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1976 Greco RG550N Vintage Electric Guitar Mapleglo, Rickenbacker 480-Style w/ Toaster Pickups


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Up for sale, a 1976 Greco RG550N in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. This Greco was crafted at the venerable Fujigen factory during the pinnacle of the “lawsuit” era of Japanese guitar production. Clearly Greco’s take on the Rickenbacker 480 platform, this RG550 marries the bolt-on neck and “cresting wave” body shape of that instrument, outfitted with a pair of PU-117 toaster pickups.

This Greco’s maple construction yields a particularly authoritative, percussive natural acoustic platform with exceptional top end detail and cut, qualities faithfully captured by the stock pair of PU-117 toaster pickups. These pickups are warm and open-sounding, with a sparkling harmonically-rich jangle very much in the vein of a vintage Rickenbacker. Weighing 9lbs 13oz, this Greco has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The three-piece maple/walnut neck has a slender D-shaped profile carve with good shoulders at the nut, gaining appreciably more heft and roundness further up the neck, measuring .810” deep at the 1st fret and .945” at the 12th. The glossy 24-fret bound rosewood fretboard sports crushed pearl triangle inlays that extend to the fretboard edges, just like a vintage Rickenbacker, and the full 24 fret range and tighter fret spacing in the higher registers also matches Rickenbacker spec. The medium jumbo fretwire has benefitted from a level and crown, showing no wear with fairly flat crowns, playing cleanly up the 24 3/4“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures 1.650” (42mm) in width. The headstock sports a Ric-style lucite truss rod cover, albeit with a “Greco Guitar” logo and “Greco Makes It” text, and the original Greco-branded tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with clean chrome plating. The A76-prefix serial number on the four-bolt neck plate dates to January of 1976.

The electronics all function as intended; the pickups are wired to full-size Japanese pots and governed by a three-way selector switch and independent pairs of Volume/Tone controls for each pickup. Plastics comprise the large white pickguard and the original quartet of knobs. The chrome-plated hardware is notably clean, including the toaster pickup covers, bridge and bridge cover, and the “G” tailpiece (once again, faithfully replicating Ric’s “R” tailpieces).

The gloss Natural/Mapleglo finish is framed on top by checkerboard binding, with cosmetic wear limited some finish chips and minor dings on the lower bout adjacent to the rear strap button, and a couple additional finish chips on the back body edge. The rest of the instrument, in comparison, presents very cleanly, with just a scant few tiny marks and faint scratches in the clear coat. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh flawless.

A faux leather gigbag is included.