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12-String Extravaganza

Apologies for the lack of updates! I am teacher by profession and since we went back to school, there has not been much time for blogging. I will make up for that with this 12-string extravaganza. As a guitarist, my main instrument has been the 12-string for decades. I own five of them and over the course of the 45-plus years I have played, I have owned a bunch more than that. Here are my favorites and brief synopsis on each one. If you're a 12-string shopper or just a 12-string lover, I hope you find this enjoyable. These models are presented in no particular order of preference, price, or quality. Guild F-512 The venerable Guild F-512 is probably the king of all the production 12-string guitars ever. If you can find a vintage one you'll enjoy the now-illegal-to-import Brazilian rosewood back and sides, a Sitka spruce top, and an ebony fingerboard with deluxe inlays. Gold hardware adorns the classic headstock shape. The jumbo body is huge, wide, and deep, providing jangling, m

1978 Ovation Glen Campbell Signature 12-String

In the 1970s, when other American guitar manufacturers struggled with poor quality control and hostile buyouts, Connecticut-based Ovation produced innovative guitars that quickly began to dominate the stage. Ovation was a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation, a company that made radomes for helicopters. Charles Kaman, the company's owner got the idea that the synthetic material they used for radomes could be molded into a bowl shape that would replace the back and sides of a guitar. The company called the material "Lyrachord" and began making acoustic guitars with a bowl-shaped back. The guitars had tremendous volume, balance, and projection. Almost everything about the guitars were innovative. The bracing patterns were different. Instead of a pick guard, there was a raised purfling ring around the soundhole. The bridge abandoned the traditional pin bridge and used a straight-through approach. Ovation's biggest selling point was the pickup system. They sold with an intern

1978 Carvin DT-650 Double Neck

If you grew up and learned to play guitar in the 1970s, you probably remember thumbing through the Carvin catalog. Carvin has been in business since the 1940s making guitars, basses, amps, and PA systems which they sold by mail. I remember looking at the catalogs and wondering how they could sell their products so cheaply, compared to the store brands. I wondered if the guitars were just pieces of junk. Then, some ten years later, I played one. I bought the guitar on the spot. Carvin built USA-made instruments with quality materials and expertly assembled them. Then they sold them direct to the customers for essentially a wholesale price. This example shows some of the great features: solid figured maple, ebony fingerboards, coil splitting, phase switching, pickups with 22 pole pieces to eliminate dead spots as you bent strings, and more. This one has a bolt-on neck, but later models had neck-through construction. The action on these guitars was perfect. The guitar shown here has had t

1967 Univox 'Mystery' 12-String

Japan was famous for two things in the 1960s: Godzilla movies and crazy-shaped guitars. The object of our attention today is a 1967 Univox "Mystery" 12-string. A prime example of the mutant guitars that came from the Matsumoka guitar factory of the day, the guitar has an extreme body shape, like something from a sci-fi movie. Ash was the typical wood used for the bodies of Matsumoka guitars and maple for the neck. The rosewood fingerboard is topped with 21 frets and has "left justified" pearl-dot position markers. The elongated, assymetrical headstock is not angled, which necessitates a retainer bar just above the nut to act as a string guide and provide proper downbearing angle onto the nut. Tuners are the six-to-a-plate, worm-gear variety that are fairly reliable, but they can deteriorate with age.  The electronics include two pickups, neck and bridge, a three-way selector switch, and controls for volume and tone. The pickups remind me of the ones you'd find i

12-String Royall Trifecta Tricone Resonator Guitar

Here, for your browsing pleasure, is something amazing: a Royal Trifecta tricone resonator 12-string. This is a thing of beauty! If you have played a tricone resonator guitar, you know they sacrifice a little volume (for a resonator guitar) for the sake of complexity of tone. This instrument is beautifully engraved nickel plating over the brass body and it has classic butter bean tuners. I love that tricone sound and finally somebody makes it in a 12-string. I’m sure it just sings in G or D tuning. Check it out here. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Royall-Trifecta-Hand-Engraved-Nickel-Plated-Brass-Body-Tricone-12-String/114006586124?hash=item1a8b52730c:g:GKwAAOSwSlVd7TH8 k