Instantly recognizable in both sound and appearance, Rickenbacker has always offered guitarists something unlike the competition. When the Beatles started using Rickenbacker instruments in the mid-'60s, the new visibility secured Ric's lasting reputation and place in popular music. With different-sounding pickups and eye-catching stylings totally their own, Rickenbackers are a great choice for something different and intriguing—even for just one song a set. It's no surprise that many of our rock-n-roll heroes have chosen Rickenbackers for the stage.
Released in 1964, the 360/12 is perhaps the most legendary 12-string electric guitar ever made. George Harrison famously got the second 360/12 made, and his guitar had a unique touch that became a Rickenbacker signature. The first prototype had a conventional 12-string setup, in which the octave string is the first to be struck in each string pair. But on Harrison’s model and subsequent Rickenbacker 12-strings, the octave strings occur second in the string pairs and the lower-pitched string is struck first.
This Rickenbacker 360/12 is serial #FA090, which corresponds to early January of 1966. All of the pots date to 1965, and the much of the guitar looks to have been made that year. This 360/12 is a great example of the rounded-top style Rickenbacker introduced in 1964. Interestingly, its top shows some gorgeous Maple figure even though most Rickenbackers have fairly plain Maple. It's a subtle detail that sets this guitar apart from the rest The shark fin inlays have aged and patina-ed in just the right way, and this 360/12 is set up with a standard mono output and the quirky but cool "Ric-O-Sound" stereo output.
This Rickenbacker 360/12 is in impressive condition, and although the bridge cover has been lost, it found us with all the rest of its original parts and components. The reflective top has broken off of the treble volume knob, and there is some general wear and tear, especially buckle rash on the back (see photos). But considering its age, there's not much to argue with—this is a fantastic Ric! It includes its original case, and it plays nicely up and down the fingerboard. Thanks to the classic Toaster pickups and semi-hollow construction, it nails the British Invasion 12-string sound.