Circa 1948 Rickenbacher Electro NS Lap steel


Out of stock

Circa 1948 Rickenbacher NS Lap steel

Hard to date exactly as no serial # but by its features it is post war. In very good condition for its years and the horseshoe pickup sounds so good! Such a cool vintage piece.

The previous owner was Andy Goessling of Railroad Earth, very well known in jam-band, “Americana”, and bluegrass circles. He also played and/or recorded with many others including Rick Danko, Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes, John McEuen, David Bromberg, Vassar Clements, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Pinetop Perkins, Patrick Regan.

Some extra detail courtesy of 12th

The Rickenbacker Electro Model NS 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 Rickenbacker 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 Richenbacker 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.

Comes with a Gretsch gig bag.

Please call the shop for all details 01844 261447