365 (two pickups with vibrato) + Rick-O-Sound Unit Guitars

1966 Rickenbacker 365 (two pickups with vibrato) + Rick-O-Sound Unit

Color: Fireglo (Shaded Red with Some Yellow), Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 02020)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


An All Original And Near Mint 1966 Rickenbacker 365
Complete With It's Original 'Rick-O-Sound' Interconnection Box


1966 Rickenbacker 365 (two pickups with vibrato) + Rick-O-Sound Unit


This 15-inch-wide, just under 1 1/2 deep full-sized thin-body guitar weighs just 7.10 lbs. and features offset cutaways with rounded horns providing a "sweeping crescent" profile across both. Maple body with a bound "cat's-eye" or slash soundhole and checker-board binding on the back. Three-piece maple/walnut/maple neck with a nut width of just under 1 5/8 inches, a scale length of 24 3/4 inches and a very comfortable medium profile. Bound rosewood fretboard with 21 original medium frets and triangular sparkle crushed pearl inlays extending completely across fretboard. Five-piece (maple/walnut/maple/walnut/maple) headstock with white opaque plexiglass logo plate/truss rod cover with black lettering, secured by three screws. Individual Kluson Deluxe 'double-line' closed-back tuners with oval metal buttons. Two Rickenbacker chrome bar "toaster" pickups with outputs of 6.37k and 7.59k. Two-piece split-level white plexiglass pickguard with four screws. Five controls (two volume, two tone, and one blend control) plus three-way pickup selector switch, all on lower level of pickguard. The potentiometers are stamped "137 6608" (CTS, February 1966). Seven-sided black plastic knobs with metal tops with black lettering. Rickenbacker individually adjustable six-saddle bridge with four height-adjustment screws which in turn sits on a Rickenbacker metal plate which is secured by two screws. Rickenbacker Ac'cent Vibrato tailpiece. Two side-mounted jack inputs, one 'normal' and one Rick-O-Sound Stereo. Serial number FF 2200 (June 1966) stamped in black on bottom of jack plate. Inside the control cavity, written in black pencil is "365 G". This fine guitar is in near mint (9.25++) condition - with just the tiniest amount of playing wear on the bass side of the neck by the fourth and fifth frets. This is most certainly the finest example of a 365 that we have ever seen. Complete with the the original 'Rick-O-Sound' interconnection box. Rickenbacker offered this as an accessory with an interconnection box, rather grandly called the Rick-O-Sound Kit for $24.50 (it first appeared on the July 1960 pricelist)… Housed in the original Rickenbacker three-latch, rectangular Silver-Gray case with black leather ends and blue plush lining (9.00). Also included is the original black leather guitar strap and the original July 1964 eight-page Rickenbacker "Technical Data and Price List" which shows the original 1964 price of the guitar as $484.50, the case at $38.50 and the 'impossible to find' "Rick-O-Sound Kit" at $24.50.

This is the first time that we have ever had a Rick-O-Sound guitar complete with it's original Rick-O-Sound Interconnection Box.

"Models 360-375 -- The third division of the 1958 Thin Hollow Body Series consisted of full sized guitars with the Deluxe features. The body shape was the same as Models 330-345 from 1958 to the summer of 1964; then it changed... The guitars from this group were the finest and most expensive of the Thin Body Capri guitars. They had neck binding, triangle finger board inlays, and body binding… The factory introduced the genuine Fireglo finish in 1960…[and] after the initial shock of its stunning effect, Fireglo became a universal favorite and the trademark color for Rickenbacker guitars… In 1964 Rickenbacker changed the body style of the Models 360-375 significantly. The factory shipped the first known example, a Model 365, on June 1. (A memo from the factory indicated they first contemplated the new body in 1963.) The company achieved the new shape by rounding the top edge on the face of the guitar's body. Mr. Hall described the new look in a press release to the trade papers: "The smooth roundness avoids all that is harsh and yields flowing lines for smooth, easy playing." The new design did not allow for binding on the top front edge of the guitar, however bound tear drop sound holes became standard. The guitar makers kept all the other Deluxe features on the new 360 style guitars." (Richard R. Smith, The History of Rickenbacker Guitars, pp. 171-175).

"… and a new stereo output feature called Rick-O-Sound was added to some guitars, usually the 'deluxe' models from around the summer of that year [1960]. Rick-O-Sound exploited the new interest at the time in stereophonic sound, consolidated in 1958 when most of the big recording companies began issuing stereo records. At this time Gretsch and then Gibson launched 'stereo' guitars, and Rickenbacker decided to follow suit. The company's system simply separated the output from the neck and bridge pickups so that a special split cord would feed the individual signals to two amplifiers (or to two channels of one amplifier). This pseudo-stereo feature was made possible by a special double jack socket plate fitted to Rick-O-Sound-equipped Rickenbackers. One socket was marked 'Standard': when an ordinary mono jack plug was inserted here, a switch contact inside disconnected the stereo circuit and provided normal guitar output. The 'Rick-O-Sound' socket required a stereo plug connected to a 'Y' cord. Rickenbacker offered this as an accessory with an interconnection box, rather grandly called the Rick-O-Sound Kit for $24.50 (it first appeared on the July 1960 pricelist)…

The fifth 'blend' knob is much misunderstood by guitarists, and it must be said that its effect can be very subtle. Consider the usual control set-up for a two-pickup guitar: there are individual volume and tone controls for each pickup, and a selector switch. The three-way selector offers either: (1) the pickup nearest the neck, with a more bassy tone often used for rhythm playing; (2) both pickups, balanced by the relative positions of the two volume controls; or (3) the pickup nearest the bridge, with a more treble tone for lead playing. Rickenbacker uses this control system too, but from 1961 started to add the fifth knob to many models.

The theory is that in the neck-pickup-only or bridge-pickup-only position on the three-way selector, the fifth knob gives the opportunity to blend in some tone from the unselected pickup. For example, if you had the bassier neck pickup selected, the fifth knob would allow you effectively to blend in a little of the bridge pickup’s treble tone.
If the selector is in the middle position – in other words, giving both pickups – then the fifth knob allows you to vary the precise balance between the two, for increased tonal emphasis. In fact, the later development of modern channel-switching amplifiers made the fifth knob redundant, but at the time it did seem to Rickenbacker to offer some increased versatility to the available tones.

On Rickenbackers fitted with the Rick-O-Sound stereo feature, the fifth knob functions more as a balance control between left and right (i.e. neck pickup and bridge pickup), because the selector would usually be lodged in the center position so that both pickups are ‘on.’

Confused? You are not alone. Musicians have generally found the fifth ‘blend’ knob rather baffling, and no doubt many quickly decided to forget that their guitar had a fifth knob. Beatle George Harrison sounded as exasperated as many when he spoke of his confusion: “That tiny little knob never seemed to do anything,” he told BBC Radio 1 in 1987. “All it ever seemed to be was that there was one sound that I could get where it was bright, which was the sound I used, and another tone where it all went muffled, which I never used.” Tony Bacon & Paul Day. The Rickenbacker Book (p.32,33).

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