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“Tulip” Guitar

This specifically refers to some 1950s and early ’60s Rickenbacker electric guitar designs, in which the body shape was unquestionably influenced by the shape of a tulip emerging from the ground in early spring. Most of the so-called “tulip” guitars were actually student models, of which many were short-scale instruments. Through-neck construction was used by Rickenbacker, which allowed finished neck assemblies to be paired up with a wide range of prefabricated bodies. Many of these guitars, such as the 1957 Combo 450, had Rickenbacker’s distinctive “cooker knobs” for volume and tone controls.

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