Tomcat, 813@SPAMBLOCKmlode.com, 8/21/2000]

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