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1979 Rickenbacker Model 320 'Little Ricky'

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SN#: SF-3104, stamped on jackplate

Body size at lower bout: 13". Scale length: 21" Nut width: 1 9/16" Neck depth, 1st/12th frets: .86/.89

Materials: Solid maple body and neck; solid rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay.

Hardware: All-original chrome hardware includes three Rickenbacker Hi-Gain single coil pickups; 'R' logo trapeze tailpiece; adjustable bi-level pickguard; compensated adjustable 6 saddle bridge; Kluson Deluxe tuners; 3 way pickup selector switch; volume and tone controls; master EQ control.

Notes: It's little. It's mighty. And loved by John Lennon. What else do you need to know?

Competing in a field of giants, California based Rickenbacker Guitars built their reputation on fearless innovation, in a crowded musical industry. In an era when acoustic guitars reigned supreme, the scrappy startup put all their chips on a truly disruptive technology: amplified instruments. In 1932, their pioneering 'fry-pan' aluminum lap steels were the first commercially produced electric guitars, followed by instruments of Bakelite, along with electric bass viols and violins. Battling Gibson and Fender's dominance in the market was an uphill fight, until Rickenbacker's renowned 12 string electric finally hit the sweet spot, with a timely pitch to Beatle George Harrison in 1964.

But George's Model 360/12 wasn't the first Rickenbacker embraced by one of the Fab Four. Marketing aggressively in Europe, largely ignored by the other American firms, Rickenbacker found an early champion in John Lennon, who purchased a Model 325 six string electric in Hamburg in 1960. Originally marketed as a student guitar, the compact 3/4 size solid body was lightweight, easy to hold, and had a brilliant, chiming, amplified tone.

Rickenbacker had debuted its 300 series in 1958, and the Model 320 was otherwise identical to Lennon's guitar, minus the Bigsby vibrola. Available in a variety of finish colors, including the lustrous Jetglo Black, the 320 was equipped with several pickup versions over its long career, concluding with the Hi-Gain single coils, the most powerful of them all. And in the Rickenbacker tradition, the distinctive 320 was designed with a unique 21" scale length, almost certainly the shortest scale ever offered on a production electric guitar. Finally discontinued in 1994, the nimble Model 320 has been sought by players in the know ever since.

This fine example from June of 1979 features three Hi-Gain single coil pickups, whose powerful ceramic magnets measure a full 13K in resistance. Weighing in at just 6lb 12oz, the guitar is happily light in weight, and well balanced on the lap or the strap. Rickenbacker innovations include twin truss rods for precise fingerboard relief, an adjustable height bi-level pickguard, and a unique fifth control knob that further refines the tonal and volume balance of the pickups.

The instrument has been maintained in 100% original condition, without pick, thumb or fingerboard wear. Apart from a few incidental lacquer nicks and buckle scuffs, the guitar shows few signs of play altogether. The ultra-fast scale length makes stretch chords and fast runs a breeze, and the triple pickup configuration offers a versatile palette of tonal colors. The neck is slim and gently rounded in a C profile, playing effortlessly, with smooth low action over fine original medium frets, and a fresh high precision setup.

From the easy chair to the overhead bin, this little marvel is a most tuneful companion for the player on the go. And all in the comfort of its original black plush lined hardshell case. Small wonder: one only, call now.

Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge conditioned; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with light gauge nickel wound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" at the 12th fret, with light neck relief. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.










































































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