Welcome to Rickenbacker.com              4/18/2014   
Wood Selection

The starting point of a great acoustic guitar is great wood. While we pay particular attention to buying only the best quality available on the market, we also carefully inspect and hand select each piece of wood to make sure it's up to our standards.
Each wood blank selected to become a Rickenbacker is held in our wood storage locker for a period of time to insure that it will remain stable for years to come. Each piece is carefully tested for moisture content and recorders create a permanent record of the temperature and humidity within the seasoning room.
Neck construction

After selection and seasoning, the wood for the neck is laminated. Lamination provides for greater neck stability, as well as a pleasing appearance when contrasting wood types are used. Once the glue has set, a template is laid out for the profile to be cut.
At this point in the process, the head angle is cut out to precision. The truss rod cavities are then routed out and covered with fill strips. The head "ears" are then glued into place, and a template is laid out for the shape of the headstock.
It is now time to route out the compound dove tail tenon, which is the part of the neck that forms the joint between the neck and body.
This traditional and time tested method for creating a neck joint provides for maximum strength and transfer of tone and vibration.
After routing the compound dovetail tenon, the fingerboard can now be attached. The boards are clamped to the neck blank to assure a tight fit and maximum adhesion to the neck.
The most exacting techniques are employed in the insertion of frets into the Rosewood fingerboards by only the most experienced craftsmen. Seating frets accurately the first time makes the difference between an acceptable and a great instrument over the life of the product.
Now that the frets are in place, the next step in the construction of an acoustic is to carefully cut out the profile of the neck. This rough cut provides the basis for the sleek, contoured neck that is to follow.
The distinctive shape of a Rickenbacker headstock is created by hand on our acoustic models. A skilled craftsman carefully carves out the shape with a router, and painstakingly files and sands the curves to perfection.
At this point, it's off to the shaping table. At the shaping table, a router with a special bit is used to carefully shape the back of the neck. After shaping, the neck is then diligently filed and sanded until our characteristic lustrous shape and feel is achieved.
With the neck now nearly complete, it is now time to add the binding. While binding necks and bodies seems to be a dying trend in the industry, Rickenbacker continues the tradition of binding all deluxe models, which produces a distinctive and memorable appearance.
Body construction

The first step in the construction of the body, is to lay out a template for the body shape, and location of the braces for the front and back of the guitar.
Once the template is laid out, the braces are glued and clamped into place to ensure a tight bond. The braces serve a dual purpose in both providing structural integrity, and maximum sound projection.
Other shops have many of the components making up their products fabricated outside their shops. We, however, make almost every item ourselves. For example we bend the sides of each guitar using heat. While this is an old-world technique, we've refined it to an art to insure accuracy and stability.
Now that the sides have been bent, they are ready to be glued together. Head and tail blocks are used to provided a large gluing surface for proper adhesion.
Having joined the sides together, it is time for the curfing to be glued and clamped into place. The purpose of the curfing is to provide a greater gluing surface to the sides of the guitar for which to glue the top and back plates.
With the curfing now in place, the top and back can now be glued to the sides of the guitar body.
Secured carefully in a carrier with attached pattern, each body is routed on the periphery to accept Rickenbacker's trademark checked binding. A special process fuses the binding into the wood, insuring a tight, secure bond beyond what can be accomplished with adhesives.
It is now time for the critical and laborious process of joining the neck to the body. Fine adjustments need to be made to the compound dove tail tenon and mortise to achieve a perfect fit that will provide complete mating surface contact and stand the test of time.
Finishing

Once the neck has been properly set, the guitar is ready for  finishing. After sanding and sealing, the guitar is then sprayed for color (if applicable). Serveral applications of clear coat are sprayed with the utmost care and attention to coat thinkness and quality,.  Special care is taken not to stifle or suppress the guitar's natural resonance that we so carefully craft into it. The guitar is then sanded            buffed until an unrivaled finish is achieved.
After leaving the finishing department, the finish on the bridge area must be carefully scraped down to the wood to provide the best surface possible for the bridge to be attached.
Assembly & Setup

Our pioneering use of vacuum fixturing locates each part and holds it into position as it is fastened. Holding over a large surface with a vacuum rather than typical spot clamping distributes clamping pressure evenly and also minimizes the stress within the wood which can lead to cracking in the future.
Our luthiers are players too and know what musicians expect from a setup. From the neck to the bridge, they insure the guitar plays like one they'd own themselves. Any options, such as the E3 pickup systems are installed at this point. A final inspection is made before the Rickenbacker name is affixed.
Final Product

Combining tradition with innovation allows us to offer an acoustic guitar which appeals specifically to owners of Rickenbacker electric guitars. A narrower neck and faster action, as well as a slightly brighter sound, sets these guitars apart from the crowd, while still offering a traditional look.