Rickenbacker Combo 850 – U.S.A. – 1957


Electric Semi-Hollow Single cutaway guitar


Maple body, neck-through construction

Rosewood fretboard

Horseshoe-shaped pickups and multiple unit


The Combos were designed by Roger Rossmeisl, who resigned from Gibson in 1954 and started working for Rickenbacker.
Rickenbacker called the new series the ‘Combo’ because these instruments combined the features of the Frying Pan solidbody and the Electro Spanish. The first Combo 600 and 800 models had an elegant, partly solid body with a glued on neck.
In 1957, updated versions such as the Combo 650 and 850 with an elegant tulip-shaped body were introduced. The 850 had a neck with 21 frets and later a second pickup was applied to the neck. This pickup was called a ‘multiple-unit’ pickup in the Rickenbacker catalog and acted as a humbucker.
The Combo 850 only remained in production until 1959. These instruments had a small body and were soon overshadowed by Rickenbacker’s thin hollow body, the Capri, which would become the company’s showpiece and remains a standout instrument to this day. But the design of the Combo 850 inspired the famous Model 325.

Last updated on 12 May 2020
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