Original 425s, being rather simple solid bodies, are often underrated by players and collectors alike, though George Harrison purchased one in Southern Illinois, USA, while on vacation in 1963. Consider, however: they have a few things going for them. First off, they are set-neck guitars. This was a rarity in their price range, and this remains true to this day. Second, they have a full complement of sounds available from their circuitry with a great-sounding single-coil pickup. Third, they are lightweight and extremely durable. Most of these qualities escaped the eyes of potential buyers, though these models stayed in Rickenbacker's product line for some years.

The 425s remaining today, 50 years later, are usually pretty trashed and/or heavily-modified. That was the condition of this example when it came into our hands, as acratched, nicked, and buckle-rashed body possessing only a set of very crusty budget Kluson tuners. Its major attraction to us was the fact that it had once been fitted with a factory vibrato, an unusual situation, indeed. 

Over a period of several months, parts were located and set aside for its restoration. Unable to resist the temptation to update it, however, when the time came to recondition the parts, we opted to coat all the possible hardware with matte black epoxy enamel, and fit a set of black Kluson-style tuners. A new vibrato cover was obtained (the so-called "Boyd" vibrato was actually a Japanese unit sold by Boyd back in the 1960s, and is still being made, although in slightly different form) and also coated in matte black. Since a Boyd vibrato arm was unobtainable, a short Fender Stratocaster arm with a black tip was fitted.

A black acrylic pick guard was made, and the final touch was an early Combo-style stamped aluminum nameplate, which was straightened out and given a coat of black wrinkle enamel. There are few guitars blacker than this 50-year-old "student" solid-body Rickenbacker, and the "stealth" coloration seems to take it in an entirely new direction than the aesthetic of the era in which it was created originally.