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 Post subject: A Tale of Four 12 Strings
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:05 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:51 am
Posts: 4
Location: Melbourne, Australia
For the last few years my main stage guitar has been a 12 string as I like the sound and how it provides that extra layer of grounding for a vocal in a small group (a duo, in fact). When I first decided I wanted one I scoured the local ebay and shops and found an affordable Danelectro. About a year I made the mistake of playing a Maton Mastersound 500/12 at a shop which put the Dano back on the market. The Maton had some real strengths and kept me going until I made the mistake of trying out a CIJ Fender Stratocaster XII which was the best sounding and easiest playing 12 I'd ever tried. This was my 12 string for life.

Recently, between saving and selling a few things off I found a 330/12 on ebay offered locally for just enough under the usual $2.5 grand upwards that they usually go for here that I put a bid on it unplayed. Happily it wasn't a dodge and I got it a few days after. New with all the case candy and an almost lickable fireglo finish. I had a Ric 12!

What can I say. Plugging it straight into my Bassman reissue wasn't just instant articulate chimey goodness, the whole experience addressed a lot of problems evident in the others. The neck is narrow but I'm used to that and know to trust chords made of fewer strings (well string courses). But the neck has a depth that only the Maton approached. It's heavier than the Strat but perfectly balanced (the Danos have great necks but they're heavier than the bodies and dive like wartime subs).

At first I found the playing of it a little challenging but then did a real test of the relief and action. I got the neck as straight as I dared and lowered the action just shy of buzzing and discovered a guitar that pretty much begs playing. I'll have to admit that the process of removing the truss rod cover and moving the strings at tension to adjust the truss rods was a hell of a job. Well, I guess the difficulty of it made me do it more carefully. But yikes, I'd much rather take an old Fender's neck off to tweak the relief. And restringing isn't a party, either.

That said, I cannot fault the tone (once I put the toasters on) and its variability, the cleanliness of the decay which prevents chords from sounding swashy, the balance and ease of playing or the sheer beauty of it (and this is the cheaper model;)

So, I've arrived in Rickville and I'm staying. The Strat XII unfortunately had to go to the shop (where it was snapped up in a week or two). The playing experience between the two was pretty fierce competition but the Ric won out. I tend to think it was the string ordering, it just makes the octaves ring out more clearly and infallibly every time. I feel I've learned a secret.


 Post subject: Re: A Tale of Four 12 Strings
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:52 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Australia
Hi and welcome!

Congratulations on your new guitar

You should be very happy with your purchase, as I own 2 Ric's a 350V63 and a 381V69/6, in a one off colour, I know how well they are made and I love the sound and look

I have noticed that Ric's seem to have really clear string definition when playing chords, yet it all blends so well
That definition and balance would come in so handy on a 12 string. When I play a chord I want that chime, and bell like sweet clear tone! There are many factors associated with the Ric sound, you will find the many comments on this forum as testament to that. All the different models have a different sound, but they do share traits within their voicing, Rickenbacker has had a big say in all of them, and you can hear it! What gives Ric such a distinctive signature sound. It would be hard to pin point one area that contributes to the sound the most,,,everybody has an opinion. Pickups are a factor, but they sit on those funny shaped rubber grommets, maybe they are the secret tone ingredient. LOL

Welcome and all the best to you and your new guitar


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