The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Rickenbacker Electro D12 Doubleneck Steel Guitar Copper, 1953

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Rickenbacker likely built the first production electric guitars in 1932, and the Rickenbacker Electro D12, produced from 1940 to 1953 is an example of what they offered and how their models evolved.

The Rickenbacker Electro D12 is a rare model. Many of Rickenbacker’s multineck steels were 8-strings per neck, and the D12 has six; the doubleneck with a total of 12 strings gives it its name. Its better known sibling is the D16, with two necks of eight strings each.

From their first production in 1940, the Electro D and T models used a combination of a cast metal body and a Bakelite neck, with Lucite fingerboards. Though many of these guitars don’t have serial numbers and production information is sparse, we’re able to date this example to 1953; in that final year of production, the use of Bakelite was discontinued and the entire guitar body and neck assembly is cast metal. A copper coloured paint seems to have been the most common finish on the D models.

This guitar sports a pair of Rickenbacker’s unique ‘Horseshoe’ pickups. These were one of the company’s primary patents, and is still vigorously defended. While it is no longer produced, its appearance is still suggested in the 4000 series bass bridge pickups.

For controls, there is a neck selector switch, a master volume and a master tone. The knobs are dark brown – the earlier models used creme coloured knobs.

Distinctive to these late production models, there is a hinged tuning machine cover with the Rickenbacker Electro logo, though the ‘Electro’ part is much smaller. On the earlier Bakelite neck models, the head is flat with no cover, and the tuners protrude from the sides.

Rickenbacker’s involvement with guitars dated back to the beginning of the resonator guitar; Adolph Rickenbacker had a tool and die shop in Los Angeles and produced metal parts for National guitar bodies. As a standalone guitar company, Rickenbacker started in 1931 as Ro-Pat-In (ElectRo-Patent-Instruments) Corporation, a name that was soon improved to ‘Electro String’, and finally to Rickenbacker, with “Electro” added.

This rare Rickenbacker Electro D12 is in good working order, and aside from some missing finish on the removable rear cover, is in good condition. Unfortunately the case is long gone.


 

Price: $1199.99 CAD
  • Model: Electro D12
  • Year: 1953
  • Finish Copper
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 06/03/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Instrument Weight: 16.75lbs 7.6kg
  • Scale Length: 570mm 22.473in
  • Nut Width: 58mm 2.28in
Rickenbacker Website

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