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Tuning a 12 string
http://www.rickenbacker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14595
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Author:  jamesapp [ Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Tuning a 12 string

Hello,

Just got a ric 12 string. I think it is a 660 12. It is a solid body with a slightly wider fingerboard.

I was wondering people's opinions on tuning. I have read some people tune 1/2 step down because of the extra string tension. I wondered if it is ok to tune to the standard 440 a?

Also I have heard of tuning the bass strings an octave apart. I have a Roger mcguinn video, but he didn't mention anything about tuning the bass strings an octave apart.

I wondered what people thought about the octave apart tuning and how that would work. Like if I have the bass e pairs, do I tune the skinnier gauge e a octave higher than the thicker gauge string? Like if I compared it to a six string would it be like the bass string pairs be like a low and high e on a six string?

And would the thinner e string be tuned to match the thicker treble string of the treble e string pair? I think the guy from the store were I bought the guitar from said to just tune all the pairs in unison.

Anyway just wondered what some 12 string owners thought.

Author:  buchrob [ Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

Congrats on your 660/12. I guess the guitar "tech" in the store was having an off day.

The lowest 3 strings are tuned an octave apart, and the the thinnest 3 are tuned to the same pitch. If you tune the lowest string of each pair the same way you would tune a six-string and then tune the second string as described above you are good to go.

No necessity at all to tune down a fret or so. Modern Rics, particularly the 660, have much stronger necks than the old mid-sixties models.

Author:  Uffingdon [ Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

The E,A,G & G strings are tuned an octave apart and the B&E pairs are tuned in unison.

No need to tune 1/2 a step down, I believe Roger does it as it helps him with his singing in his older years and also the extra tension on his guitars neck due to the tension of the brand of string he uses.

Author:  buchrob [ Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

Uffington is 100% correct. I must have been having a senior mandolin moment regarding the G-string.

Author:  F@C@ [ Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

My current favourite string set for the 660-12 is the Ernie Ball 2230. Easy playing and good sounding.

Author:  JohnHall [ Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

F@C@ wrote:
My current favourite string set for the 660-12 is the Ernie Ball 2230. Easy playing and good sounding.


We make a point here of not denigrating other's products. So I won't.

But I will say that these would not be the first choice for our instruments. Precision diameter over the length of the string is required if you wish to maintain any kind of intonation. Goods choices for that would be D'Addario, SIT, or GHS strings, or any one of the hundreds of brands OEMed by those firms.

Author:  buchrob [ Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

In a pinch, the GHS Brite Flats are a decent, widely available alternative to the Ric set.

Author:  iiipopes [ Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

There is another nit to pick with most aftermarket 12-string sets: the plain unison G string. It will intonate sharp, and if you try to move the bridge saddle back far enough to get it to intonate, especially on the first few frets with string stretch, it will cause everything else on the string to go flat up the neck, and the octave G will be flat as well.

In my not-so-humble opinion, the only real use that a plain G string has, regardless of type of guitar or string set, is to use it on a cheeze board, replacing it often as it becomes rusty.

The RIC factory set and the TI nickel flats set both have a wound 3rd unison G, which solves this problem. If you do like one of the aftermarket sets, change out the 17 plain unison G string with a wound string one size or so larger (18, 19 or 20 wound - D'addario makes the odd gauges so you can match up the feel you want for the string).

Author:  Ain'tGotNoPokemon [ Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

Hmm... Well if I were to stick with a Ric "approved" set, I would go for Rickenbacker strings.

I got my 620/12 in July, and just now took off the original strings (It's a NEW '09 model from Musicians Friend). I plan on Elixers for that bad boy, but I don't recall them sounding spectacular compared to the original Ric strings.

Author:  FirstBassman [ Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tuning a 12 string

jamesapp wrote:
I have read some people tune 1/2 step down because of the extra string tension.



Old wives tale.

String to standard pitch. The guitars can take it.

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