Rickenbacker Model B-6 Lap Steel Electric Guitar , c. 1946

Rickenbacker  Model B-6 Lap Steel Electric Guitar ,  c. 1946
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Item # 8990
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Rickenbacker Model B-6 Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar, c. 1946, made in Los Angeles, California, polished black finish, molded Bakelite body and neck.

This is a superb original just post-WWII Rickenbacker Model B-6 six-string Bakelite steel guitar. These instruments were the standard of their day and are still generally considered the finest sounding lap steel ever made. This particular B-6 is built with many pre-war parts and has an interesting transitional mix of features unique to this era. The horseshoe magnet pickup is the slimmer post-war version with the large mounting flange and strings anchoring at the tailpiece instead of loading thru the body. The body itself is molded black Bakelite with the hollow cavities covered by chrome plates, and the spot where the older style stying mounting was milled away at the factory is visible under the new chrome flange/tailpiece unit.

The screwed-on Bakelite neck has integral molded frets and nut with inset white position dots. This guitar still has prewar tuners -- individual Grover units with cloverleaf bases and white plastic buttons -- and the old 1930s nameplate with the brand still spelled Rickenbacher. The horseshoe pickup is adjustable for height with screws at the sides. The volume and tone controls are both on the treble side, equipped with the original knurled white plastic knobs used up into the 1950s. The output jack is also mounted on the treble side of the body. This is a great-sounding steel, with a bit brighter tone than typical 1930s examples but still a full-bodied roar when cranked. It is not that dissimilar to the final version of the pre-war B-6 and quite the nicest 1940s example we have ever had.
 
Overall length is 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm.), 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 1/2 in. (572 mm.). Width of nut is 2 1/4 in. (57 mm.).

This is a superbly clean and original instrument, not showing a lot of play time over the past 70+ years. There is some minor wear overall to the plating (one notable spot worn through on the tailpiece), but overall everything still shines like it did before the Korean War. It is completely original except possibly for one tuner button, which looks period but does not exactly match the others. A great sounding steel and as nice a later 1940s Bakelite Rickenbacker as we have ever had. Excellent + Condition.