Rickenbacker Model B-6 Lap Steel Electric Guitar , c. 1937

Rickenbacker  Model B-6 Lap Steel Electric Guitar ,  c. 1937

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Item # 6226
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Rickenbacker Model B-6 Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar, c. 1937, made in Los Angeles, serial # C-626, polished black finish, molded Bakelite body and neck, black hard shell case.

This is a lovely original pre-war Rickenbacker (still spelled Rickenbacher on the nameplate) Model B six-string Bakelite steel guitar, from the first years of issue. These instruments are still generally considered the finest-sounding lap steel guitars ever made, especially the original 1930s models.

This B-6 features the famous 1 1/2" horseshoe magnet pickup used up until WWII and strings loading through the body, the combination of features considered to produce the best sound. The body is molded black Bakelite with hollow cavities covered by silver metal plates; the screwed-on neck has integral molded frets and nut with inset silver position dots. The headstock mounts individual tuners with cast trapezoidal metal buttons and a decorative etched baseplate.

The pickup is adjustable for height with knurled knobs and features a coil wrapped in black cloth-covered wire. The single volume pot (on the treble side) is equipped with the original octagonal black plastic knob with a molded arrow pointer. As is typical of these early models, the output jack is mounted on the bass side, where the audience would not see it!

The body is marked below the bridge with a 1932 patent number, and the metal pickup mounting flange is marked "PAT PEND", which is only found mid-1937 or earlier. This is a predictably great-sounding steel and a nice example of the most sought-after guitar of its type.
 
Overall length is 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm.), 9 1/4 in. (23.5 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.).

Superbly clean and all original; this B-6 shows only some very light wear overall. Some scuffing, most notably to the plating; one spot is down to the metal on the lower right coverplate near the volume control.

One of the nicest of these pre-WWII steel guitars we have had; a splendid example with a very strong original pickup that sounds fantastic. There is a modern hard shell case with the instrument that does not fit exactly but is still functional for most uses.

Excellent Condition.