Rickenbacker reveals limited-edition 90th anniversary 480XC and 4005XC models

Rickenbacker 90th Anniversary models
(Image credit: Rickenbacker)

Rickenbacker is set to celebrate its 90th anniversary in style with the imminent arrival of two new limited-edition models – the six-string 480XC electric guitar and four-string 4005XC bass guitar.

Boasting a number of classic Rickenbacker stylistic appointments, the new models look to breath new life into old gems and combine the features of a few familiar favorites.

While official details are yet to be released – aside from a single Instagram post that announced the models – a number of retailers are already listing the new guitars, along with a handful of initial specs.

Details are slim, but here is all we know so far about what to expect from the 90th anniversary guitars.

Rickenbacker 480XC

First up is a modern re-imagining of the discontinued Rickenbacker Model 480, in the form of the all-new 480XC. 

Available in ornate Tobacco Glo or Jet Glo finishes, the 480XC sports the classic checkerboard binding that traverses the edge of the solid maple body. Maple is also used for the neck, which is paired with a Macassar ebony fretboard that boasts crushed pearl inlays.

A black pickguard and black hardware adorns the guitar, which also sports a Schaller bridge as opposed to the covered bridge that was used on the original Model 480.

A further deviation from the original is the appearance of two Hot Toaster pickups, which are sure to deliver the tasty twangs and hot Rickenbacker jangles that we all know and love.

Rickenbacker 4005XC

For its four-string offering, Rickenbacker has combined the functionalities of a 4005 hollow-body bass with the oh-so-pointy body shape of Rickenbacker's 300 series models.

The result is the 40005XC bass – a 30.5" scale length model that sports either an Amber FireGlo or JetGlo finish, as well as the checkerboard binding and crushed pearl inlays seen on the aforementioned 480XC. 

Composed of a maple body, three-piece maple neck and ebony fretboard, the new model also comes equipped with a pair of vintage-voiced pickups that are – if retailers are correct – wired to both mono and stereo output sockets.

If this is the case, we can expect to see individual outputs for each pickup when the model is released later this year.

As previously stated, no official details or release date has been announced by Rickenbacker, so we will keep our eyes peeled and let you know when we hear more about these stunning celebratory offerings.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.