Category Archives: rickenbaker 325

1958 rickenbacker 325

Much has been said and speculated about the 1958 Rickenbacker 325 used by John Lennon during the initial rise to fame of the Beatles. Perhaps what makes the famous ‘Hamburg’ 325 so interesting is the amount of speculation regarding such issues as it’s original configuration, it’s modification, the refinish, alleged theft, and current whereabouts.

The first thing that most people notice is that the guitar has no sound hole or elevated pickguard unlike almost every vintage or modern hollow-bodied Ric you’ll ever see. If you examine examples of Rickenbacker’s very first capris from 1958 you’ll notice that they have only a single lucite control plate. It was towards the end of ’58 that elevated pickguards were introduced. The run of 325’s were produced very early in ’58. The lack of soundhole on Lennon’s 325 is harder to explain, but the feeling is that soundholes were not on the first few 325’s but were quickly introduced as a visual indicator that the 325’s were hollow. Without actually picking one up and feeling the exceptionally light weight, due to the alder body and extensive internal routing, they give every appearance of being a solidbody, and hence lower quality instrument.

Next, if you compare Lennon’s 325 to almost every other known example of ’58 325 you’ll notice that it is unusual in having 4 controls. Most original 325’s have only 2 rotary controls and 1 pickup selector. The reason for this can be found in the ‘Rickenbacker’ book by Richard R. Smith. On page 162 and 163 it is noted that “the first 325 guitars had a single pickup selector switch, a volume control, and a tone control. However, later in 1958, the factory refitted the 325’s still in Rickenbacker’s inventory with two tone controls and two volume controls.” Due to the low position of the existing two controls it can be assumed that the two additional potentiometers were added above the existing two using the same ‘single’ lucite plate. This would also explain the ‘skewed’ placement of the controls on Lennon’s. The new Rickenbacker standard Rogan (stove) type knobs were likely installed in the process. Here we have another answer, John’s 325 was one of the retrofitted two control 1958 325’s.

1964 rickenbacker 325

1964 Rickenbacker 325 Jetglo (black). This updated, solid-top 325 was designed with Lennon in mind but not yet ready when Rickenbacker president F. C. Hall arrived in New York to meet with the Beatles before their Ed Sullivan debut.   Hall had heard about the British band using his guitars, and had tracked down Brian Epstein, and arranged a private meeting, to which Epstein, probably with an eye toward replacing Lennon’s battered Hamburg 325, readily agreed.  (To this meeting Hall also brought an electric 12-string, which the group schlepped over to an ailing George Harrison, and a prototype Model 4001 bass, which Paul McCartney passed on, for some reason).  Lennon’s new 325 — updated with an extra fine-tune knob, double-layered pickguard, improved vibrato and slimmer body — was shipped to Lennon at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach in time for rehearsals for the second Sullivan broadcast and immediately took over from the “Hamburg” 325 as Lennon’s workhorse; it saw action right up until late ’65 tours, after which it served as a backup.  Temporarily out of action after Lennon dropped it at the Hammersmith Odeon during a ’64 Christmas show.  First album use: A Hard Day’s Night.  On display at the John Lennon Museum in Japan, where it still has a nasty crack in the headstock, near the machine heads.

 

325 connection

This website is a collection of galleries containing photographs of Vintage 310 – 325 Rickenbacker guitars in private and public collections. Also featured here are articles and information on Vintage Vox JMI amplifiers and early Rickenbacker Capri guitar wiring

This site started of in 1999 with just one page. It grew quickly with an explosion of interest in Rickenbacker 325’s that was going on. New entires for the galleries are still arriving regularly. If you have a Vintage 325 or know of one of these classic vintage guitars feel free to contact me for inclusion. If you prefer to retain privacy for your guitars I would still like to hear from you regarding information for my private database. Particularly 1958 325’s. There is still much being learned about the production of these early guitars. Pre 70’s models are what is required for the galleries at the moment.

Additional data or thoughts are always welcome.

 

325 rickenbacker

An exact replica of John Lennon’s first 325.
Just like the guitar Lennon purchased in Hamburg in 1960. It features a semi-hollowbody sculpted of solid alder, the gold nameplate and pickguard, gold-on-brown knobs, elongated jack plate, and Kauffman Vibrola. Includes hardshell case.
Features
Exact replica of John Lennon’s 1958 325
Hollow body sculpted of solid alder
Gold nameplate and pickguard
Gold-on-brown knobs
Elongated jack plate
Kauffman Vibrola

 

325c64 rickenbacker

Body Type Semi-Hollow
No. Frets 21
Scale Length 53.34 cm (21”)
Neck Width at Nut 41.4 mm (1.63”)
Neck Width at 12th Fret 49.2 mm (1 15/16”)
Crown Radius 18.42 cm (7.25”)
Body Wood Maple
Neck Wood Maple
Fingerboard Wood Rosewood
Weight 3.2 kg (7.0 lbs.)
Overall Length 87.6 cm (34 1/2”)
Overall Width 32.4 cm (12 3/4”)
Overall Depth 38.1 mm (1 1/2”)
Neck Binding No
Fret Marker Style Dot
Tailpiece Accent Vibrato
Bridge Roller Bridge
Neck Type Set-in
No. of Pickups 3
Type of Pickups Vintage Single Coil Toaster Top™
Output Type Mono
Machine Heads Deluxe Vintage repro

buy rickenbacker 325

This auction is for a mint condition, 2003 reissue of a Rickenbacker-325C58 MG “Hamburg” C Series (Mapleglo). I presently own two 325C58s (one Mapleglo and one Jetglo). Although both guitars play, sound, and look great, I can’t really justify keeping two of these guitars in my collection (running out of closet space!). I would really like to see this guitar get into the hands of someone who will enjoy playing and taking care of such a beautiful instrument! The Mapleglo in this auction has only been played for a total of 4 hours since I’ve owned it. So, it is essentially brand new. (The dark  areas on the back of the neck and the body in the photos which appear to be discoloration on the finish are actually shadows from the guitar stand and myself standing over the guitar.) The final auction price includes all original documents, the original silver Rickenbacker case, and a hex wrench for fine tuning the bridge height.

 

lennon rickenbacker 325

Much has been said and speculated about the 1958 Rickenbacker 325 used by John Lennon during the initial rise to fame of the Beatles. Perhaps what makes the famous ‘Hamburg’ 325 so interesting is the amount of speculation regarding such issues as it’s original configuration, it’s modification, the refinish, alleged theft, and current whereabouts.

The first thing that most people notice is that the guitar has no sound hole or elevated pickguard unlike almost every vintage or modern hollow-bodied Ric you’ll ever see. If you examine examples of Rickenbacker’s very first capris from 1958 you’ll notice that they have only a single lucite control plate. It was towards the end of ’58 that elevated pickguards were introduced. The run of 325’s were produced very early in ’58. The lack of soundhole on Lennon’s 325 is harder to explain, but the feeling is that soundholes were not on the first few 325’s but were quickly introduced as a visual indicator that the 325’s were hollow. Without actually picking one up and feeling the exceptionally light weight, due to the alder body and extensive internal routing, they give every appearance of being a solidbody, and hence lower quality instrument.

Next, if you compare Lennon’s 325 to almost every other known example of ’58 325 you’ll notice that it is unusual in having 4 controls. Most original 325’s have only 2 rotary controls and 1 pickup selector. The reason for this can be found in the ‘Rickenbacker’ book by Richard R. Smith. On page 162 and 163 it is noted that “the first 325 guitars had a single pickup selector switch, a volume control, and a tone control. However, later in 1958, the factory refitted the 325’s still in Rickenbacker’s inventory with two tone controls and two volume controls.” Due to the low position of the existing two controls it can be assumed that the two additional potentiometers were added above the existing two using the same ‘single’ lucite plate. This would also explain the ‘skewed’ placement of the controls on Lennon’s. The new Rickenbacker standard Rogan (stove) type knobs were likely installed in the process. Here we have another answer, John’s 325 was one of the retrofitted two control 1958 325’s.

model 325c64

The British Invasion of 1964 initiated a rise in popularity of the model 325. The Model 325C64 duplicates the Model 325 as produced in 1964—complete with semi-hollow Maple body, re-shaped body and headstock, three vintage-style pickups, and Accent Vibrato. Offered in Jetglo finish.

Body Type Semi-Hollow
No. Frets 21
Scale Length 53.34 cm (21”)
Neck Width at Nut 41.4 mm (1.63”)
Neck Width at 12th Fret 49.2 mm (1 15/16”)
Crown Radius 18.42 cm (7.25”)
Body Wood Maple
Neck Wood Maple
Fingerboard Wood Rosewood
Weight 3.2 kg (7.0 lbs.)
Overall Length 87.6 cm (34 1/2”)
Overall Width 32.4 cm (12 3/4”)
Overall Depth 38.1 mm (1 1/2”)
Neck Binding No
Fret Marker Style Dot
Tailpiece Accent Vibrato
Bridge Roller Bridge
Neck Type Set-in
No. of Pickups 3
Type of Pickups Vintage Single Coil Toaster Top™
Output Type Mono
Machine Heads Deluxe Vintage repro

 

ric 325

This auction is for a mint condition, 2003 reissue of a Rickenbacker-325C58 MG “Hamburg” C Series (Mapleglo). I presently own two 325C58s (one Mapleglo and one Jetglo). Although both guitars play, sound, and look great, I can’t really justify keeping two of these guitars in my collection (running out of closet space!). I would really like to see this guitar get into the hands of someone who will enjoy playing and taking care of such a beautiful instrument! The Mapleglo in this auction has only been played for a total of 4 hours since I’ve owned it. So, it is essentially brand new. (The dark areas on the back of the neck and the body in the photos which appear to be discoloration on the finish are actually shadows from the guitar stand and myself standing over the guitar.) The final auction price includes all original documents, the original silver Rickenbacker case, and a hex wrench for fine tuning the bridge height. (Lower 48 US states only please)

Production of the Rickenbacker-325C58 is now discontinued and has become increasingly difficult to locate one in mint condition. This is a great chance to own a piece of Beatle history. So, don’t wait too long before someone seizes the opportunity before you! Good luck to all bidders!

rickenbacker 325 12 string

1964 Rickenbacker 325 Jetglo (black). This updated, solid-top 325 was designed with Lennon in mind but not yet ready when Rickenbacker president F. C. Hall arrived in New York to meet with the Beatles before their Ed Sullivan debut.   Hall had heard about the British band using his guitars, and had tracked down Brian Epstein, and arranged a private meeting, to which Epstein, probably with an eye toward replacing Lennon’s battered Hamburg 325, readily agreed.  (To this meeting Hall also brought an electric 12-string, which the group schlepped over to an ailing George Harrison, and a prototype Model 4001 bass, which Paul McCartney passed on, for some reason).  Lennon’s new 325 — updated with an extra fine-tune knob, double-layered pickguard, improved vibrato and slimmer body — was shipped to Lennon at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach in time for rehearsals for the second Sullivan broadcast and immediately took over from the “Hamburg” 325 as Lennon’s workhorse; it saw action right up until late ’65 tours, after which it served as a backup.  Temporarily out of action after Lennon dropped it at the Hammersmith Odeon during a ’64 Christmas show.  First album use: A Hard Day’s Night.  On display at the John Lennon Museum in Japan, where it still has a nasty crack in the headstock, near the machine heads.