April 20th, 2009, 04:26 PM
What is your favorite distance between the each individual sets of strings in pairs of strings on a 12 string electric, measured at the nut? Do you focus on the actual net distance or on the distance between centers?
Just for background, I've got a 1.75 width at the nut on this neck and using the Gotoh "6 up 6 thru" bridge with a string array at the saddles of 2 + 7/32nds.
April 21st, 2009, 05:24 PM
I re-cut the nut on my Rickenbacker 360/12v64 to bring the pairs as close together as I thought would go and still work - so, mine are like, 1/16" to 3/32" at the nut, closer on the plain strings. I left the bridge alone, so they do "spread out" to the normal RIC spacing as you go down the neck toward the bridge. Made the guitar MUCH more playable, IMHO. I'll measure them and get a confirmation on that, but I think you will be surprised at how close they can be set.
I did the same thing on a Firebird XII that I had back in the seventies - now, THAT axe had some space between the pairs!
This job was a compromise, as I wanted to use the stock nut and just cut six new grooves to move one of each pair over. I think if I cut a new nut for it, I'd stick with the 1/16" spacing on all of them, just 'cuz it would look nicer, and now I'm sure it would work, even on the bass strings.
April 21st, 2009, 06:57 PM
My other approach was to have taken 2 precut 1 + 11/16ths nuts, lay them down over the new 1.75 inch graphtech nut to be cut, aligning one of the 1.6875 string nuts with the bass end and the second with the treble end and just use that.
I guess I can start with that, then fudge the slots so I get a consistent 1/16ths space between strings on each of the 6 sets.
Much obliged, Deaf Eddie!
April 21st, 2009, 10:15 PM
My trusty Stanley LeverLock tape measure sez they're all ABOUT 1/16"...
You can easily see the old octave string grooves. I'm gonna clean this up, one of these days...
April 22nd, 2009, 11:04 AM
Rick 12s are a somewhat special case as they are only 1.63" at the nut. For many years they had lots of complaints about how narrow the spacing between each pair was and many people with larger hands found it difficult to finger even a C-chord cleanly.
They did change the spacing to put the pairs a little wider apart (with each string of the pair closer together) a couple of years ago, and I bought a couple of their newer bakelite nuts - they are all of $9 each - for my 360/12. Swapping out a Ric nut is very easy and the improvement was very worthwhile.
I don't think this will even be an issue with a 1.75" nut width, but that's the trade-off. You can have the individual strings in the pairs string pairs close together, which leaves more room for fingering chords - especially at or close to the nut. Or you can have the string pairs with the individual strings wider apart, which means you can frequently bridge adjacent pairs with one finger for chords like E, Em, Am, etc.