Indeed it's a Rickenbacker 6000 bantar, a hybrid between a solid electric guiar and a 5-string banjo, as played be legendary banjoist Bela Fleck. It doesn't feature the skin as found on a traditional banjo so is not going to have the same percussive tone, so soundwise its classid Rickenbacker all the way, just utilising banjo stringing and tuning.
Another weird Rickenbacker hybrid instrument of the time was the Banjitar, which according to the promotional literature:
"...combines the sounds of the plectrum banjo, mandolin, Hawaiian guitar and Spanish guitar. Two harmony string pairs and two single strings plus a vibrato unit create this incredible range of tones."To look at the Banjitar you might think at first glance that it was a standard Rickenbacker guitar, but the very narrow long neck might cause you to do a double take.
G L Wilson
© 2011, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!