They had help from several new instruments that had found their way into The Beatles' camp. These included Harrison's new 1965 Rickenbacker 360-12 with updated, rounded-edge cutaways, which he had acquired during a tour stop in Minneapolis and used on "If I Needed Someone," and George Harrison and Lennon's matching Sonic Blue 1961 Fender Stratocasters with rosewood fretboards. These two Strats marked the Beatles' entry into the world of Fender.
"I decided I'd get a Strat, and John decided he'd get one too," Harrison said. "So we sent out our roadie, Mal Evans … and he came back with two of them, pale blue ones. Straight away we used them on the album we were making at the time, Rubber Soul." Although the Strats can be heard throughout the album, they are most noticeable on "Nowhere Man." The serial number on Harrison's Strat is 83840, which dates it to late 1961.
McCartney had turned to his latest acquisition, a Rickenbacker 4001S bass, as his main bass for the Rubber Soul sessions. He had received the bass when Rickenbacker's Francis C. Hall, who had visited the band in New York in 1964 with several models for the band to choose from, visited the band in Los Angeles in August 1965 with his son John and only one model — a left-handed Fireglo 4001S for McCartney.
Other instruments included a cheap sitar Harrison bought at a London shop after being intrigued by the Indian musicians on the set of "Help!"; it is most famously heard on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)." Harrison and Lennon's Gibson J-160E models returned, as did Lennon's 1964 Rickenbacker 325 Capri, Lennon's Framus Hootenanny acoustic (which was mostly played by Harrison at this point) and Harrison's Gretsch Tennessean.
McCartney used his 1962 Epiphone Casino and Epiphone Texan acoustic, both of which he still performs with today, and his 1963 Hofner 500/1 bass. McCartney played through a Vox AC100 amp and a Fender Bassman while Lennon and Harrison played through Vox AC30 and AC100 guitar amps.