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The company says to have no records of any of these. The neck was solid cast aluminum and the string spacing similar as on a B7., please keep in mind that the early Rickenbacher company was a young enterprise in a brand new industry.
Parts as control knobs, screws and especially tuning machines seem to have been put on these guitars as they came available...
Earliest models may have no mention of any US-patent of metallic parts. You have to understand that bakelite is a very hard and abrasive to machine material, requiring tool to be re-sharpened very, very often.
Soon thereafter the logo changed to a "T"-shaped one, bearing the new spelling of the company RICKENBACKER, vertically.
The guitar will probably be for sale when my friend can get an idea what a reasonable price would be for it. I'm NOT the expert that many here on the Forum truly are.
The former owner claims the guitar was manufactured in 1946 but there are no obvious numbers on the instrument to confirm this.
All this information shall help me help you better. Phonojack facing player, "pat pend." on the tab, bridge molded onto guitar face, knobs, etc. I have noticed on the Rickenbacker website of 1930's catalogs that the Rickenbacher and Rickenbacker spellings are both used even on the oldest literature.
Is this just peculiar to the catalogs or do some of the prewar guitars also have the Rickenbacker spelling? I have a "wartime-era" Rick with the white celluloid panels.
7 string models are built out of a 6 string body and neck, Thus the string spacing on 7 string models is narrower, which makes slants a little more difficult.
Rickenbacker has even used 6 string necks for some of their 8 string models, which are really "no-slanters" (IMNSHO) as the string spacing becomes very narrow.10 string models were built on special order only.