Rickenbacker, 370/12 Roger McGuinn Signature, 1988


370/12 Roger McGuinn Signature
Serial Number: 
H1 7461
This guitar was manufactured in August of 1988.
The Story Behind


About the Guitar:

By the end of the '80 Rickenbacker issued this ultimate 370/12. From a construction point of view it is the same as the 360/12, but with a third pickup. This is the Rickenbacker model most associated with Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, although his original was a 360/12 with an added third pickup.

This Roger McGuinn signature model of the 370/12 twelve string guitar was built with personal input from Roger McGuinn. The guitar features toaster pickups, an on-board compressor, and individual 12 string saddles.  60's style 21 fret neck with full width inlays and checkered binding in back. 

The most distinctive feature is an on board compressor and treble boost, an electronic circuit that was designed for the guitar to emulate the sound McGuinn got while recording his famous hit records with the Bydrs.

There were only 1000 made of which only the first 250 came with an COA signed by Roger McGuinn.

This guitar is number 200/1000.

Here some more information on the history and origin of this exceptional instrument, the holy grail of the twelve string guitars:

The Byrds: Roger McGuinn's 1966 Rickenbacker Model 370-12 'BYRD' Guitar.

"In my opinion, the Byrds' sound would have been impossible without the invention of the Rickenbacker twelve string electric guitar." -- Roger McGuinn.

Roger McGuinn's 1966 Rickenbacker Model 370-12, a natural-finished Rickenbacker 370-12 was ordered new by Roger McGuinn with custom factory controls of his specification, commonly referred to among Rickenbacker collectors as the 'BYRD' model. This was the only Rickenbacker 12 string Roger McGuinn owned and used from June of 1966, when this instrument was completed, until early 1971. Prior to this guitar he had a 360/12 with an added third pickup. This was stolen during a concert and has resurfaced and can now be seen in a museum (Experience Music Project, Seattle).

All of The Byrds' live appearances and recordings during this period bearing the signature Byrds' Rickenbacker sound and look feature this instrument. Live Events include: Monterey Pop Festival, Newport Pop Festivals (1968), Fillmore East, Fillmore West, Holland Pop Festival (featured in the concert film Stamping Ground), and all other live appearances into March, 1971. Television Appearances include: American Bandstand, Drop In, Playboy After Dark, Popside, Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Top of The Pops, The Tonight Show, Where The Action Is, and others. Recording Appearances include: This guitar appeared on all sessions between July 28, 1966 and January 26, 1971 that feature Roger McGuinn on electric 12 string. Highlights include the singles So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star, My Back Pages, and Chestnut Mare. LPs include Younger Than Yesterday, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, Ballad of Easy Rider, (Untitled), and Byrdmaniax.

Roger owned the guitar another eight years following these documented uses, so it may appear on other recordings from early 1971 until 1979, although we have to date found no photographic evidence of its use after March of 1971.

Roger added a mini switch to the instrument to turn on and off a Vox Treble Booster, the circuit of which he wired into the instrument. This mini switch can be seen between the two factory installed toggle switches. Roger removed the Treble Booster circuit prior to selling the guitar. Roger also changed the tuners, in what photographic evidence suggests was late 1969, from the factory installed Klusons to a set of gold Grovers, which remain on the guitar to this day. 

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