Tuesday, 29 November 2011

1967 Rickenbacker 6000 Bantar Electric 5-String Banjo

This instrument is unmistakably a Rickenbacker with its gently contoured upper body edges, the back's checkered binding, the varnished rosewood neck with distinctive triangular inlays, the fireglo finish... but it's a banjo!

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

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1 comment:

  1. Hi- this is actually a photo of the standard 6000 bantar; not the "Deluxe" model.

    I Own a 1967 Bantar fireglo in Deluxe edition which has a "R" tailpiece among other features like block purling. This is a new condition instrument with no issues cosmetic or otherwise. I purchased this several years ago for the price of a small car with the feeling that was either a great long term investment or donation to the MIM in Scottsdale.



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