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Recommendations for electric 12-string?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by bonzo898, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. bonzo898

    bonzo898 Tele-Meister

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    Greetings,

    I’m planning on buying an electric 12-string soon and since I don’t plan on playing a bunch of them first it’s going to be solely based on internet research. I’m open-minded to anything as far as budget within reason. I know the Rickenbacker is the classic choice but I have concerns about the narrow nut width for playability and versatility (I’m 6’6” with large hands). I want something sturdy that holds tuning, neck angle, and intonation well. I want to use for recording and light gigging.

    So far my frontrunner is this Reverend Airwave. It looks killer and allows individual intonation adjustment for all 12 strings. Also like the treble bleed. Price is reasonable at least compared to a Ricky ($1200 new):

    https://www.reverendguitars.com/guitars/airwave-12-string

    Open to other suggestions as I have never actually played an electric 12-string although I do own a 12-string acoustic.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

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    Fender xii ?
     
  3. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I believe EVERY gigging guitarist should own an electric twelve string at some point in their lives. Twenty or so years ago I had a MIJ Fender Strat Twelve......and it sounded great. Perfect for many of the covers my band at the time played.....once I got it tuned. I found it took longer to tune than to play the song I was tuning it for.
    My solution now? A "good enough" pedal, The DigiTech Mosaic 12 String Effect pedal. It's a very convincing 12 string sound, easy to control, and I'm just tuning six strings. Your other choices may work great in a studio setting, (all the time in the world, right?) but for gigging, the Mosaic is MY only choice. ;)
     
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  4. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    Don't forget about Danos!
     
  5. shupe13

    shupe13 Tele-Afflicted

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    Get a Gibson EDS 1275. Comes with a free 6 string.
     
  6. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Holic

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    Fender Alternate Reality Electric XII
     
  7. Chandlerman

    Chandlerman Tele-Meister

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    I think the Danelectro 12 string has been the best deal out there for many years.
     
  8. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]


    Dano 12, under 5 bills, sounds amazing & stays in tune for a little while. half a set or so.
     
  9. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    I have tried a few Ricks, and agree that the necks are too narrow to play well. That said many people do manage, but not me. The 660/12 has a slightly wider neck, but they are expensive and rare here in the UK.

    I do have two electric 12's. I bought a Burns Double Six (Club series made in China) it is a bit ungainly with the long headstock, but the neck is wide and easy to play. It sounds okay, but does not shimmer the way I expect a 12 string to sound. I'm told that compression is the answer, but have not tried it out. The Burns is only about £800 complete with hard case, and can be found in the UK from £400 used.

    upload_2021-2-14_19-11-42.jpeg

    The other 12 have is a Jackson Surfcaster, which sounds great, to me it beats any Rick I have tried, but like the Rick it had a narrow neck. Once the current COVID situation is over I should really sell. They have not made them since the late 90's, and used surfcasters usually sell for somewhere north of £1000. Though the Eastman version is availabe new for £8-900.

    upload_2021-2-14_19-12-8.jpeg
     
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  10. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Holic

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    Get ye one of these.....1967 Hofner 457-12. :)
    For a while it was my only electric guitar that was not a bass. I used it as a 6 string strung with Fender lights, strung with 2 sets of Fender lights (strings doubled - no octaves) - talk about organic chorus! And also as a normal 12 string. I like that the octave string on the lower courses is above the regular string (unlike Rics where it is below) so it rings more to my ears. No tuning problems and a zero fret. Still use it today, though it is fragile - hollow body and a bit aged. Like me. :)

    Model 457-12.jpg
     
  11. bonzo898

    bonzo898 Tele-Meister

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    Lots of good suggestions. The fender XII wasn’t on my radar yet, same for the pedal route.

    The Dano is on the table, it just seems like the Rev was a very big upgrade in quality and features, locking tuners, etc. I want something I won’t feel like upgrading or modding later.

    Now I’m thinking I should definitely go gently used if I’m buying without live testing. Otherwise I will eat the depreciation hit if it’s not what I expected.

    Anyone tried the Gretsch Electromatic 12?
     
  12. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Holic

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    Well, I'm selling this Italia Rimini. Look into them and PM me if you're interested. It has seen very little use and is basically in new condition. 12 string electrics just aren't my thing.

    IMG_1657.jpg
     
  13. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I built one from a fairly common kit. It has a neck like a telegraph pole, doesn't stay in tune for long, but for the few songs I can bash out on it, it is wonderful. If you want something to do, it may be a route for you.
    Other than that, Danelectro all the way.

    DSCF0596.JPG
     
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  14. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd definitely recommend a Dano as well. Great value for the money.
     
  15. Junco Partner

    Junco Partner Tele-Meister

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    Eastwood has a couple models as well, solid and semi-hollow. Never tried either, but the one Eastwood I own is solid and great bang for your bucks.
     
  16. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    @bonzo898, your selection looks as good as anything. Reverend makes a good guitar, and they may be on to something with the shorter scale. Years ago I decided to get an Ibanez Strat style 12 string. A few years later I replaced the original pickups with Lace Alumnitones. I have yet to play a 12 string that sounds better and begs me to replace the Ibanez. Add to that, I rarely actually have the 12-string out (either acoustic or electric), and getting another is unlikely.

    I tried a couple of Rickenbackers and found the necks too narrow for me. The couple of Dano 12s I have had a chance to play were nice as well.
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    You say you play an acoustic 12, you must know of all the different stringing and tuning options for them. Some of that comes over to the electric world. My suggestion is to people contemplating a 12 is to think carefully what sound you want from it and how you will play it.

    I also believe that there is enough difference between guitars that to buy onw without playing makes little sense. Here is the one I built for my son

    IMG_6254-1.jpg
     
  18. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Holic

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    Has anyone ever tried a Fender Coronado XII?
     
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  19. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Dano with pyramid flats will be the economical route.
    Love mine!!
     
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  20. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    I played the Gretsch and a couple of Rics before buying my Dano. It was a nice guitar but unless you want the look or feel it seems like a big jump in price.

    I have not felt the urge to upgrade to a Ric, and the Dano has been really stable.
     
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