These days there are a ton of electric guitars on the market – from the prestige instruments such as the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul through to their myriad of replicas. With so much similarity in instruments available it takes something a little special to get you noticed or to produce a sound that’s different – that’s why you should look at Rickenbacker guitars.

Rickenbacker’s have a tradition that harks back to the 1930’s and they have produced many famous and innovative models since. For example the Rickenbacker 325 Electric guitar, famous for it’s association with John Lennon and the Rickenbacker 360 12 string guitar – associated with the 60’s band “The Byrds”. These guitars remain iconic to this day and their sound is instantly recognizable.

Visually they look kind of like a Stratocaster on speed – with their big flat bodies – often with a traditionally shaped “go faster” sound hole, Ricky “R” bridge and unique headstock. Strap one of these on and you’ll stand out from the crowd. They really have that wow factor.

But what really makes the Rickenbacker so special?

The sound! Sonically, Rickenbacker guitars have a unique sound – partly due to their quality construction but mainly due to the unique Rickenbacker pickups. During the 1960’s Rickenbacker used their now famous “toaster pickups” which looked like the top of a bread toaster – recently they’ve used more high-gain pickups – both have emphasised the higher frequencies and have contributed to a magical chiming sound. Another attribute is that Rickenbacker’s are often equipped with a “stereo” output socket (known as “rick-o-sound”) which allows the guitar to be connected to different effects chains and amps . Finally the most subtle option available on Rickenbacker guitars is the blender control When either pickup is : slected, you can use it to blend the other pick-up in. So if you think the neck pickup is too dull – then mix in some honk from the bridge pickup this is really tremendous and adds some great tones to your instrument.

All these attributes make for an extremely versatile instrument and while you don’t often find Rickenbacker guitars in heavy rock – they cover everything in between. Rickenbacker’s evoke lovely tones suitable for Pop or alternative rock music right through to Jazz and country and there have been tons of guitarists who use these instruments from U2’s the Edge and Peter Buck of REM through to Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Given such a heritage – you’ll find the sounds it produces really useful whether you’re a rhythm player or virtuoso soloist.

So in summary if you want a unique look together with a unique sound the next time your down a guitar store – be sure to try out a Rickenbacker guitar.

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