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Question re: 12-String Electrics

Caevan O’Shite

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A question for those of you who have or have had 12-String electric guitars with twelve adjustable saddles:

On those courses that have two of the same gauge strings, tuned to the same pitch (NOT an octave)-

-did one of those two saddles ever need to be adjusted even slightly differently from the other for both strings to intonate properly?

I was just wondering if those unison-doubled courses- the non-octave pairs- could be fine if sharing a single saddle.

If so, maybe a ten-saddle arrangement would do for many electric 12's?

As in | 2 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | , for | EE | AA | DD | GG | BB | EE | , respectively (BB and EE being the plain-treble unison pairs), low-to-high...

Just kickin' the ball around here, thinkin' thoughts thunk...

Waddaya say? How was it with your guitars?

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Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I play a lot of electric 12 in a couple of acts, including parts high up on the neck and solos... and so I pay a guy to intonate my Charvel Surfcaster 12 (which he says is a real pain...). I do use a Peterson Strobo tuner using the "sweetened 12 string" tuning setting... I couldn't tell you offhand about the bridge and saddles, I'll look when I get home...

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  • 10 months later...

George Kooymans of Golden Earring used a Danelectro 12 string on many of the band's hits, including a superb, progressive rock cover of The Byrds' Eight Miles High in 1969.




I like 12 strings, that way they have a more fattened up sound than 6 strings. 

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I've owned and played a number of electric 12 string guitars. 

Having 12 saddles that can be intonated opens up possibilities. You could put an octave lower string on the 2 high strings, just for one. Identical strings is the default but not written in stone. 


I recently bought and sold a Daisy Rock Retro-12 that had 12 adjustable saddles. It was a good 12 string electric but too heavy and the upper horn was too short to balance the headstock, which had 12 full sized Grover tuners on it. I've got an Ovation Deacon 12 string neck and a Preacher body but I'm toying with the idea of making a different body, probably hollowed out to reduce weight and with a long upper horn to counteract headstock dive. 


I had a Fender Electric XII and that was a great 12 string. I also had a Harmony electric 12 that was a 335 copy with a bolt on neck and I installed 3 Rickenbacker pickups. Nice, but both are long since gone. 


Since I'll take my Rainsong 12 string if I ever need to gig with one (it's nice and light and balances well), I've gravitated towards using a Nashville tuned guitar for recording instead of a 12 string. I've got a short scale (22.5) Johnson "Strat" copy that I've got tuned and intonated to Nashville tuning. That brings the chime but it's easier to play and I can (and do) often capo it up for even more chime. 

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It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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