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Rickenbacker 360
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Rickenbacker 360

Hollow Body/Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitar from Rickenbacker belonging to the 300 series.

10 reviews

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Average Score:
( 4.9/5 based on 10 reviews )
9 reviews
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Value For Money : Excellent
MGR/Derek MokMGR/Derek Mok

Rickenbacker 360

Rickenbacker 360Published on 12/08/08 at 15:00
This is a Rickenbacker 360 electric 6-string, semi-hollow guitar in midnight blue, the standard two-pickup version. It has been upgraded to vintage-style "toaster top" Rickenbacker pickups. It came with very useful straplocks and a very heavy Rickenbacker case.


I bought this guitar second-hand. I won't say how much I paid for it, because I got a very impressive deal, especially given the pickup upgrades. Suffice to say this guitar goes for about $2400 when it's new.

Until I got this guitar, I was unable to achieve one of the "holy grails" of electric-guitar tone I've been hunting for years -- the bassy yet cutting, hi-fi, sustaining "power pop" tone on Taste of Joy's Trigger...…
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This is a Rickenbacker 360 electric 6-string, semi-hollow guitar in midnight blue, the standard two-pickup version. It has been upgraded to vintage-style "toaster top" Rickenbacker pickups. It came with very useful straplocks and a very heavy Rickenbacker case.


I bought this guitar second-hand. I won't say how much I paid for it, because I got a very impressive deal, especially given the pickup upgrades. Suffice to say this guitar goes for about $2400 when it's new.

Until I got this guitar, I was unable to achieve one of the "holy grails" of electric-guitar tone I've been hunting for years -- the bassy yet cutting, hi-fi, sustaining "power pop" tone on Taste of Joy's Trigger Fables, my favourite album of all time. It wasn't a Telecaster (not enough bass) and it wasn't a Gretsch (not enough sustain). When I ran the Rickenbacker 360 through a slightly overdriven amp, that's when it dawned on me that this was one of those classic tones (The Byrds, Tom Petty, The Beatles...) you simply could not get with any other guitar. The pickup upgrades installed by the previous owner must have had an impact, because I've played other Rickenbackers at music stores before, and none of them had the precisely right sound this one had. It is now one of my mainstay guitars and I used it liberally on my last record. The guitar is even loud enough acoustically that I've been using it a great deal as a comfortable acoustic guitar for transcribing cover songs with.

Another reviewer in here has blasted the Rickenbacker's design. Unlike him, I don't believe it's a "fundamental flaw", but it's worth mentioning. The Rickenbacker's neck is higher than the body, and the strings are quite far from the pickups. If you like playing with your right hand's little finger planted on the top, this guitar will probably bug you. I believe that this design has something to do with the unique sound of Rickenbackers, but it does come with a price: It's nearly impossible to bend the strings on the Rickenbacker 360, and you have to get used to having that much space underneath your strings. However, this does *not* necessarily translated into high action on the left hand; my 360 plays just fine on the left hand -- and the famously narrow Rickenbacker neck isn't a problem on the 360 6-string.

I also find the sound controls somewhat fiddly. Not only is there a "Ric-O-Sound" output jack (which is only wired to the bridge, so along with the regular jack it allows you to send pickup signals to different amps), but it also has a fifth (!) knob control, which apparently slowly fades out the neck pickup. What I don't get is how that's different from either using the pickup selector switch to go to the bridge only, or to go into dual-pickup mode and then use the volume knob to control how much the neck pickup is in the mix! I couldn't find the difference, and since the volume knob gives me so much more control, I just always leave the fifth knob at full, which basically means it's just another thing in the way, another thing that could be set wrong when playing. And yes, if you turn the fifth knob down all the way and flip the pickup selector switch to neck, your guitar will go silent.

While we're on the subject of the control knobs, the neck and bridge control knobs are backwards from the classic Gibson layout (ie. tone knobs closer to the player, volume knobs farther). Really not that player-friendly; no other guitar design I know of does this. Luckily, the Rickenbacker isn't a jazzy guitar and I almost always leave the tone controls at full anyway.

I'd also have to nitpick at the case provided. It's a monster, extremely heavy, with two storage compartments inside, and it's also very long. I suppose extra protection is good for a guitar investment this high, but I almost feel like if you're going to have such a heavy case, might as well go with a heavy-duty flight case.

One more thing: Rickenbackers are some of the rarest big-name guitars in stores. On average every music store I've visited would only have one or two in stock, usually used, and the 360 is even rare (the pointy-horned, less expensive 330 is more common). Consequently, it can also be hard finding a good Rickenbacker because the choices are so few -- most RIckenbackers I've tried at music stores have something wrong with them, such as a malfunctioning pickup, worn-out strings or physical damage. And I've been told by multiple sources that ordering a new Rickenbacker can take months. The only thing I can advise is to be patient: It was about four years in between my first picking up a Rickenbacker and finally finding one second-hand, and the wait was worth it, both for the price I got and the quality of the instrument I ended up with.

Wonderful. No flaws. The finish is beautifully applied (be careful -- online photos often show the midnight blue finish as almost black. It is actually more of a metallic blue, similar to the blue burst on Taylor T5s). The previous owner also kept it quite well, with no buckle rash, chips, or real damage of any kind, and I intend to keep it that way. The posh Rickenbacker hardware, unique "stacked" pickguard, bridge tailpiece and headstock all convey a European chic that makes it stand out visually, just like a Gretsch archtop.

Rickenbacker guitars are pretty quirky. They have some design features which can be a little dubious, and not all guitar players will be inclined to make a Rickenbacker his only guitar. However, they have one of the classic pop/rock sounds that you simply won't get anywhere else. Rickenbacker advertisements say that they "burn through the mix", and I'd have to say they're not exaggerating. That uniquely cutting, yet full and bassy sound that almost sounds like a cello is what I'd consider the greatest rhythm sound in that area between clean and overdrive, and if you ever play leads that don't come from the bluesy mode (again, string-bending is nigh impossible on this guitar), you'll also get a great, very melodic, very commanding tone. The fullness of this tone is great for playing little but sounding like a lot, or if you're playing parts that sit between rhythm and lead. It's a classic sound, and it belongs solely to Rickenbackers.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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polishdog90polishdog90

Classic guitar doesn't dissapoint

Rickenbacker 360Published on 08/08/11 at 03:33
Made in: U.S.A.
Body Type: Semi Acoustic
No. Frets: 24
Scale Length: 62.9 cm (24 3/4'')
Neck Width at Nut: 41.4 mm (1.63'')
Neck Width at 12th Fret: 49.05 mm (1 .931'')
Crown Radius: 25.4 cm (10'')
Body Wood: Maple
Neck Wood: Maple
Fingerboard Wood: Rosewood
Weight: 3.6 kg (8.0 lbs.)
Overall Length: 101 cm (39 3/4'')
Overall Width: 38.1 cm (15'')
Overall Depth: 38.1 mm (1 1/2'')
Neck Binding: Yes
Fret Marker Style: Triangle
Tailpiece: ''R''
Bridge: 6 Saddle
Neck Type: Set-in
No. of Pickups: 2
Type of Pickups: Hi-gain
Output Type: Mono and Stereo
Machine Heads: Schaller

UTILIZATION

This guitar plays very well. It has more frets than I was used to but I quickly adjusted and actually...…
Read more
Made in: U.S.A.
Body Type: Semi Acoustic
No. Frets: 24
Scale Length: 62.9 cm (24 3/4'')
Neck Width at Nut: 41.4 mm (1.63'')
Neck Width at 12th Fret: 49.05 mm (1 .931'')
Crown Radius: 25.4 cm (10'')
Body Wood: Maple
Neck Wood: Maple
Fingerboard Wood: Rosewood
Weight: 3.6 kg (8.0 lbs.)
Overall Length: 101 cm (39 3/4'')
Overall Width: 38.1 cm (15'')
Overall Depth: 38.1 mm (1 1/2'')
Neck Binding: Yes
Fret Marker Style: Triangle
Tailpiece: ''R''
Bridge: 6 Saddle
Neck Type: Set-in
No. of Pickups: 2
Type of Pickups: Hi-gain
Output Type: Mono and Stereo
Machine Heads: Schaller

UTILIZATION

This guitar plays very well. It has more frets than I was used to but I quickly adjusted and actually enjoyed playing some higher leads. The neck is very smooth which makes it a blast to play. When I first got mine the action was off (the high e would buzz sometimes because it was so close to the fretboard). This could have been due to the previous owner but it was easy to fix. I haven't messed around with stereo inputs too much but one time I put one input into a distorted amp and the other into a clean amp. When I switched between the pickups I could instantly add distortion. This was pretty fun to play with but I don't know how practical it would be in a live situation.

SOUNDS

This guitar sounds great through every amp I've played it through. I've tried it through an Orange Tiny Terror, Fender Bassman, Vox AC4TV, Hughes & Kettner 20th anniversary, and a few others. It has beautiful cleans but it can also handle a lot of distortion. As a big Beatles fan, I wanted this guitar for it's legendary jangle sound. It was actually a bit disappointing in that aspect. The high gain pickups aren't nearly as jangly as the old 60's toaster pickups. You can buy a set of toaster pickups from the Rickenbacker website but I ended up liking the tone so much that I kept the stock pickups. This guitar has a wide variety of tones but I like to use it for blues, rock, jazz, soul, and funk.

OVERALL OPINION

This guitar, although expensive, was totally worth it. I don't think I'll ever let this leave my collection of gear. Everything I do with it just sounds fantastic. If I were made of money I would buy another so I could have the toaster pickups or even the 12 string version.
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iamqmaniamqman

Iconic

Rickenbacker 360Published on 03/25/11 at 12:12
I am a huge fan of U2 and the Beatles. When I saw the concert of U2 at Slain castle and the Edge came out on Mysterious Ways playing a 12 string Rickenbacker it really expanding my interest in this guitar company. I also watched the Live In Boston concert from U2 and noticed he played a black 360, so at that moment I was hooked on getting one. And of course George Harrison and crew were sporting Rickenbackers back in the day and were really the first band to make this company with their iconic guitar look explode onto the scene.

Rickenbacker 360 Electric Guitar Features:

* Deluxed semi-hollowbody construction
* Special contour around the entire body perimeter is incredibly...…
Read more
I am a huge fan of U2 and the Beatles. When I saw the concert of U2 at Slain castle and the Edge came out on Mysterious Ways playing a 12 string Rickenbacker it really expanding my interest in this guitar company. I also watched the Live In Boston concert from U2 and noticed he played a black 360, so at that moment I was hooked on getting one. And of course George Harrison and crew were sporting Rickenbackers back in the day and were really the first band to make this company with their iconic guitar look explode onto the scene.

Rickenbacker 360 Electric Guitar Features:

* Deluxed semi-hollowbody construction
* Special contour around the entire body perimeter is incredibly comfortable
* Bound body
* Rosewood fingerboard inlaid with triangular pearloid markers
* Maple neck with dual truss rods
* Single-coil pickups deliver everything from clean tone to biting overdrive
* 3-way selector for each pickup
* Master preset allows tone and volume settings to be set up for instant selection with a toggle
* Stereo output


UTILIZATION

This guitar is one of the most beautiful guitars I had ever scene. The fireglow was just amazing to look at. And for me that is basically where I left it. I really liked the look of the guitar but it felt a little cheap to me. Though it is semi-hollow bodied it just had this feel that it was cheap. However not all of them felt like this, but I have played enough 360 and 330 Ric's that most of them to me felt very cheap. They do have a unique sound which is great but to me it is not an everyday sound for rock music. If you are into effects like the Edge is then this maybe a guitar for you. Or if you are a collector or something. I haven't been able to spend much time with the older Rickenbackers and perhaps there is a different feel to those but the newer ones just don't live up. All be it my favorite bass guitar is an 80's cream/ white Rickenbacker 4003.

One of the unique things about Ric's is the stereo output. They have a regular guitar jack plug and then they have the extra stereo plug for playing into two different amps. Though I never ran it like this.

SOUNDS

The sound is unique and has that iconic voicing to it but for me it isn't an everyday guitar. There pickups are pretty beefy for single coil.

I was using mine with a Marshall JMP and a vintage Marshall 4x12 cab with Celestion blackback speakers. I had several effect unit but I'll stick with the main setup. This sound was pretty good. The pickups seemed to have a higher output then my standard Les Paul pickups. So that was a cool thing that this guitar had going for it.

OVERALL OPINION

I love the iconic look of this guitar. I don't like the sound that it has and I don't like the feel that it has. It has its moments for sure but at the end of the day your probably not going to gel with it if you are into rock and or metal. For pop music or ambient stuff this guitar will sound right for you. I am not sure what they are priced at new. I got mine of the used market for about $1400 which is about right at the time I was looking. I ended up selling it for $1250 for a loss but oh well. They are cool to look at for me but I would much rather play a Strat,Les Paul. or a Charvel.
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Audiofanzine FRAudiofanzine FR

Rickenbacker 360Published on 03/09/09 at 09:47
(Originally written by Inspecteur Van Loke/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
This Rickenbacker 360 is a nice instrument with its rounded shape, its hollow body and its Fireglo finish... The color contrasts with the white binding and pickguard. The finger board has typical Rickenbacker inlays, etc. I chose it because of all these details, although I hesitated between a 620, a 330 and a 350. In the end the looks of the 360 won me over.

UTILIZATION

It's a Rickenbacker so you'll need some time to feel comfortable with it due to the very slim neck with very flat frets... These guitars are so special (conception, sound and look) and rare.

SOUNDS

I like the sound of this guitar,...…
Read more
(Originally written by Inspecteur Van Loke/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
This Rickenbacker 360 is a nice instrument with its rounded shape, its hollow body and its Fireglo finish... The color contrasts with the white binding and pickguard. The finger board has typical Rickenbacker inlays, etc. I chose it because of all these details, although I hesitated between a 620, a 330 and a 350. In the end the looks of the 360 won me over.

UTILIZATION

It's a Rickenbacker so you'll need some time to feel comfortable with it due to the very slim neck with very flat frets... These guitars are so special (conception, sound and look) and rare.

SOUNDS

I like the sound of this guitar, which convinced all my friends. I also like its look.

I like specially the bridge pickup because it sounds as brilliant as a Telecaster but with more lows.

The neck pickup provides many possibilities thanks to a small control that filters low frequencies.

The guitar has two outputs: a normal output (standard) plus a stereo output (Rick-o-sound) that I never use ... Once again a special Rickenbacker feature.

OVERALL OPINION

The guitar was made in February 1997.

It's an original guitar you won't see on many stages.

I wanted a Rickenbacker and I bought this 360 Fireglo because it looks great.

It's difficult to find a Rickenbacker, you really have to search for a long time, and its price is proportional to its rareness, but I'm not disappointed.

I own three US guitars: Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker... But currently I only play with the Rickenbacker.
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Tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Rickenbacker
  • Model: 360
  • Series: 300
  • Category: Hollow Body/Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitars
  • Added in our database on: 10/10/2012

We have no technical specifications for this product
but your help will be much welcomed

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