Vintage Rickenbacker Solid-Bodied Guitars > CALIFORNIA: 1956 Combo 400 with Rare Kaufmann Vib-Ro-La

Rickenbacker Combo 400 before restoration
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH PATINA?
2010

This is what Leonard looked like on the day UPS dropped him off. Now, I wasn't too shocked--I'd seen photos in the Ebay auction. Still, having this Combo 400 in my own hands, in bright sunlight, gave me the answer to the question about patina.

Consider that if this guitar had a known history and could be considered an historical instrument, I would refurbish it (see my PHILOSOPHY page) and either display it or use it.

However, as far as I could see, it had a succession of anonymous musician owners and, frankly, none was interested in maintaining its condition beyond "playable". So, its finish deteriorated for most of its 54 years, to what you see here. Although it was playable, it did not have "patina", which implies an element of eye appeal. On the contrary, its condition was closer to "beat-up" than "well-worn".