Electric Twelve String Guitars. Are the necks always narrow?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SteveStevens, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. SteveStevens

    SteveStevens Member

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    I did a recording session over the weekend and used a rented Rickenbaker 12. I found the neck really narrow and very awkward to play. The last time i even touched a twelve string was in High School on a friend's Ovation and while it was challenging in its way, it was nothing like this. Are there any electric twelves that are not so cursedly narrow? Has anyone tried the old Gibson Es-335 style 12s? (Like Pat Martino played on Desperado...) I was even looking at the Eastwood stuff which would be a very affordable option if they are playable. Please chime in, Byrds fans!

    Steve
     
  2. Cowboy

    Cowboy Member

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    Yeah, Ricki necks are a pain in the ass. Try tuning down and capoing up, so there's enough neck to hang on to.

    There are other makers out there.

    A common fix is to get a relatively low-cost Danelectro 12, and have a good tech replace the god-awful metal nut with a bone one - with the string order reversed, so it's low-hi, like a Rickenbacker.
    VERY cost-effective, and still sounds great. I use mine a LOT more than my Ricki. :AOK

    Cheers,
    Cowboy
     
  3. SteveStevens

    SteveStevens Member

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    Cool! Thanks for the tip. I didn't even think to look if the eastwoods are strung high low. That was actually messing me up on the Ricky as I would hear the higher pitch and think i was somewhere else on the neck! But it does sound dreamy!

    Cheers!
     
  4. TwoTubMan

    TwoTubMan Member

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    http://www.veilletteguitars.com/

    Click on "New In The Shop", go to the very first entry, that's mine.

    They will do anything you want, at about half the price of anyone else.

    Veillette is the "boutique" that nobody ever talks about.

    :(
     
  5. ewheel

    ewheel Member

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    After owning several Ric's and never finding one with a comfortable neck, I discovered the Custom 22/12. The neck profile and width is perfect. It's the most awesome 12 string I've ever played. Try one and it'll be very hard to play anything else.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. snarkle

    snarkle Member

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    As far as vintage 12-strings go, the Fender Electric XII has a very comfortable and adequately wide neck...mine is good enough that I've never felt the urge to explore today's boutique options.

    I'd love to have a semi-hollow electric 12, but all of the vintage Gibson and Epiphone thinline 12-strings I've played have had very narrow nuts...although they're not as bad as Rickenbackers, which are pretty much useless for my fat hands.

    The Danelectro option is probably the best bet on the budget side...even the cheap ’90s guitars sound quite fine, especially for jangle-pop purposes.
     
  7. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    I agree

    I have a '66 Fender Electric XII and it kills.. plays and sounds just amazing
     
  8. teleman55

    teleman55 Member

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    I've got a left handed Agile LP copy elec. 12 string. The neck is a little wider. It's a cheap guitar but actually quite nice, like a good Epiphone. Nice enough that I haven't modded it. Try finding a left handed electric 12 string. I came across this and snapped it up. Thing weighs a ton.
     
  9. Padraic

    Padraic Member

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    FWIW the absolute worst I've ever played were the ES 335/12's. WAY worse than the admittedly few Ric's I've played. The vintage Fender XII's are great, but hard to come by, and as you have found it is just plain difficult to find a quality maker without width issues. That being said, I don't have much of an issue with Ric's, and am looking at saving up for one at some point in the near future.
     
  10. bizzwriter

    bizzwriter Member

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    That's a beaut!
     
  11. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    You probably rented a 330/12, 360/12, or a 620/12...and all three have roughly the same neck (the 360/12 & 620/12 add binding so it even feels more narrow).

    Try a 660/12. It is about as perfect as 12 string necks get. The neck is much wider..and the string spacing is more comfortable.
     
  12. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

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    Yep. I have one of these too. It's the best playing
    and sounding electric 12 string I've come across
    by a long shot. Pricey, though.
     
  13. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    I started making my own conversions for telecasters and strats. Once you move up from those ultra skinny 1-5/8 Ricky necks to a modern 1-11/16 Fender/Gibson size the whole world opens up. Here's a couple for your amusement.
    Rob (The Tele12 Guy)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. SteveStevens

    SteveStevens Member

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    Thanks for the tips everyone! I really like the idea of those tele conversions! All the other stuff is beautiful, too.

    Steve
     
  15. jrm

    jrm Member

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    Wow, those tele 12's look fantastic! How hard is that to convert?

    How about those agile 12's? Sure, its an agile, but.... for a guitar that would see limited use is it one to pursue?
     
  16. Mattbedrock

    Mattbedrock Silver Supporting Member

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    I bought my Rick 360-12 on looks and reputation but find it almost impossible to play because of the neck width and string spacing. When I need electric 12 string, I use my EDS-1275. I can actually get my fingers between the strings.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    The only Ric 12 that feels right to me is the Tom Petty model, which has a wider neck. I think Ric would sell more of the 330's and 360's if they offered them with that neck option as a standard feature.

    +1 for the Dano.
     
  18. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    The TP Signature Model is for all practical purposes the exact same guitar as the standard production 660/12....for thousand$ le$$.
     
  19. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    All you have to do is box it up and ship it to me;). You get "YOUR" Tele12 back in a week or two and your ready for all those Byrds songs!
    Rob
     
  20. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    Fender has a "new" MIJ 12 string Strat. MF sells them so you can always try it for 30 days and see how the neck fits you.

    [​IMG]
     

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