Help me ID this old acoustic 12-string

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by MorganShaker, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. MorganShaker

    MorganShaker TDPRI Member

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    Received this recently without a lot of information - was told original owner who has since passed acquired it in California in the 60s. I was only given an in hand description and assumed I was going to get a Stella 12 string. That might be what this is but there are a few details which make me wonder exactly what is going on.


    I will give a description as best as I can. Top is spruce two piece which has some separation on the center seem behind where the bridge used to be. Top is bound as is the soundhole, purfling appears to be a decal. Two-piece mahogany back and sides. Neck might be maple or popular has a wide shoulder and a rather prominent v shape. Brass frets and large plastic pearloid dot markers. X braced top and ladder braced back.


    It appears that it may have had a neck reset a very long time ago. An interesting feature is that there is a thin piece of wood sandwiched between the neck and fingerboard which extends from the nut to where the tongue of the finger board meets the sound hole. I don’t believe I have ever seen anything like this on a guitar although I believe I may have seen it on a violin repair.


    Another interesting detail is the shape of the void in the lacquer left from the removed bridge. If you will notice the backside of the bridge appears to have been cut in an ornamental shape. I’ve searched reams of pictures of old acoustic 12 strings and have not found a fixed bridge with an ornamental shape on any of the Chicago made instruments from the early to mid 20th century.


    There is a repair label John and Deirdre Lundberg Berkeley California which i gleaned from a little cursory research showed was a shop operating in the 60s. The L765 mode number does not correlate to any instrument that I was able to find that would share these visual or construction characteristics.


    Also the plastic buttons on the tuning machines remind me of 60s Japanese tuners even though the construction does not. Suffice to say something feels a little off about the plastic buttons.


    Part of me wonders if this is actually a body and neck from two separate instruments that were converted into a 12 string in the 60s. I can’t say for sure if that’s the case and it seems rather unlikely but I keep coming back to that hunch.


    Any thoughts anyone has to share would be greatly appreciated thank you so much!
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    DC9EA870-31E8-405F-A709-06F8C1AC5419.jpeg
     
    Random1643 likes this.
  2. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    trapdoor2 likes this.
  3. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    I suspect that this was assembled from parts from at least two guitars.
    One question: It was a some point perhaps a 6-string, since I see 8 holes where the bridge used to be
    (six for strings, two for some sort of fasteners).
    Is there some trace that a trapeze-style tailpiece was fastened to the end block?
     
  4. MorganShaker

    MorganShaker TDPRI Member

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    I forgot to mention that...no evidence of any trapeze whatsoever. No screw holes fill refinish etc.
     
  5. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Concur. Mutt/parts-guitar. Body was originally 6-string, neck was probably broken and somebody had a 12-string donor handy. The body probably doesn't have the bracing for 12-strings...probably will implode unless it is beefed up.

    Fancily cut bridge in the link matches the outline of the OPs.
     
  6. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    That's an odd duck, for sure.
    I agree with you that something about those tuning machines suggests that it was made overseas in the sixties.

    My best guess is that the body and neck were joined, then the fingerboard was shimmed up to work with whatever height bridge it may have had at one time.

    What are your plans for it? I agree that the bracing might not be adequate for a 12 string. If you look at an old
    ladder-braced Harmony/Stella/Silvertone, their braces were quite heavy, yet the tops still managed to warp and the
    necks would go out of pitch.
     
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