Rickenbacker® Model 481

Rickenbacker Model 481 Rickenbacker Model 481

Model 481 with slanted* frets

The Model 481 first appeared on the 1973 price sheet. Rickenbacker dropped it from the 1984 one. This guitar came stock with twenty-four slanted frets, a pickup phase reversal switch, and two humbucking pickups. It had Deluxe features and the same bass guitar body style as the Model 480

* The idea was to fit the neck to the arch between the thumb and the forefinger on the player's left hand. It worked well when the player grasped the neck with his thumb over the finger board. Its advantages stopped when playing barre chords with the thumb behind the neck. The factory first produced slanted frets in late 1969. They were a standard feature on some instruments and an option on others. On these instruments the nut, bridge and frets were all set on an angle to the edge of the finger board. The original brochure said:

"This slight slant of the frets across the finger board eliminates the long chord reaches, reduces stretch length, and matches precisely the natural angle of the fretting fingers."

Source: Richard R. Smith "The complete history of Rickenbacker guitars"

Rickenbacker Model 481 Rickenbacker Model 481

Rickenbacker Model 481 headstock  Rickenbacker Model 481 headstock

Courtesy of Brian Bourgault

© 2001 Björn Eriksson

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