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.

U2’s The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin, Co-Founders of Music Rising, (musicrising.com) have announced Guitar Icons: A Musical Instrument Auction to Benefit Music Rising to take place December 11th, 2021, starting at 10:00 a.m. PST. Hosted by Van Eaton Galleries (vegalleries.com) in Los Angeles, the live and online auction will offer a significant collection of guitars and other music memorabilia by some of the world’s most prominent musicians and friends of Music Rising. The auction will take the charity back to its roots and help support the musicians of the NOLA region after a long period being without income.

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