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Early aluminum guitar pre-history

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 03/08/2008 at 11:06 AM    Post subject: Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

I saw this and thought it was an interesting pre bean guitar. The all aluminum "frying pan" Richenbacher guitars are earlier, but this Gibson has a nice guitar elegance to it that reminds me of the Travis Bean tradition. It would be interesting to know how these were made. I assume the neck is solid. I wonder if they used a lathe for the neck?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eB.....ayType=2#ebayphotohosting

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rlrlrl

Joined:
24 Dec 2007
Posts: 260
PostPosted: 03/08/2008 at 2:25 PM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

Thanks for that link!

Believe it or not I've played both of those guitar models at Musurgia in Brooklyn, the Gibson and the Rickenbacher. The pickups are about as opposite as you can get. The Gibson has the Charlie Christian pickup, which is very mellow and jazzy. The Rickenbacher "frying pan" has that original horseshoe pickup. Not only is it one of the best pickups ever designed (and the first!), it sounds a lot like a Bean. That is, very full frequency response, and super-hot. I love how the Gibson looks, but tonally the Frying Pan is where it's at!

My other favorite guitar, other than my Bean, is my Rickenbacher Electro Spanish B, the guitar that followed that frying pan. It's made of all bakelite, has the same horseshoe pickup, and is pretty much the worlds first solidbody electric guitar as we know it. It's "spanish" style, not a lap steel.

It has a bolt-on neck, and some of them even have a "vibrola", the first whammy bar. Doc Kaufman, one of the partners in the Rickenbacher company, also started what became Fender, with Leo Fender. They adapted lots of the early Rick design breakthroughs.

You can see one of them here. This one was overpriced, hence it didn't sell. Did I mention that it's also the coolest looking guitar too? OK I'll stop now ;)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eB.....eName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=009

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rlrlrl

Joined:
24 Dec 2007
Posts: 260
PostPosted: 03/08/2008 at 2:28 PM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

Oh Charlie, to your original question -- I'm pretty sure the necks on those Gibsons were cast. It had a plate on the back that you could open up and see inside the body. I vaguely recall that the metal had a rough quality to it, the way cast aluminum looks it it's not polished. When I go back to that store I'll check it out some more.

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 03/08/2008 at 3:45 PM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

Yes, those early ricky horseshoe pickups are amazing! I have a couple of the 30's bakelite lapsteels and I absolutely love the tone from those pickups (1 1/2" wide version)...I agree they have a Bean like intensity. I have never played the Spanish version, but that must be a killer guitar. Just make sure you never need a fret job on those bakelite frets! That would be great if you could check out the nitty gritty on that Gibson. I am curious about its construction. Cool stuff! and to me Travis Beans have a similar vibe for sure.

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freddyrayhendrix

Joined:
09 Dec 2007
Posts: 23
PostPosted: 03/08/2008 at 4:51 PM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

I want one now.

shit.

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rlrlrl

Joined:
24 Dec 2007
Posts: 260
PostPosted: 03/08/2008 at 10:17 PM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

ah yes the bakelite frets.... one of the reasons for the bolt on neck. when you wore through the frets they'd simply send you a new neck! my frets are in really good shape, and to preserve them I'm actually making a replacement neck so I can really play it. made of.... drum roll please.... aluminum! Kevin from Electrical is going to make me a special neck, with a longer scale length (the original is only 22.5"). The lap steels have bolt-on necks too, but the bridge is much further back on the body.

Also about that Gibson. The first thing that struck me when I saw that one in person is that it also has a round neck! No frets though, just fret markers. I though, gee, couldn't I put a new nut on this and play it "spanish" style?! Then I realized that it was from 1935 and there were only 98 ever built. oh well! A repro version would make an awesome travel guitar, setup for steel or spanish.

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LHakim

Joined:
24 Mar 2008
Posts: 1
PostPosted: 03/24/2008 at 7:41 PM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

Interesting sidenote on the Ricky alum frying pan--the combo of ultra-resonant alum body and hot pickup made those guitars so prone to feedback--even with the primitive low volume amplification of the 1930's, that Rickenbacker ended up stuffing the bodies with newspaper to dampen the resonance and control feedback. I would love to take one of those apart just to see what kind of 70 yr old headlines they contain!

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Peter Doran

Joined:
27 Dec 2007
Posts: 8
PostPosted: 03/31/2008 at 11:53 PM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

I recently sold Mr. Gallo my Bean Wedge. He was kind and very easy to deal with and did not try to get me to lower my price. I spoke with other members who also claimed to be looking for a Wedge and they were less than kind and full of Baloney.

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Peter Doran

Joined:
27 Dec 2007
Posts: 8
PostPosted: 04/01/2008 at 7:27 AM    Post subject: RE:Early aluminum guitar pre-history link

Sorry my above post was meant to appear in another thread. I have never posted before and was not sure how it worked.

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