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65’ Fender XII Neck Profile

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:01 am
I’m building a 6 string tribute to the 65’ Fender XII my Pop’s(Rickie Lee Reynolds) of Black Oak Arkansas has played for over 50 years now. The neck has an amazing feel and I want to get as close to the same profile, I realize the wider heel is pretty much non existent these days. I was hoping some one my already have the profile information or a suggestion of the closest modern build profile. I know it’s a 7.5” Radius and 1 5/8” nut width. I’m leaning towards a Musikraft neck, although I would love to get a custom headstock with the hockey stick smurf cap but 3 inches shorter.

Re: 65’ Fender XII Neck Profile

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:59 pm
by jshap12
The 1965 Fender Electric XII neck profile is a wondrous thing, the best neck for electric 12-string players ever built!

Most other guitar makers at the time, and most all ever since, basically slap another course of strings on a 6-string instrument that is primarily built as an occasional guitar for 6-string players to pull out when they need some jangle. But Leo Fender designed the Electric XII for acoustic 12-string players who needed more volume for country and folk music going amplified, and most 12-string guitars at that time (but more rarely today) had wider necks and, more significantly, wider bridges so fingerpickers had a bit of room to get in there.

The 65 XII neck has that vintage Fender 7.5" radius, is a narrow 1 5/8" up at the nut, but widens out to 2 3/8" at the 21st fret. The width of the strings on a 65 XII goes from a skinny 1 3/8" at the nut to a spacious 2 5/16" at the bridge, which with its 12 adjustable saddles is yet more Leo Fender magic, but we are talking about necks here.

Leo must have been inspired by his previous invention of the Jazz Bass, which also has a neck that tapers from skinny to much wider (from 1 1/2" to 2 7/16" at 21st fret) and was designed for acoustic players.

Leo Fender designed a neck for acoustic-turned-electric 12-string players that is narrow at the top to make life easier for the left and tapers out towards that big wide bridge to make life easier for the right hand. Or reverse if left-handed, no snub intended.

Vintage 65 XII necks show up occasionally in online auctions and bazaars for US$2000+ if not too beat up, which is about half of what vintage 65-69 XII instruments start at.

I have not yet measured any XII-like necks built by Warnoth et al, but the Fender Alternate Reality Electric XII neck is 1/16" wider at the nut and -3/16" narrower at the 21st fret vs the 65 XII, so more along the lines of a 12-string neck for 6-string players. It plays real nice, though, and has the common "strat-style" heel format for bolting to the body vs the much wider heel of the 65 XII neck.

Re: 65’ Fender XII Neck Profile

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:51 am
Thanks for the great Info and history! I broke out the digital caliper and was able to get damn close to the 65’ with my Musikraft neck order: 7.25” Radius, Rosewood Veneer fret board, Vintage fret wire, the profile shape matched the 83/92 C they offer based on my measurements, but of course not available in the 12’s heel width. I’ll post a build journal once all the parts start rolling in and I remember/figure out the ole html code here on the forum. I guess I will have to upload photos else where and link to them.