The Rickenbackers That Rocked the World
1963 “New Capri” 360/12C63 Reissue (2009)
The iconic George Harrison 12-string, made in 1963 had all the features of the New Capri in a then-new 12-string model. One of the great mysteries of Rickenbacker design history was that less than five 12-strings were produced in this early style—later production would follow the designs discussed below. The wild popularity of this George Harrison-played model led to its eventual reissue by Rickenbacker in the early 1980s as the 360/12V64, succeeded in the ’00s by a more accurate reissue model designated as the 360/12C63. The Rickenbacker 12-string design departed from the norm in several respects. The headstock was not enlarged to accommodate the six extra strings. Instead, channels were routed into the headstock and the extra strings were affixed to six side-mounted tuners. Another innovation was the reversal of the string pairs, with each octave string placed behind the main string. This enabled the player to achieve a stronger attack by hitting the main strings first and the octave strings second—so on the backstroke, the octaves are hit first. The total effect produces the distinctive “jingle-jangle” bell-like chime of a well-played Rickenbacker 12-string.