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1969 .Rickenbacker 381

This guitar represents yet another example of Lee walking into the 'Elkcave, laying a case up on the table and uttering those always welcomed words, "Check it out, Cub." In 'Elk- speak, that means there is something very cool in that case and just like an excited, 176 lb puppy, I stop what I'm doing and execute the request with perfect precision: I check it out.

In this instance, I was rewarded with this beautiful, reintroduced second-year Ricky 381 and yes, just the sight of it brought a smile to my face. It has all of the features I have come to love about vintage Rickenbackers: full- width, crushed pearl inlays, checkerboard binding (which sadly, would disappear a mere four years later,) the chrome "R" tailpiece and high- gain pickups. It took no urging on his part to get me to detail and resting the guitar; it's the thing I still enjoy the most about my job. After the setup, I just handed the guitar to Lee because, as it's well- known all over the world, my guitar playing usually elicits two immediate things: howls from the neighborhood dogs and protests in the streets in front of my house. But, in my business partner's capable hands, this guitar sings. We found a perfect mate in a Roland Jazz Chorus 120 and the guitar instantly lived up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful models ever produced by Rickenbacker.

Production numbers could not have been very high for these 381's back in 1969 and they are so substantial, Rickenbacker honored them with the v69 reissues. Those guitars are very high quality, and we know folks ask up to 5k for them, but for a little more "stepping up to the plate," you can own an original. Hopefully, in the opinion of many, there's no substitute for that...

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