I used to have a 1967 RIC 330-12 back in the 1980’s, but it started falling apart, as old RICS will sometimes do. I didn’t know enough at the time to take it to a qualified repair person, so I sold it before it exploded in my hands like an old lightbulb, and of course immediately regretted it. It took me years to save up for another one, and then The Captain fell in my lap in late 2013.
“The creme de la creme of my arsenal, this guitar is so badass I can’t stand it, and will get you Eight Miles High in a jiffy.”
I’ve had extensive work done to it by master luthier Mark Arnquist at Arnquist Musical Designs (Seattle based guitar repair and former RIC employee, specialises in custom work including working on RICs for McGuinn, Petty, McCartney, and little guys like me).
Major Surgery Behind-the-Scenes
The work included re-seating the tuners, strengthening the truss rod divot to keep the neck from cracking at the headstock join, removing the gloopy varnish from the fretboard, recutting the nut and widening the string spread, a refret that spans the entire fretboard width, installing a 12-saddle bridge and rounding off the sharp edges, repositioning the bridge so it actually intonates up the neck, and replacing the stock Hi Gains with vintage style Lollar “Broiler” p/ups (similar in sound to “Toasters,” but a bit more gain — highly recommended).
Mark also rewired the controls so they’re more user friendly (see diagram in photos). RICs from this era have a reputation for exploding tailpieces, haven’t noticed any metal fatigue or cracks yet, but I’m keeping an eye on it.
The creme de la creme of my arsenal, this guitar is so badass I can’t stand it, and will get you Eight Miles High in a jiffy. Loaded with D’Addario Chrome flat-wounds in a custom set, gauges very similar to McGuinn’s: