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Second generation and up models tend to have a glossier black.That's probably because of the changed bakelite formula.
Is this just peculiar to the catalogs or do some of the prewar guitars also have the Rickenbacker spelling? I have a "wartime-era" Rick with the white celluloid panels.
I am in the process of collecting digital photos of B and A series Rickenbacher lap steels and all information (catalog copies) possible. Remember that there were Rickenbachers built after the war with mixed parts like pre war bodies and name plates combined with after war pickups.
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.
A friend of mine just bought an old Rickenbacher off of an old gentleman last week and he is trying to find out what year it was built and what it is worth.
As I have no knowledge concerning lap steels I thought I would check here for him.
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.