Reader Guitar of the Month: 1960 Rickenbacker 330F

After a 23-year quest, a reader finds his dream guitar—a Rickenbacker 330F.

Jesse Gosselin

Hometown: New Haven, Connecticut
Guitar Model: 1960 Rickenbacker 330F

After searching for 23 years, I found my dream instrument—this 1960 Rickenbacker 330F in Fireglo. Around 1991 I started looking for an axe with the sound and look of a Rickenbacker, but that could also deliver the smooth and bass-y jazz tones of a Gibson ES-175 or Gretsch 6120. I discovered that Rickenbacker experimented with hollowbody jazz guitars in the late ’50s and into the ’60s. A full body, or “F body” guitar, became my quest. In the meantime, I got my first Ric, a stock black 360, which I still use today.

Rickenbacker made 145 total F bodies between 1958 and 1968, so I was facing tough odds. In April 2014, my prayers were answered by a collector in Cleveland. He saw my posts on the fan forums, and based on my passion and enthusiasm for Ric’ F bodies, he was willing to sell me this guitar, which is one of only 17 Rickenbacker 330Fs ever made. It’s one of four Fireglo 330Fs made in 1960. It has a replacement bridge and tailpiece, but otherwise is all original.

I can dial in the essential Ric’ chime easily on the bridge pickup, get real creamy jazz tones from the neck pickup, and a unique blend of the two with the selector switch in the middle. I play this guitar at home all the time, have used it on multiple recordings, and sometimes take it out for high-profile gigs. Every time I gig with it, both guitar fans and casual fans tell me how gorgeous they think it is. I know some collectors would declare me insane for gigging with it at all, but I just love the guitar too much to resist. PG

Send your guitar story to submissions@premierguitar.com.

Sam Fender shares a moment with his saxophonist and childhood friend, Johnny "Blue Hat" Davis, at London's O2 Brixton Academy in September 2021.

Photo by Linda Brindley

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