The Rickenbacker lap steel was possibly the very first successful electric guitar put into larger scale production, but Rickenbacker's influence goes back to the early National days. Adolph Rickenbacker - then spelled Richenbacher - had a tool and die shop near National, and was contracted to produce metal bodies and resonator cones for National guitars, ukuleles and mandolins. Eventually, George Beauchamp of National was investigating electrified instruments, and with Paul Barth and Adolph Rickenbacher developed the 'Frying Pan' guitar with the patented horseshoe pickup, versions of which are still used on modern Rickenbacker basses. They formed a new company named 'RoPatIn', which changed fairly quickly to 'Electro String Instrument Company'. The principles used in these guitars influenced both Fender and Gibson in their development efforts.

Here we see a Richenbacher Electro Model NS lap steel, produced very close to or during 1948. The body is stamped from sheet steel. As there is no serial number, dating is established through various characteristics. On this model, the strings are mounted on holes in the top, which is a post-WW2 feature; pre-war, strings went through the body. The pickup magnet is 1.25 inches wide, also a post-WW2 change from the 1.5 inch magnet width on pre-war pickups. The NS model was introduced in 1946, but had black position marker dots until 1948. The model itself was discontinued around 1950.

There are two versions of the headstock logo - one is the decal as seen here, the other a metal plate. Both logos read Rickenbacher Electro RE Los Angeles.

This very nice lap steel is in overall very good, original condition with little wear. The original fibre (cardboard) case is included.

This is a consignment piece. Prices shown here are in US dollars and are based on a recent exchange rate. For Canadian dollar pricing, please follow the More Details link here to our website posting at . Prices do not include shipping, taxes, or any import duties.

The Twelfth Fret

The Twelfth Fret

Very Good
Grey Burst
Original Soft
The Twelfth Fret
The Twelfth Fret
(416) 423-2132
Toronto, Ontario
10:03 PM
12-6 Monday to Thursday 12-7 Friday 11-5 Saturdays Closed Sundays

1. We accept Visa and Mastercard through our secure online payment processor. We do use 3d Secure, aka Verified by Visa and Mastercard Secure Code. If the card cannot be verified through this method, shipping delays may occur. 2. We accept wire transfers - please contact us for details. 3. We do not accept cheques. Our banks hold cheques far too long for this to be useful. 4. In person we're happy to accept cash or verified debit cards. 5. Normally, on our own website ( we list prices primarily in Canadian dollars. On Gbase, we've converted the Canadian prices to US dollars at a 1.3% exchange rate. This rate is subject to change, reflecting current currency conversion rates.

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