Question about colors/years

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Question about colors/years

Postby (dr_bob) » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:16 am

Are the years that I see on Wikipedia and the Rickenbacker Page info (http://www.the-music-connection.com/ricinfo.htm#fin) during which certain colors were made correct? For example, could there be an autumnglo 360 made in 1986?

Also what's the difference between autumnglo and walnut?
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (jps) » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:56 am

dr_bob wrote:Also what's the difference between autumnglo and walnut?

Autumnglo is a satin finish while Walnut is glossy, sort of the reverse of the conventional way for Rickenbacker, as usually a xxxGlo is glossy.

Don't even go there, guys! :mrgreen:
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (scotty) » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:04 am

jps wrote:
Don't even go there, guys! :mrgreen:

Spoilsport :twisted:
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (chronictown) » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:20 am

I'm not sure if that color chart is completely accurate. For example, there's an '89 360/12 Ruby on EBay right now that, according to the chart, shouldn't exist. Same with the nice '87 610 Ruby that Gary C. had for sale not so long ago. I've also never seen a Burgundy Rickenbacker from before the late '60s, although who knows - they might be out there :?
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (admin) » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:08 pm

Chris: We have more than a dozen Burgundy finish Rickenbackers from the mid to late 1960s in the Register. An important aspect of the Register is that is allows us to examine information such as this and answer many questions with regard to the features of these instruments over time. When one considers that Burgundy is in all probability a mix of Fireglo and Jetglo finishes (factory people please let me know if I am in error)it is probably not surprising that this finish has been around for quite some time.
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (bassduke49) » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:51 pm

You'll notice that the chart comes from the Rittor book from Japan, and its accuracy is a bit suspect. The other factor when it comes to RIC colors is that there are no absolute time lines (that I have found). Some of the colors in the '80s seem to stretch the chart's timelines. Also, backlogs stretched out many of the COYs. For example, Blueburst was the COY for 2005, but some orders for it were not fulfilled until 2008 (like my 2008 Cii, received in Jan 2009). And we're not even going to guess at orders by special customers, color experiments, and factory or other vendor refinishes.

The Autumnglo/Walnut thing is complicated. For a time, Autumnglo was a semimatte brown burst, and at the same time, a gloss version was called Walnut. But there was also an overall gloss transparent brown called Walnut at that time. To complicate things further, according to the chart, there was an earlier version of "Autumnglo" that some say was a dark version of Fireglo.
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (bails) » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:12 pm

bassduke49 wrote:...there was also an overall gloss transparent brown called Walnut at that time.

I'm not sure this is correct. I don't think the non-burst Walnuts were ever a standard colour, but simply occasional anomalies.
Only a handful of these have ever come up, so I think it's unlikely there were a regularly available finish, and more likely special orders or factory accidents.
Referring to tham as Walnut seems more of a convention as this was Rickenbacker's closest finish match at the time, but I think it would be better to always refer to them as 'non-burst Walnut'.

Can anyone confirm this?
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (bassduke49) » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:43 am

Like I said, it's complicated! :shock:

The overall "Walnut" finishes are indeed rare, and it's not clear if they were intentional or accidental. It could be that for a short period, the factory finish folks decided to do these instead of bursts, or they were special orders. I see nothing in price lists to indicate that there was an order option, and I think the factory folks would just say "we did some that way."
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (Grey) » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:16 am

bassduke49 wrote:Like I said, it's complicated! :shock:

The overall "Walnut" finishes are indeed rare, and it's not clear if they were intentional or accidental. It could be that for a short period, the factory finish folks decided to do these instead of bursts, or they were special orders. I see nothing in price lists to indicate that there was an order option, and I think the factory folks would just say "we did some that way."


I don't remember where I read it, but I had heard that Walnut and Azure Glo were only avilable by special order on the 480 guitars. The Walnut was the glossy-type burst finish, but it did make mention of being on special order.
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (bails) » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:46 am

The point I was going for was that, although a few extant anomalies have come to light, I don't think it's correct to state that generally "there was also an overall gloss transparent brown called Walnut at that time" if we are referring to colour availability. If we were to include all one-offs, custom orders, mistakes, factory seconds, protoypes, test runs, etc, then the concept of colour availability would have no meaning - we would instead be saying that any colour was technically an option.

To highlight my point, I, for one would not say that 360WB, Wide Neck, Gun Metal Blue was factory available in 2010, even though there's one on the Bay right this instant!

The reason is that the term 'available' has limited meaning is this instance, just as I believe it does with non-burst walnuts, or any of the other Rickenbacker anomalies that we've seen on this forum.

To sum up, I believe there have been five officially available Rickenbacker browns, all of which have been burst finishes;
50s Two-tone brown, as shown here . Glossy, and dark as dark as dark can be.
50s AutumnGlo, as shown here. Replacing Two-tone brown (Are these the same colour re-badged? JH, anyone?...)
70s/80s Walnut, as shown here. Glossy, and usually lighter than 50s AutumnGlo or Two-tone brown, though many variations in darkness/lightness of the brown.
70s/80s AutumnGlo as shown here. Exactly the same colour as 70s/80s Walnut, though in a satin finish. As with Walnut, many variations in darkness/lightness of the brown.
03/04 Montezuma Brown, as shown here. Glossy, and darker than 70's Walnut.

In addition to the five officially available colours above, there have been noted examples of non-burst Walnuts (usually from the 70s) as shown here, and very dark FireGlos (usually from the 60s) as shown here.
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (jwilli) » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:16 am

FWIW, I have a '69 360/12 in....Walnut. Its a non-burst version. See thru Brown, pretty much. :P
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (bassduke49) » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:09 pm

Good analysis, Mark. But I only stated that the overall Walnut existed. Since it was not listed in price lists/catalogs, it probably wasn't "available" for order.

And you're right to say there was some degree of variance with the 80s Walnut/Autumnglo color (colour). Some during that time have a reddish brown, some more of a darker greenish brown. Montezuma Brown also varied quite a bit. My MB bass' outer edges is a deep iced tea color, but some MB's I've seen go to nearly black on the rims.
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (Grey) » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:10 pm

bassduke49 wrote:And you're right to say there was some degree of variance with the 80s Walnut/Autumnglo color (colour).


Quick comparison with two Walnuts, mid-70s and early 80s.

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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (johnallg) » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:59 pm

That 50's AutumnGlo 365 Mark linked to is a color I'd like to see get into the factory repertoire again.
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Re: Question about colors/years

Postby (dr_bob) » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:47 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments. So if you HAD to say without seeing a picture whether a brownburst/autumnglo/walnut looking 1986 12-string 360 is more likely to be

a. autumnglo
b. walnut
c. fireglo that has gone wrong

what would you say/guess?

I know -- i should post a picture.
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