Fender Electric XII

 

I don't see a lot of these come through but they always make me want to play Byrds songs when they do. I'm not a huge fan of 12 strings in general. I have a nice '65 Mosrite ventures 12 string (my personal favorite) and I've played quite a few nice Ric 12's but these Fender 12's are actually pretty cool, and have something none of the other 12's from this era had .................... fully adjustable TWELVE saddle bridges so you could intonate each string individually. 

 
    

It may not seem like a big deal to some of you, having intonation on all 12 strings, but it shows a company who were trying to fix issues on the fly as new trends and innovations came a long. Both Rickenbacker and Mosrite made 12 strings before Fender but both had six saddles for the their guitars, meaning you had to "balance" the double strings as close as possible for intonation and height. 

  
 

In typical Fender style, it's a fairly simple and well executed piece of design work that is very telling of things to come in the form of Musicman bridges. The design and build of this bridge is very much like the Musicman bridges Leo designed years later. It's a great piece of engineering and although fairly complex in execution, is very much the way you'd expect Fender to design and manufacture a fixed 12 string bridge. 

The guitar itself is in GREAT condition and just needed adjustment to the nut and a set up and it played great. The intonation could be set spot on and made the neck a joy to play all the way up the fretboard. These have a ring to them unlike the Ric 12 strings and sound more like a .......... well, Fender. The split pick ups used on these offsets were like the Teisco split pick ups except Teisco had WAY MORE options for switching. These are good, strong pick ups and have a great frequency response which is essential on a 12 string.

  
 
     
           

Jul 11 2013 Written By: Tim Brennan