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Rick Turner Celebrates 40th Anniversary of the Model 1

Picture the scene. The year is 1979 and Fleetwood Mac are rehearsing for the Tusk album tour. A guitar builder by the name of Rick Turner arrives at the rehearsal studio with serial number #3 of the Model 1.

It’ll be the first time that the then Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham will have picked up the guitar that would ultimately help sculpt his signature tone for the next four decades.

Rewind to 1976, when Rick first met the band through bassist John McVee’s association with Alembic, whose basses John played. Rick was one of the founders of Alembic, and having got on well with Fleetwood Mac at their first meeting, started making customisations to Lindsey’s guitars.

Then ensued a conversation about what Lindsey would be looking for in a custom-built guitar. He wanted to warmth and sustain of a Les Paul, the clarity of a Stratocaster and the feel of an acoustic. Rick got to work designing what would become the Model 1. When he had designed the initial blueprints for the guitar, he showed these to Lindsey, who agreed to take the first one Rick made.

It was, in fact, serial number #3 that Rick took to Lindsey on that remarkable day in 1979, handing it to Lindsey’s guitar tech and watching as Lindsey didn’t put it down for an hour.

Lindsey loved it, the band loved it, and the love affair began.

Here's a great clip of Rick himself talking through the Model 1's inception.


So what is it about the Model 1 that makes it so different to any other electric guitar? Well, firstly, there’s the violin-like structure to the Mahogany body design. The guitar is thicker in the middle of the guitar and thinner at the edges and consists of two sections, a front and back, laminated together and routed out. This provides incredible sustain and the aforementioned acoustic quality that Lindsey was looking for.

Then there's the electronics of the guitar. A Turner-made active humbucker, one of the loudest pickups we've ever heard, with a coil-tap on the master tone control too for single-coil tones. This on its own is more than enough to cover a multitude of bases (and this is now an option on Rick Turner's electronics choices, called the 'B' electronics package).

But then there's the parametric EQ. Rick had long been developing pickups and pre-amps - Rick had fitted a Strato-Blaster preamp in Lindsey's Stratocaster in 1976 - and the onboard parametric EQ enabled Lindsey to get all of the tones he required from the guitar, pinpointing certain frequencies to boost or cut to.

Ergonomically, the guitar also featured a five-piece Purple Heart and Maple laminate neck with Lindsey's profile of choice providing fantastic playability all the way through.

To see this awesome process in action, watch our video from Rick's workshop below.


With only 18 being built in total to commemorate this milestone, the three 40th Anniversary models soon to arrive in our showroom adhere religiously to the specs of the original, with the addition of only the few modifications Lindsey made to his own iconic instrument.

In addition, each guitar is hand signed by Lindsey and Rick and comes with the certificate of authenticity, design copy of the original Model 1 and the manual 'The Making of The Model 1' included.

Here's a handful of recent photo updates from Rick!

We are incredibly excited here at the showroom to have a few of these historic instruments within our walls, and as always look forward to seeing new guitars come through our doors from Rick and his team!

They are now available to pre-order on our site, so click here to get your hands on a truly special piece of guitar history.

For more information on Rick Turner Guitars, please do get in touch by calling +44 (0) 207 835 5597 or by emailing us here.

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