Rick Aiello's         Dustpans & Stuff

Cast Steel Guitars
L&M Pickup
NIBro Magnets
Sand Casting
My Prewar Rickys
My Postwar Rickys
My Other Steels
My Bars
Ricky ID
Theory & tech
Vibrato Samples
Slant Bar Practice

Postwar Rickys


'46 NS


Often snubbed by players and collectors alike .... the NS is easily the best "bang for your buck" in todays Ricky market.   Its hollow body design ... ala Silver Hawaiian ... makes for that nice "scooped" sound. The steel body doesn't give the harmonic response associated with its brass bodied uncle .... but it does add an "edge", a certain "pleasing nastiness" to its tone.  The NS' rugged steel body stands up to my babies (6yrs, 4yrs, 2 yrs 0.5 yrs)  "hands on approach" to everthing and the color scheme is cool ... makin' it the most played Ricky in the family room.  I really like the black painted "Shoes" and the sunburst finish. It originally came with black tuning knobs which looked real sharp with the grey sunburst but they had deteriorated and I had to settle for white ivoroid ones as replacements.



'46 NS D-12


Hmmm .... Siamese Twins ... This student model double neck was just too cool (and rare) ... to pass up.  It had no neck selector ... so I put in a rotary switch in place of the tone pot (always keep them wide open anyway) ...  As usual ... stuffed with the LA Times ... Nov. 12, 1946



'47 T-Logo


You know ... it's tough when your older sibilings are famous. Always being compared to 'em .... Always being judged against their accomplishments ...  I know you've heard it all before... Oh, postwar, 1.25" mags, strings that load through a tailpiece .... always negative press. Well, not by me ...  This underrated T-logo has a prominant postion in my museum.. It was my first Bakelite (got it from Ed's about a year after gettin' the Silver). It went with me to every performance.  This baby has a beautiful sound all its own .... A more acoustic-like decay ... very vocal sounding ....   And no, this isn't some rare, exotic tone-wood version. Its top 2 white plates were completely rusted out. So this cutie went topless for most of her life.  I found a nice slab of wood with an interesting grain pattern and made her a whole new set of plates .... One of a Kind !  The T-logo was only used for a short time ...


'47 T-Logo D-12


I love T-Logos and 6 stringers ... so to find this rare steel guitar was quite a thrill for me.  Like its older brother ... this "jewel" has a cast aluminum body and Bakelite necks. Its got that wonderful Half B6 - Half Frypan tone ... along with the very vocal decay found in postwar-tailpiece steels.  I love 'em !!!



'48 Academy


Probably the Finest student model steel guitar ever made!  It has a one piece bakelite body ; strings thru the body design ; intergrated nut & bridge ; semi-hollow body..... a great design and a fantastic sound. Very snappy !!!   Sadly, they were only produced for a couple years ...  The metal back was not grounded at the factory... I ran a ground wire from the sheet metal back to the jack's ground .. eliminated the nasty hum. If you have one of these beauties, ground that back plate ... you will be pleasantly surprised how quiet it gets ....  The pickguard was an aftermarket addition ...



'48 Academy


This Academy's surface was "peeling" ... The bakelite on these rascals (Ace's also) are covered with an colored, opaque top coat.  I striped it off (lots of solvent and elbow grease) to reveal the brown swirl bakelite underneath ...It is very attractive ...



'48 Academy


I bought this as "just a body" ... someone had harvested it's horseshoe pickup, tunin' machines, etc ... Foolish folks ...


'49 Ace


Finally got one ... a "handrest Ace" with a pair of horseshoe magnets under there.  The first two I saw ... didn't have the "shoes" ... and now I know it was a case of theft.  The handrest/bay is made to "house" a pair ... and these particular ones were pristine.  Still, the added size obstruction and the non-visible magnets ... well, lets just say I like to see my "Shoes" ... ha, ha   Same glorious tone ... now I want a red and a white one ... hmmm, how patriotic ...



'50 Model G (Deluxe Hawaiian)


This poor thing was ready to be sold as parts ... ooch !!!  The Model G was the postwar, highly ornate "answer" to the Silver Hawaiian. It features gold plated magnets, a gold plated tailpiece and a gold backed lucite fretboard. Even the bobbin was painted gold !!  I had to re-gold plate it's "Shoes", refinish the tailpiece and add tuning machines (which I also gold plated ). The lucite "jello cube" volume and tone knobs were missing so I replaced them with gold speckled "flying saucer" knobs. It was missin' its bridge but I had a spare (exactly like the original). The only part I haven't been able to replace or fabricate is the gold "flip-top" tuner cover ... maybe I'll come across one someday.  While I was redoin' her I discovered a rather unusual feature ... a  1.25" x 4" hardwood board mounted in the body ...  This was not "aftermarket" ... the attachment sites under the fretboard are definitely a "factory job".  It has a richer tone than its prewar ancestors.