Up for sale, a 1986 Rickenbacker 360 VP in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. This rare guitar features one of Rickenbacker's lighter hued Walnut gloss nitro lacquer custom color finishes, a color later rechristened "Montezuma Brown" when this popular yet uncommon finish was briefly reissued as part of Rickenbacker's Color of the Year program. Rare both for its finish and factory upgrade pickup pair, this Rickenbacker features a pair of the earliest reissue Toaster Top single coils offered after their reintroduction to the Ric lineup circa 1984. This "VP" (Vintage Pickup) upgrade ensures a decidedly vintage tonal palette, and these pickups meter in the 7k ohms range.
This Rickenbacker has a wonderfully resonant acoustic tone with plenty of chime and jangle via the stock pair of Toaster Top pickups. The tone has great warmth and nuance, and when you strum a chord with authority, the instrument has a clear, cutting quality, inherent in maple as a tonewood. The guitar balances well on a strap and is featherweight at 7lbs 2oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with 10-46 strings, this Rickenbacker has low action and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a medium C profile carve with just enough roundness in the shoulders and a bit more heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .845" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 12th. The gloss-finished thick slab rosewood fretboard is bound and boasts triangular pearl inlays, retaining the original slender fretwire. The frets have their full factory height, with light uniform wear on the crowns of frets 1-3, extending beneath the plain strings until fret 5. The guitar plays cleanly in all registers, the neck is straight, and the pair of truss rods are responsive and optimally adjusted. The scale length measures 24 3/4", and the nut is 1 5/8" wide. On the headstock, the original Schaller tuning machines turn smoothly with bright chrome plating. Of course the iconic Rickenbacker logo truss rod cover is present as well.
All of the electronics function as intended, with dual Volume and Tone controls for each Toaster pickup, along with an additional fifth knob that blends in the neck pickup signal with that of the bridge (especially useful when both pickups are engaged). The guitar has the option of either mono or stereo operation, and the "Rick-o-Sound" jack plate features flawless silkscreen text and a ZI-prefix serial number which translates to September of '86. The solder joints are untouched, the original CTS pots date back to the 36th week of '84, and the original factory markings are present on the body beneath the pickguards. The chrome "R" tailpiece and six saddle bridge are intact with gleaming chrome plating, and the original plastic parts are near mint as well including the quintet of knobs and dual-tiered pickguards.
The Walnut gloss finish is slightly more ruddy on the back of the instrument, yet there's only a hint of a tan line on top of the guitar when comparing the exposed finish and that which has been protected beneath the pickguard for the past 35 years. Cosmetic wear is limited to a spot of very light buckle rash in the clear coat central to the back, and a few additional minor nicks and scuffs, also relegated to the back. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss with no palm wear, exhibiting a few shallow nicks central to the profile carve behind frets 1-5, and one small touched-up finish chip that’s smooth to the touch on the bass-side shoulder at the 8th fret.
The original black tolex hardshell case is included.