This is one of my personal Rickenbackers I can't see myself selling unless someone offers me stupid money for it. I LOVE it !!
I'm a huge Rickenbacker fan and behind the 381, the 360 is my favorite shape/model. To me they're the last of the great American guitar manufacturers. They still operate in the same factory with the same machines they've used for years.
They're still essentially owned by the same family that bought them over 60 years ago, and they've never gone offshore to make cheaper versions of their product. If you want a new Rickenbacker, you wait for them to make it. Heaven !!
To me Rics don't have good and bad years like most other guitar manufacturers. You often hear "Don't buy a Fender from ......" or "Gibsons from .......... were terrible" etc Rics have always been made the same way, by the same machines and the same people out of the same materials. They're all the same, well as much the same as something made out of timber can be. They do have good and bad guitars, but the bad ones are few and far between.
I own a few Rics and they range from all different years. I keep good ones and if a better one ever comes through my shop, I keep it and sell my least favorite (sometimes) and this one is THE BEST Ric I've played.
This guitar has a non original output jack plate with a serial number that would put it at mid 90's but I'm not sure it's original ? It could very well be, but I bought it off a reputable dealer friend who had known the guitar since the late 70's and he was "sure" it was made around '74.
It's been played and abused this Ric so I'm not sure exactly when it was made and I really don't care. It's definitely post 1970 as it has the 24 fret neck. It has the "old style" truss rods and cover which look to be original as there's no other holes in the headstock which it would have if it had the later (smaller) cover.
It has old toaster top pick ups which, while being the favorite of most hardcore Ric fans are actually my second choice in Ric pick ups normally. I prefer the sound of 80's Hi Gains when your running lots of gain in the signal path but these toasters sound amazing.
This Ric into an old Marshall is just ............ well, Rock, which is something Rics aren't known for but are VERY good at.
The finish is very cracked and chipped and the finish around the neck has cracked from movement but it's all solid as a rock.
The neck is very played and is rounded nicely and feels AMAZING. I love this neck. People always comment on how thin Ric necks are but coming from a Mosrite camp I find them quite thick. Nothing like a Gibson of course but I have never felt a Ric neck as thin the average Mosrite neck.
The tailpiece looks to be original although it has had an "R" tailpiece fitted at some stage but the holes for the flat metal tailpiece looks to be factory ? The holes for the "R" tailpiece are a little sloppy and were not pilot drilled ? I actually love these flat metal tailpieces.
The headstock is one of the bigger ones which means it's not 60's as they tended to have quite small headstocks back then. The headstock shape and size has varied during the years with no really clear pattern as to why ? This one has Kluson tuners which also appear to be original as there is no imprint or holes from sealed gear tuners used later on.
I like the big headstocks more on Rics but the small headstock with the fretboard ending at the body like the 60's ones is a GREAT look !!
At the end of the day I don't care what year a guitar is. If it's a good playing and sounding guitar, it works for me. I don't "collect" vintage guitars because they're vintage. I'm lucky enough to have played LOTS of Rickenbackers and while they do vary quite a lot, it's hard to find a "bad" one in my opinion. I get to play lots of guitars with what I do and I have played nearly every type I've ever wanted to try so I know what I like in a guitar, and Rics have it in abundance.
I'm also lucky enough to have been able to buy lots of guitars I really like doing what I do, and I always try to keep the ones that really "talk" to me.
I have a few Rics and they're mostly for hire so I'll do some stories on some of the other ones soon.