Other Guitars

12 String Electrics. Yay or Nay?


Don Birchett (can I still call you Chet T-Bird every now and again?) and Jim Krause, what a top tip- Starry Eyed and Laughing.

I had never heard of this group before but my goodness, they can Rutle the heck out of the Byrds. And just like Neil Innes, every now and then they come up with a song that very nearly eclipses the the band they are shadowing, putting a bit of shade in the opposite direction.

I'm always grateful for the great music that is shared here, among many other positives. A salute to you both on this occasion.

I have one of those Revelations that Dave K has. I got one one his recommendation. It's the first 12 string I've ever had- it gets played at shows, recorded, used as a writing tool. Because the instrument forces you to play in a different way from a six-stringer, it is an extremely useful creative catalyst, breaking through writing blocks with inspirational chime.

– ade

Thanks to all three of you for getting me to the Jet Plane Rider video. Based on the YT clip, I bought/downloaded the entire "Forever Young" album.


My Holy Grail electric 12...

However, it will like as not never happen. May have to "settle" for the very similar Adamas 12, if one can be located at the right time/price.

I've had a Fender Coronado 2 (12) and a noname Japanese double cut that the less said about it the better (I was young and could afford very little). Currently my 370/12 is the sole electric 12 in my stable and I ain't getting rid of it anytime soon.


Cool that this riff on lectical 12’s is back up top.

After a year with mine, and lotsa time on all of them... I got to thinking about Proteus’ disappointment with the Rickybobby 660/12. Protelicious, if your experience was/is similar to mine, I noticed that my 1993Plus and to a somewhat lesser degree, my 350/12v63, have more FELT vibration whilst playing them than my 660/12 for obvious reasons. Just like the difference between my 350v63 6-string and her 660 counterpart.


I decided the only way to answer my own SONIC question was to record them, thus eliminating the tactile factor in the resonating body. (Anybody else starting to feel a little aroused?) As I understand it, “Damn The Torpedas” was cut mostly using the 620/12 on the cover and I never caught myself thinking whether or not the tracks sounded like either a hollow or semi-hollow gitfiddle. Wayulp, my own experiment demonstrated to my own personal ears that on tape, (a generic expression these days), yeah, - I - noticed a SLIGHT difference BUT I wonder how much of that was from knowing which track was what and was psychological. I came to the conclusion that by far for the most part (in my own world only, bear in mind), the tone is in the pickups because both types of guitar made their point equally well and sounded glorious in their own markedly similar ways.

Just for Esses and Jees, I also threw my 5422/12 into the fray. Once again, a bit different but equally valid and useful in the same contexts in which I was recording the Rickenbastages. However there again, the actual sensation of playing it made it “sound” different than strictly HEARING it on tape, kinda like how your own voice sounds different in your head than it does to the rest of the world.


I'd like to add another fine 12 stringer which would be the Danelectro 59 12. The pots are very standard yet impart perfect response from neck thru bridge. Tone controls are responsive, but it can be a trebly mofo if not restrained. Stays in tune very well, it is very light, and for less than $300 is a great addition to the stable. I've enjoyed mine as I've played it enjoyably, but infrequently.


I will add another elec-12 to the list. This was my first one, I believe that it was made by Unsung of Korea. It was nice enough but the wide (1 15/16") neck was not comfortable and I wanted the Gretsch (since I had been nagging Joe for one for a couple of years, if nothing else). The electromatic Gretsch was a much better guitar.

I hated the tailpiece that came on this and replaced it with a Rickenbacker bridge. When I bought the Gretsch I sold this to a former forum member who seemed very happy with it.


I'll add another hearty "Yay" for the Gretsch Electromatic 12 string. I wasn't even thinking about getting another electric 12, but I saw this one at Guitar Center last April and tried it out, and then it played so easily and sounded so good I had to have it. It has removed any Rickenbacker lust I might once have had, and I've found more excuses to play it than I would have, and even written some things specifically with the electric 12 sound in mind.

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