#1
Anyone try it out? Especially as compared to an actual 12-string?

I've wanted to add at least 1 acoustic and 1 electric 12 to my collection for some time, and I think it will happen in 2016.

BUT...

I have heard so many horror stories about acoustic 12s that eventually implode that I was wondering if getting one was actually worth it, or if I should just get a 6 and use Nashville tuning instead.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

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#2
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Anyone try it out? Especially as compared to an actual 12-string?

I've wanted to add at least 1 acoustic and 1 electric 12 to my collection for some time, and I think it will happen in 2016.

BUT...

I have heard so many horror stories about acoustic 12s that eventually implode that I was wondering if getting one was actually worth it, or if I should just get a 6 and use Nashville tuning instead.
I thought that Nashville tuning was so that if a 12 string wasn't around two guys, (or gals), playing together, could pull off a reasonable facsimile of one.

I imagine a solo guitar in Nashville tuning would sound like crap. 12 strings can be a bit forward, or strident if you will, anyway. I normally even plug in my 12 string dread in, just to use the EQ for what basically amounts to "loudness contour",giving the bass a decent shot of boost, and killing the treble somewhat.

Most of the horror stories you hear about 12 strings "imploding", are from those who keep them tuned to concert pitch, use heavy strings, ignore humidity, and what not. It normally amounts to machismo trumping, "discretion being the better part of valor".

I've had several 12 strings and the only one that did something goofy was an Ovation "Matrix", (cheapie 12), that I did keep at concert pitch. The top cracked on top of every piece of bracing. I expect the bridge couldn't lift, due to the fact Ovation screws them down.

I also had an Epiphone 12 string that I foolishly bought with the neck too high to begin with, (long story). I kept a "12 string light" string set on it, (.010 to .047), and the piece of shit malingered for 16+ plus years, in pretty much the state of misalignment I bought it in. The neck didn't buckle the soundboard bent down a tiny bit in front of the bridge.

With those things said, 12 string lights, aren't going to draw the very best out of the instrument sound wise, tuned a whole tone down, (D-d standard). You have to make a choice though, a bit less than optimum sound quality, or the very distinct possibility of a short lived guitar. I vote for the sacrifice of a bit of sound, for a still quite playable guitar, a decade or so down the road.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 21, 2015,
#3
Hmmm...in all honesty, I probably would keep mine tuned to E standard, but the rest, not so much. So I have one risk factor.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#4
Well, I use light strings and tune to D-d standard, and haven't had any issues. My twelves are pretty much the same when I pick them up, as when I put them away. Although to be sure, your results may vary.

I capo up to E-e when I play the guitars. Which caused massive intonation issues, so I tune after I've affixed the capo. This is indeed, a pain in the ass. But, these guitars are definitely a whole lot easier to play, when you no longer have the top nut height in the equation.

I'm not exactly sure why you're reluctant to accept the advice you've asked for, especially when it corroborates what you already surmised. . But hey it would be your problem, not mine.

A 12 string acoustic light set, (.010 to .047), has 240 lbs of tension when tuned to E-e. A 12 string medium set, (.012 to .053) applies over 300 pounds of tension. . As compared to your basic run of the mill 6 string acoustic light set, (.012 to .053), which comes in at a measly 165 Lbs of tension.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 22, 2015,
#5
Oh, I accept it. I'm also being a realist- I know me and my habits.

I'm not the biggest fan of capos. I own a couple, and almost never use them. So if I buy a 12 and have any intent of playing it with others, odds are good that I'd leave it in standard tuning.

It's one element I have to account for in my buy/don't buy calculus: how will my probable ownership habits affect the long-term lifespan of the intended purchase?

And really, it seems to be my sole area of concern. My axes in general are well protected. Humidity control is not an issue. Most of them don't travel more than a few miles a year. I don't gig. I'm not prone to using heavy string sets.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 22, 2015,
#6
Well, twelves are a handful, at least for me. I doubt if I have the hand strength of many players.

I you choose to believe Bob Taylor, (after all he seems to be the Steve Jobs / Rasputin of acoustic guitar), his twelves are hardened up so they can be left at concert pitch. He just released a Mexi-Twelve, 150e I think is the number on that, it's sort of seven-ish, and it's a, 'you can plug me in'.

If you believe Leo Kotke, (who took about a decade off from playing the 12 string after a protracted bout with tendonitis), you shouldn't tune them up past C# -c#. His guitars were all jumbos, I think, and more than likely were strung heavy to support the low tuning.

I've never tried Nashville tuning, but it seems silly unless you're going to use it ad hoc with another player(s). I can't picture it as anything other than shrill, along with being an enormous waste of the average dreadnought 12.

There was a thread at AGF the other night, "how many strings do you put on your 12 string, and it seems people are playing without the lower octave strings! So, the 8, 9 or 10 string, 12 string, seem to be en vogue.

I suppose you could just reconcile yourself with the fact the guitar may never be an heirloom, and tune it to whatever pitch you desire.

The capo thing is a PITA, and it makes every twelve, a twelve fretter as well. Plus, the octave strings bend and change pitch at different rates than their prime string partner, so it's almost impossible to avoid tweaking the tuning until after the capo is affixed. That said, My Crafter D-8-12, really isn't to badly out of tune, even after sitting for long periods of time.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 22, 2015,
#7
Quote by Captaincranky

I've never tried Nashville tuning, but it seems silly unless you're going to use it ad hoc with another player(s). I can't picture it as anything other than shrill, along with being an enormous waste of the average dreadnought 12.


That was kind of the feeling I was getting, that it isn't any good solo, and really only works when you're playing with someone else.

I suppose you could just reconcile yourself with the fact the guitar may never be an heirloom, and tune it to whatever pitch you desire.


Yeah. That's more or less what I've been thinking, and one of the major reasons I've been dragging my heels on a 12 for years now.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
dannyalcatraz i did it ,,i think it sounds sweet ,,takes a bit to get used to ,,but keep playing as you would any other time ,,you'll be suprised of the bright sound you get
#9
Thanks...but this is a pretty old thread!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!