Details about Tele Mahogany body Rickenbacker lap steel pickup, lipstick relic guitarSee original listing
Dec 28, 2011
[ 11 bids ]
Hamtramck, Michigan, United States
Used: An item that has been used previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully ... Read moreabout the condition
I am selling the world's only TeleRick.
This is a guitar which was constructed using:
Fender MIM neck Serial Number MZ4013361 (hard rock maple)
Non-Fender Tele style Mahogany body
Rickenbacker horseshoe pickup from a Rickenbacker (old spelling is Rickenbacher) Model 100 lap steel
Lipstick pickup (4.9K) GFS from Guitar Fetish
Other misc parts from Guitar Fetish, staggered tuners and string tree, 3 way switch, tele jack cup, Tele dome knobs, cloth wiring.
This guitar was born in a Hamtramck second hand store where I found the Rickenbacker lap steel. At the time I could not even tell what brand it was because there were no tags, markings, or serial numbers on it. Also the body had been crudely modified, some wood cut away, strap buttons put on so it could be played slung around your neck more like a regular guitar. The store owner told me it had been owned by a friend of hers that had passed away. who was from the coal mining fields of Tennessee. He had also painted numbers on the metal fretboard. That genesis gave me the idea of putting this pickup on a telecaster style body.
Since the Rickenbacker is an old pickup with usage marks, I bought a Fender neck which showed a little natural wear. I then yellowed the face of the neck over the logo to make the neck looka little further aged. It is a very subtle effect. (I used gunstock oil infused with a little walnut dye.)
I picked up a mahogany body and modified it so the Rickenbacker pickup fit on it. At first I used a Gibson style wraparound bridge behind the rickbacker pickup. But it seems like some of that lap steel singing quality was missing. So I filled those holes, cut a little more wood and used the bridge integrated into the pickup. I also more tightly attached the neck to the body by using threaded steel neck inserts instead of the standard wood screws. You can search on ebay to see what inserts are are like.
The end result is that this thing sings like a woman! I took the guitar to my sister's house in Michigan's UP and played with her old-timey, bluegrass band. With the bluegrass band, I had to use the lipstick pickup because the Rickenbacker was too powerful, too bluesy. We were just playing an instrumental, but after the end of one song, someone asked "Who is singing?" No one was singing. It was the TeleRick. I was playing on the next song, and I thought I heard a woman singing vowels, I looked up from the fretboard and no, my sister (the only female musician present) was not singing. It WAS the guitar.
I had configured the guitar with a brass nut at first. It sounded great. I then switched to a solid plastic nut, and the open notes sounded more muffled than the notes held with the slide did. So, I put the brass nut back on. Also, when you play I think the brass affects the tone even more than just the open notes. I mean, the string does vibrate from the slide back to the nut unless you dampen it. The lipstick pickup loves the brass nut. I think the singing woman tone is a combination of the brass nut, lipstick pickup, mahogany body, threaded steel inserts, and the very solid Rickenbacker bridge. As I mentioned, the bluegrass people were not into the powerful Rickenbacker sound.
I put a 3 way switch on the guitar so you get the raw lipstick pickup, lipstick and Rickenbacker combined, and Rickbenbacker by itself. The tone and volume knobs only affect the Rickenbacker pickup. I did it this way for a couple reasons. If you wanted you could physically move the Rickenbacker pickup from the tele body to the Rickenbacker body, by only by snipping two wires. If I had integrated the tone and volume with the lipstick pickup, then more wires would have to be cut. Tonewise, the guitar rocks this way. The lipstick is a kind of a hollowed out singing acoustic sort of sound, you can play 4 strings together and they blend like a gospel choir. The Rickenbacker pickup has twice the output of the lipstick and is more raucous so you would only want to play 2 notes together (unless you are going for the heavy distortion). So you can do this multiple string sliding with the lipstick, and then flip the switch and go into a real heavier tone on the Rickenbacker pickup. You can tone down the Rickenbacker pickup with its controls to more closely match the lipstick if you want. The one pickup sounds like a logical extension of the other.
This guitar sounds so good, it could be the basis for a whole new unique style of playing. You can get lost flipping back and forth between them for hours..
The string height (action) is such that you can play the classic boogie woogie on the low strings from open to the 7th fret, and if you are sliding at the 5th fret, you can press down the strings behind the slide to get the missing notes in the scale, but when you are at the 12th fret you will be all slide all the time. Now, the action could be lowered a little. The bottom of the brass nut could be filed, maybe the neck truss rod could be used, but the Rickenbacker bridge is a little higher than the tele bridge, so the action will always favor the slide player. But that is not a loss on this guitar, because this is a slide players guitar.
In my heart of hearts, I believe that is a guitar born for slide and it will need a slide guitarist to properly appreciate it. That is why I am putting it on a month long listing. This special guitar requires a special person.
The pickguard is a tele pickguard cut down to fit the Rickenbacker pickup.
If you show up at a jam with this guitar, musician's heads will turn. The audience will not notice. Your regular tele has more chrome around the bridge than most guitars, and the Rickenbacker adds even more chrome, and with the tele style dome knob covers, the guitar is a very stylish enhacement of the tele style. It is the one time love child of a Tele and a Rick. The Rickenbacker lap steel pickups are so desireable and expensive, you will never see one on a telecaster body on ebay ever again. Do a ebay search for Rickenbacker lap steel to see what these pickups go for. Maybe use the Advanced Completed Listings option to see items that have already sold. The Rickenbacker steels are so expensive it makes no economic sense to butcher one and put the pickup into a tele body. But the Rickenbacker body on this guitar was already butchered, and I paid a reasonable price for it locally, so you can take advantage of this one time deal.
I wish I could keep this guitar, I love playing it, I love seeing it hanging on the wall, but I am over-extended money-wise and need the cash.
This guitar could be used for bluegrass, country, blues, rock'n roll. I don't think anyone would ever waste it on heavy metal, but that wrap around horseshoe magnet is powerful. The Rickenbacker pickup sounds clear, yet very powerful. It is so powerful, that a single string sounds clean, two strings distort together in a bluesy way, and 3 strings takes you into heavy metal territory where you probably don't want to go, if you are a roots type player.
And that butchered Rickenbacker body? You get that too! It has everything on it you need to put the Rickenbacker pickup back on it, or you could put some other pickups on it and have a lap steel. The only flaw is that the plastic part of the tuners have crumbled away, but all the tuners are there. There is no Rickenbacker logo or serial number tag on the body. It was already missing when I got it. But you get the body and I will ship it to you for free. I think you deserve it, and it helps keep the history of the guitar intact.
The neck has been naturally reliced by use. You can see a wear spot in the 3rd fret. The body has been lightly and very tastefully reliced. I have an old 1974 Tele, and I put marks on this guitar to match the marks on the actual Tele that I own. You can see the marks from the back, but not from the front. There is only a few small dings and scratches visible from the front. I lightly colored the head stock to also perfectly match my old tele. I did all this so that the mojo of all the guitar parts are in balance. Check out the pictures.
There are some flaws and I have photographed them. If you are a couple feet away you can not see them. but on the top if you look where the strings go into the body you will see an uneven area where the strings used to go in, where I filled it in with mahogany doll rods but the survace remained uneven. Also, on the back, you can see the uneven area where the strings used to come out. I moved the string holes when I changed the bridge. The pickguard under the dome knob wanders a little farther away from the chrome than I would have liked, but you have to look very closely at the photos to notice. Even then you might not notice. I lessened it a bit my putting a white backing behind the pickguard.
The frets are like new. It intonates perfectly with the slide above the 12th fret. Now if you pressed the string down to the 12th fret it might be off a bit, due to the height of the string. The tone and volume knob work as they should on the Rickenbacker pickup. The neck has a good truss rod.
I will mention again that this is a guitar for a slide guitar player. This thing will moan and sing like a woman for you.. Sounds like a long haired, long legged blond to me.
I only ship in the USA. You can return it in 7 days if you change your mind. You just have to pay the return shipping.
Once she breaks down and cries in your hands, I do not think you will be able to ever let her go.