Model 325 Poll Regarding Sealer On Fretboard

The short-scale model that changed history

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Model 325 Poll Regarding Sealer On Fretboard

Postby (admin) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:08 am

From those who have 1950s Model 325s in their possession, please fill me in on the following. It would seem that the first Model 325s had either no sealer or minimal sealer on their fretboards. I would be interested in hearing from 325 owners as to their estimate of the amount of sealer on the models in the late 1950s. Lacquer was used briefly, followed by conversion varnish and then clear coat was added time progressed. I am just trying to get some benchmarks here.
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Postby (joe_hardman) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 3:17 pm

Peter: If there was a sealer on the fretboards of '58 325 and other '58 Capri models, when they left the factory, it was so thin it soon disappeared. I would also be interested in hearing from anyone who owns an authentic 325 (not a 310 - 320) that was made between 1959 and 1963, but I do not think we will.
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Postby (larrywassgren) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:07 pm

Joe, the only 'real' 3 pick-up 325(all the others I've seen were converted 310/315 guitars) between '59-64 now belongs to our friend George in Tokyo. It's the same guitar that is listed under the caption $38000? in this forum. I had that guitar for a short time and just recently got to play it again in Tokyo. It originally had a light sealer on the fretboard as there was still traces of it left around the frets. I've owned four 310/315 models from '59 and I believe they all had the thin lacquer on the fretboard. The better examples had traces left of the thin lacquer. I didn't realize until I got the '58 325 that they didn't use lacquer on the fretboard on these. They were produced so early in 1958 that they were still using 1957 standards. At least that's the way I see it. George has one rare guitar there. Richard Smith singles this guitar out on page 227 of the Rickenbacker book, saying 'the highest repeat number used in 1960 was #3V154, a Fireglo Model 325 delivered on November 4, 1960'. Richard was/is a Beatle nut like the rest of us and must have been searching through invoices, singling out 325 models and the only one he found(besides the original 28 from 1958) was 3V154 which George now owns.
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Postby (joe_hardman) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:52 pm

Larry: You are right on target and that is why I stated that I do not expect to hear from anyone who owns an authentic 325 made between 59 and 63. At least I don't think George visits this site. You and I have studied and collected vintage 325 Rickenbackers for over 35 years and we have an excellent feel for just how few 325 models were made prior to the popularity of John Lennon and The Beatles. I wonder if guitar enthusiasts, including the self appointed "experts" who we have helped educate, truly comprehend that we are talking about less than 30 such examples. Even if pre '64 310 - 320 models are included with 325 models, the total is still exceedingly low by any standard.
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Postby (johnhall) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:08 pm

I guess one of these days I'm going to have to pull out the paperwork and count these up myself!
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Postby (glen_l) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:10 pm

Great discussion guys.

I've always appreciated the way Larry and Joe have passed on the things they learned first hand from their years of tracking down these rare little Rics. So many of us, who have come along in more recent years, will never have the opportunity to touch, let alone own one of these rare guitars. Timely input from John Hall of Rickenbacker Corporation has also been invaluable in clearing up so many of the myths regarding early Rics. Especially in recent times.

We've all learned a lot, including such details as the unfinished fretboards on those first Capris', thanks to the experience generously passed on by others.

Credit, where credit is due. Thanks again guys.
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Postby (joe_hardman) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:16 pm

John: I've only been waiting 15 years for you to get around to doing just that. I hope we both live long enough for you to complete the project.
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Postby (glen_l) » Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:25 pm

I'd so much love to see some info like that. It really looks like we're talking about a very few guitars here, as Joe indicated.

But please, please. The serial number of the '58 Polynesian Combo850. I'd love to know just that one, if nothing else. It's been eluding me since I first started poking around with old serial numbers...lol
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Postby (larrywassgren) » Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:36 pm

John, that would be great if you did. Joe and I have been searching and learning about these guitars for years and we know as much as anybody about them, but that paperwork would solve a lot of questions(not only that, we'd love to see them). Your info about Gerry Marsden's 12 string blew my story away. Glen, I think that David McLaughlin tracked down the Polynesian guitar in Japan and gave me the serial number at one time(which I can't find). Maybe David would like to comment here? This is all fun stuff!
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Postby (glen_l) » Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:55 pm

Yep, the Polynesian is in Japan. It was sold by a guitar store in Tokyo.

I was told that a well known collector there looked at it one day and and went back the next to buy it, only to find had been sold in the meantime!

I'm told it was purchased by a Japanese collector who is quiet about his collection - understandably so.

David is a huge fan of the Polynesian. I'm sure he told me how tracked it and narrowly missed out on it at one stage too. Perhaps he knows the serial number, but I got the impression that nobody who's been in a position to do so, has thought to make a note of it.

Probably the only one who has the number (besides the current owner) is John Hall himself.
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Postby (jwilli) » Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:06 pm

*I'm told it was purchased by a Japanese collector who is quiet about his collection - understandably so.*
I hate to see those words. Whats the big deal? Like we're going to show up and steal the dadburn guitar. Just don't publish the address :-)
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Postby (glen_l) » Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:02 pm

yeah, I have to agree John. It's me trying to be diplomatic....
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Postby (leftybass) » Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:56 am

Guys, I wonder if John Hall could tell us about the fretboard on the old two-tone brown 325 body and neck 'Mule' that is still out at the factory?? You may remember last year when Nick Thiel posted a pic of the guitar on Voxtalks along with some 325C58 body/neck test blanks...there are many extra routs in the guitar and the f-hole may have been a later addition..Possibly one of the original 28 made??
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