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The company that gave the world the first electric guitar. Rickenbacker instruments - an “integral” part of the music industry. Guitars of the company were played by such bands and performers as "The Beatles", "Pink Floyd", "The Who", "The Kinks", "Deep Purple", Geddy Lee "Rush", Geezer Butler "Black Sabbath", Lemmy Kilmister "Motörhead" and etc.

Brief history/Technical and technological achievements:

Adolf Rickenbacker was a highly qualified engineer-technologist. He was born in Switzerland in 1886. Adolf came to the US when he was very young with his relatives, after the death of both his parents. He originally settled in Wisconsin, but soon, in 1918, he moved to Los Angeles.

In 1925, Adolf and his two partners founded the Rickenbacker Manufacturing Company. The company has become a successful manufacturer of metal products which initiated the use of Bakelite plastic.

The company produced toothbrushes, candlesticks and fountain pens made of Bakelite which is now considered to be one of the first synthetic plastics.

The history of Rickenbacker as a guitar manufacturer began in 1931 at the times when George Bishamp, who once worked for the National String Instrument Company, set out to find new ways of musical instruments sound generating which would eventually increase their volume. He took the acoustic speakers operating principles, electric motors, generators and began to conduct his experiments with a phonograph (the first device for sound playback and recording) - or rather with its needles. He also got down with tube amplifiers and single-string guitars. The washing machine engine appeared to be helpful. A few months later George Bishamp managed to develop his own pickup, which could create an electromagnetic field and amplify the signal coming from the oscillating string. A little bit later George told about his invention to Harry Watson, the manager of the National String Instrument Company, who liked this idea and cut out the wooden neck with an aluminum body for the first model of the electric guitar. This first experimental model was called "Frying Pan" because it reminded the shape of kitchen utensils - and it was made of metal.

A bit later, George Bishamp decided to show his complete guitar prototype to the owner of the company, engaged in the manufacture of metal housings for resonators, whose name was Adolf Rickenbacker. He liked George's idea and soon they created a joint company called Instruments Rickenbackers, thanks to some reliable financial support and Adolf’s impressive network of acquaintances. Together they streamed the production of "frying pans" and every day the popularity of these electric guitars was growing up among musicians of various levels. Thanks to "Frying Pan" the company became the first manufacturer of electric guitars in the world.

But not all instruments were made of iron. Eventually the pickups developed by George began to be installed in wooden guitars, but it took many years for electric guitars to finally appear looking like modern ones. And strangely enough, thanks to the very first "skillet" that was discontinued in 1939, Rickenbacker became a very famous company, and their instruments are popular today.
Legendary models of the company:

Rickenbacker 4000 bass guitar became the first model of the company put into production (1957). It differed considerably from other guitars, since it had a neck mounted through the whole body. This model was equipped with only one pick-up and had a 33.5" (851 mm) scale. This model was discontinued in 1984.

Rickenbacker 4001 - a bass guitar released in 1961, became a modification of the previous model and already had two pickups on its board, as well as a position marking on the fretboard in the form of a triangle. This cult guitar, played by Cliff Burton (Metallica), has been reproduced several times during its production period. Initially it was a modification of Rickenbacker 4001 S and a bit later - Rickenbacker 4001 V63. Rickenbacker 4003 came out in 1979 - a fashionable model with strings on round core wire.

Rickenbacker 325 Capri electric guitar was released in 1958 and is known thanks to John Lennon (The Beatles) who used to play it. Because of the close fret arrangement, this guitar seems to be non-standard and miniature. Still it features a rather small scale which makes it much easier to grab complex chords on the maple neck and quickly change positions. Therefore this electric guitar is most suited to singing guitar players, who play while singing. The sound of the guitar reminds of a semi-acoustic jazz guitar, probably because the maple case has voids inside, that’s why it sounds so ear warming.