Rickenbacker

My first guitar project, Rickenbacker 325 Capri. The guitar John Lennon used to play in the beginning of the 60’s. 1960 Lennon bought the guitar that had been manufactured in 1958 from Musikhaus Rotthoff shop (or Steinway, there is different information about this) in Hamburg. Lennon changed the original Kauffman tremolo to Bigsby in the year 1961, a new bridge was installed at the same time. The new bridge is attached so that the low E has moved almost over the side of the fretboard. At some point also the middle pickup had been disconnected.

Below is the original 325 as it is now. It was painted black sometime at the end of 1962. Restored back to original natural color in 1972. Pickguard has been changed to white instead of the original gold color.

In 1964 Lennon got a black 325C64 model from Rickenbacker. The body was a little bit smaller, body was only 1,5” thick compared to original 2”. Some of the models were also built with f-holes like the 325 Rose Morris in the other picture.

  

Alder body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. Pickups and tremolo attached directly to the top and pots and switch to the pickguard. I changed the scale to 23.5” from 20,75” and added some frets, I have 24 frets in my custom model.

I enlarged the picture of the original guitar to full size and made plans out of that. Some help was found also from the internet.

 

The guitar is hollow. Like a thinline, but no f-holes. The top part has just cavities  to make it lighter and a pocket for neck. Neck is glued to the pocket and finally closing the body by gluing the back.

Measurements for the place where the tremolo sits was the most problematic to discover.

Fretting is going on.

Gluing the neck.

Sanded and ready for lacquering.

Rickenbacker toaster pickups are replaced with Kent Armstrong models. Original parts, like pickups and bridge, are available. I decided to use a Schaller bridge and Schaller vintage tuners. And of course the Bigsby tremolo.

Pickups are connected so that the bridge pickup has its own Volume and Tone pots and the middle and the neck pickups have the other pair. Gold color under the clear pickguard. Finished with nitrocellulose lacquer.

 

I started to build this guitar in February 2010 and got it ready for lacquering in December.

 

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