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The company says to have no records of any of these. The neck was solid cast aluminum and the string spacing similar as on a B7., please keep in mind that the early Rickenbacher company was a young enterprise in a brand new industry.Parts as control knobs, screws and especially tuning machines seem to have been put on these guitars as they came available...Some of these latest models had a little cover over the head stock... They had all the features of a BD-model, just in a different color, much similar to some old bakelite radio cabinets of that time. These were called the BRONSON model and sold without the Rickenbacker label.In all generations, 7 string models are rarer than 6 string and also considered the most desirable for their versatility and playability.As on the "Fry-pan" they all featured an electromagnetic "Horse-shoe-magnet"-pick-up, invented not by Mr. "Bakelite"), black in color (much like the old telephones), a concept for which the company immediately filed and received a patent. This was the first electric solid body instrument with this feature ever (a feature they seem to have forgotten to file a patent for...Oooops).1 or 2 controls: If two, they're located on opposite plates, not both on the treble side plate.If one (volume), chances are the knob will be of an octagonal shape (first two years). Later and until August 10th 1937, the little tabs or "ears" on each side of the pick-up will bear a "PAT PEND.".Starting 1940 (second genreation, see below) both controls on the treble side. From 08/10/'37 on a patent number replaces the "PAT PEND." stamping.(While I think that the new pick-up it's still a very decent sounding one, I agree, it's not the real deal. However, I don't think that it's the size of the magnet plates that really made the difference but the much smaller winding of the bobbin and the "screw-on" bridge.)Probably in order to reduce the risk of body breakage, Rickenbacker also quit the string-thru attach design and introduced a plated metal tail piece (much like on semi-acoustic Jazz-guitars or Dobro's).
If you can take pictures of your guitar(s) please e-mail them to me together with serial number info. I have played one of these and it really had the that people want in these bakelites. Everything about it says "pre-August 37," except that there are two control knobs on the right cover plate. ------------------ Herb's Steel Guitar Pages Texas Steel Guitar Association Great job JD.
The word is, that the company wanted to set itself apart from it's "German" roots of the name (funny however is, that ol' Adolph Rickenbacher and Beauchamp were both of Swiss background...). But most interestingly, on it's last models, the company returned to the much preferred "string thru the body attach" approach.
In the 1950's the logo changed again, to a vertically mounted and spelled arrow shaped logo. There have also been some brownish bakelite models made for a third party company.
This is my latest review on these instruments and while there still might be some "bugs", I think and hope it will help you identify better your instrument or any guitar you might consider for sale or purchase. The company was issued a patent on the pick-up in 1937.
However, I do not guarantee the information below (don't you come sue me! They where the company's second steel guitar model after the legendary "A"-model (aka. A Standard guitar version was also issued but with much less success. The body was entirely made of the world's first plastic; Urea-Formaldehyde (aka.The guitar will probably be for sale when my friend can get an idea what a reasonable price would be for it. I'm NOT the expert that many here on the Forum truly are.