Other Guitars

Show Us Your 12 String

77

Rickenbacker 381 12 string in Blue Burst. One of only 7 made. From October of 2007

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That's a beauty ewkewk!

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I like it, Dylan. All four of those 12s have different personalities - different builds, actually, and different pickups. Even different string configurations: the Rickenbacker with the octave strings on the treble side of the pairs, the Gretsch and the Italia with the more usual octaves on the bass side - and the Airwave follows that convention, but doesn't octave the 3rd string course; they're unison.

That's kinda in keeping with the Airwave's identity as a 12-string you can forget you're playing a 12-string on. With 12-saddle intonation and the Reverend neck profile, nut width, and fretwork, you pretty much play it like any other guitar. You don't have to make many concessions to fingering or style, which means you end up trying a lot more songs on it, not just obvious 12-string fare. Pretty interesting.

The P90s strike a good balance between fat and bright, and will chime sufficiently - and, as always, the Reverend bass contour control comes in handy (more like magical) to tweak the girth of the sound for the application at hand. There are those times you want the neck pickup or middle position for their tone, but they threaten to get muddy: back down the bass with the contour, and those tones lay right in. And while the P90 is fatter-sounding than Ric pups, again dialing back the contour finds a near enough tone.

Overall, it's a guitar with absolutely no bad habits or annoying 12-string-isms - and with chameleonic tone shaping. You can either take that as having little personality of its own - or versatile enough to take 12-strings where they don't usually go.

Of all four, though, for pure lush chimey sonic joy, it's the Gretsch 5422-12, an amazing guitar at any price, but especially for the money. Its intonation is astonishingly good for 6 saddles (waaaay better than the Ric's or the Italia's), and I don't know how they do it. The neck is also sleek and fast, and it's easy to play. And, of course, it's loaded with personality.

– Proteus

Proteus, Thanks for the review on the Airwave. I can't stop thinking about it. I think I'll pick one up one day.

I do own a 5422-12. I'm having trouble playing it in tune. I think it's a nut issue too. Intonation while fretting chords in the first 4 frets can be extremely obviously affected by the pressure of pressing the strings with my left hand.

I've owned other 12 strings and have not had this problem. I don't THINK I have an overly heavy touch.

The 5422-12 is another guitar that I'm considering installing a Zero-Glide nut.

Have you ever tried a Zero-Glide nut?

Dylan

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Proteus, Thanks for the review on the Airwave. I can't stop thinking about it. I think I'll pick one up one day.

I do own a 5422-12. I'm having trouble playing it in tune. I think it's a nut issue too. Intonation while fretting chords in the first 4 frets can be extremely obviously affected by the pressure of pressing the strings with my left hand.

I've owned other 12 strings and have not had this problem. I don't THINK I have an overly heavy touch.

The 5422-12 is another guitar that I'm considering installing a Zero-Glide nut.

Have you ever tried a Zero-Glide nut?

Dylan

– Dylan

Have you put any grease in the nut slots, by any chance? Just asking coz I did on my own 5422/12 and problem solved.

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Have you put any grease in the nut slots, by any chance? Just asking coz I did on my own 5422/12 and problem solved.

– tubwompus

Tubwompus, I will be trying my usual grease/slot finesse stuff. I'll check it all again before I do anything too involved.

Thanks for the reply.

Dylan

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Rickenbacker 381 12 string in Blue Burst. One of only 7 made. From October of 2007

– ewkewk

I'm at a loss for words on how beautiful this guitar is. Wow.

Dylan

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Tubwompus, I will be trying my usual grease/slot finesse stuff. I'll check it all again before I do anything too involved.

Thanks for the reply.

Dylan

– Dylan

Good luck, bud. Odds are that’ll put the fire out as long as her intonation’s good. Just in case it’s useful to ya, I have to have my actions low low low on all of my 12’s or they’re no fun to play at all, along with the differing reactions to pressure between the strings in the pairs that have octave strings affecting the in-tune-ness(?) of chords.


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