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1949 Rickenbacker Electro BD Vintage Lap Steel, 100% Original Time Capsule w/ Flight Case


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Up for sale, a 1949 Rickenbacker Model BD lap steel in near-mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with a custom-made flight case. The successor to Rickenbacker's "Frying Pan" steel (appropriately the Model A), the Model BD (B Deluxe) has the highly sought-after “horseshoe” pickup, bakelite molded body and bolt-on neck with white enamel accent plates on top. The distinctive appearance has led to this model being referred to as the “Panda” steel. Other features include the chrome-plated string anchor, 1 1/4" wide horseshoe pickup, and frets framed by white pinstriping.

The steel has a rich, nuanced sound with plenty of sparkle and clear, percussive cut. Each string has equal presence and definition, and it's a silky sound that's quintessential Rickenbacker. The scale length is 22 1/2", and the nut width is 2 1/4". The original Kluson Deluxe single line strip tuners have gleaming nickel plating, and the headstock has its unique fragile clip-on tuner cover with horizontal Rickenbacker Electro “shield” badge.

The electronics function as intended, with original CTS pots that date to the 39th week of 1949, untouched solder, and an Industrial tone capacitor. The pair of white molded bakelite knobs are intact and practically perfect, and the molded bridge is equally pristine. The chrome plating on the tailpiece and pickup bezel is positively gleaming. There is sparingly little wear on the molded bakelite body and neck beyond a scant few tiny scuffs and marks.

A rugged flight case with form-fit interior is included.