Electric twelve string recommendations

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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brucer
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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by brucer » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:27 pm

Short version: I've played both the Danelectro 59 12-string and the Gretsch G5422G-12 Electromatic and both are nice options, lower in price that the Reverend, Fender or Rickenbacker.

Longer version: You can also get a sweet sounding and playing 12-string by buying other / offshore brands if you don't mind spending time and money on mods / upgrades ... and the build quality is good. I picked up an Eastwood Classic 12, had the neck reduced to 10" radius and vintage Fender-style frets installed, redid the wiring, had Curtis Novak rewind the stock pickups as gold foils and installed a custom cream pickguard from Terrapin Guitars. I didn't save much money over the Gretsch, but the result is quite nice.
Last edited by brucer on Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by jakeisjake » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:22 pm

i love my danelectro 12. sold a Ric 12 and i'm happy with it.

i've thought about getting another and reversing the string order (like a Ric) for fun.
Buying another guitar will not make me a better guitar player. I was wrong; I bought another guitar and now I'm boss.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by cmatthes » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:15 pm

I've had lotsa Rickenbackers over the years, but I'm a big guy, big hands, and those just won't work for me - lord knows I've tried, and always get sucked back in, but then I play it for a couple days and remember why I can't get along with 'em.

I picked up a Hamer Eclipse XII (model built in the mid-late 1990s), which is an all-mahogany solidbody with 2 SD minis (Firebird pickups). Really a great guitar, sounds great and is unbelievably easy to play. Even better, you can sometimes find them for comfortably under $1,000.

I traded that in on a Hamer Newport XII (model from the 2000s), an all maple semihollow with SD PhatCats - it's a dream come true. Super easy to play, and it's strung like a RIC, and just NAILS that sound...and a lot more.

If you are looking, the Eclipse will be a bit easier to find (and about half the price), but see if you can track down a Newport. Wow...

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by raindog13 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:24 pm

How about the Strat XII's from the eighties? The ones with the same bridge as the original Electric XII's? Anyone have any experience with those?

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by sirspens » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:47 pm

raindog13 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:24 pm
How about the Strat XII's from the eighties? The ones with the same bridge as the original Electric XII's? Anyone have any experience with those?
I put the neck of one on a Jazzmaster...

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I really like it!

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by raindog13 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:57 am

sirspens wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:47 pm


I put the neck of one on a Jazzmaster...

Image

I really like it!
That's really cool! Tell me a little bit more about this. Did you have to do any other mods? Stock bridge? How well do the strings stay on the saddles? How does it sound? This idea has be rather intrigued!

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:26 am

Surfcasters are pretty cool too.

If you have the scratch it’s hard to beat a Fender XII. You can get fuller/throatier sounds out of them in addition to the classic jangle.

Dano pretty much owns the budget category IMO.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by sirspens » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:14 pm

raindog13 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:57 am
That's really cool! Tell me a little bit more about this. Did you have to do any other mods? Stock bridge? How well do the strings stay on the saddles? How does it sound? This idea has be rather intrigued!
I have a project thread for it...
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... 3#p1514593

I used the stock bridge, no other mods than the underwound pickups (Sunday Pickups). The strings stay on the saddles perfectly, and they are even spaced perfectly if you leave one notch between each string.

I am going to be putting some sound clips on the project thread this weekend. About to record them now.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by starflower » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:30 pm

The Jangle Box is great, and can even do wonders to push amps hard like it's some kind of bizarre overcompressed Rangemaster.

It really is the best time in history to be able to shop around for an affordable 12-banger, though regretfully it's hardly easy to be around a few at once to try and compare. I for one would vouch for a used Danelectro XII for most uses, since there's a lot that you can do to dynamics and timbre before going to tape/amp and I had fun with one for years. Sold it to a friend, and soon picked up a 1986 Ric 360/12, which I've had now for close to a decade.

Mind you, I have tiny little hands and still struggle with the narrow spacing of the 360/12, but I love the explosive plunk and push that the High-Gains produce, and 100% of the time will track in mid-position with the blend leaning a tad toward the bridge. Like the above Hamer Newport 12 (anothe rexcellent choice) I think that's the magic of an overwound single coil and 12 strings being part of the ambiguous jangle equation: The guitar automatically sits way in the front of the mix with plenty of chime and sparkle, but has huevos to back it all up...nothing thin about them. Also recently played the 360/12 all over a Starflyer 59 cover I did, and it was effortless deal once it went to tape via SPL Channel One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTWKwDcFZbQ

On a related note, all that a Danelectro XII shares with 360/12 (w/high gains) is the fact that there are 12 strings and that there's air between the top and back sides of the body...They otherwise are built, sound and feel like they're not even from the same planet. Not a bad thing at all, they're just remarkable different from each other.
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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:59 pm

I wouldn't disagree with the Danelectro and Revelation being great budget options. The Hamers have a great rep too, but are quite a bit more expensive. However, I came to recommend a sleeper which I used to own: the Hohner Professional TE Custom XII, potentially the cheapest option you'll find, if you can find one.

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That pic tells the story faster than I could spell it out, though it's been modified - the stock set-up was a pair of EMG hambackers, with a push-pull coil tap. These guitars were really well-made in Korea in the early 1990s to a Trevor Wilkinson design. The biggest selling point is the dream neck - easily the best 12-string neck I've ever known. I made a big mistake selling mine when I got my dream Ric 360/12. If I was flush and one came up at a fair price I'd buy it again in a heartbeart. I might experiment with pickup swaps if I got another one - maybe a toaster in the bridge to see if I could get closer to Ric territory. No personal experience of those Hamers, but I'd estimate it could easily compete with them in playability and, with the right mods, equal them across the board, with cash to spare.

Dead stock it didn't sound as Ric-like as I thought it did at the time, not having a Ric to compare it to, but it was an absolute joy to play. Definitely worth an eBoogle to check availability.

Last point: I own a Ric 360/12 and I'm entertaining the idea of buying a cheap XII; everything everyone else has said about them - the narrowness of the neck in the first position and the restringing nightmare - is true. I wouldn't say don't buy one - nothing else sounds quite like them, and you may be one of the lucky few who can play cowboy chords on one without noticing a problem. But try the other, far less expensive, options first if you're able to - you might well be perfectly happy with one of those, and have plenty left over for mods.
Last edited by UlricvonCatalyst on Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:35 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by Mechanical Birds » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:01 pm

oid wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:08 pm
I bet a Coronado 12 would be pretty great, have not had the chance to try one of those yet.
I played a candy apple red one at atomic music in Washington DC and it was really fun and awesome and they only wanted like 1500 bucks for it
Last edited by Mechanical Birds on Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by cestlamort » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:31 am

I’d vote that the Rickenbacker 12 issues are overstated for the most part. Yes, restringing is a hassle but people say the same thing about bigsbys. (Painters tape to hold the strings in, or, my personal contribution to society: using dental floss through the ball end to keep tension if one pops out from not being quite set in the (potentially shoddy) string slot).
The “new” nut spacing does help the neck feel less cramped, but I’ve found that 330s feel wider than 360s (no binding?). In comparison to others, still cramped (I basically had space for a picnic or lawn bowling on a seagull 12 I tried at a store)

That said, they are worth the hassle if that’s the sound you’re after.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by MrFingers » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:48 am

The thing with Rickenbacker 12's is that they're virtually unplayable in the first positions if you have hands that are larger than that of a midget, or your fingers are not as thin as that of Daubentonia madagascariensis. And they're expensive for what they are.

The new Guild looks/sounds promising though.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by sirspens » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:50 pm

Mechanical Birds wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:01 pm
oid wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:08 pm
I bet a Coronado 12 would be pretty great, have not had the chance to try one of those yet.
Play the candy apple red one at atomic music in Washington DC and it was really fun awesome and they only wanted like 1500 bucks for it
Right!

I need to shut up and buy one before everyone realizes how great a deal they are.

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Re: Electric twelve string recommendations

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:43 am

MrFingers wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:48 am

The new Guild looks/sounds promising though.
That demo seems all kinds of wrong to me. When I think of the sound I want from a 12-string, the neck pickup doesn't really feature, nor does the even woolier sound you get playing with the pads of your fingers. But to each their own.

Mahogany throughout seems counter-intuitive to 12-string jangle too; maybe a maple or spruce top would brighten it up. Then again, maybe they're looking to NOT compete with Rics, aiming instead at 12-string jazz players. :wtf:

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