Classic 1966 Electric XII.
Admittedly late to the 12 string party (you can’t be at the vanguard of every innovation!), Leo Fender designed his 12 string guitar from the ground up, incorporating the offset look and shape of the flagship Jazzmaster and Jaguar and took some characteristically brilliant design decisions (even if the hockey-stick headstock isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!).
Often manufacturers looking to include a 12 string guitar in their stable chose to simply add 6 more strings without factoring in the intonation challenges that this method presents. Leo’s bridge design incorporated 12 individually moveable saddles that could be intonated seperatly and adjusted (within reason) to make best use of all 12 strings. Add this to a comfortable C Profile neck, low action, string-through constuction and a pair of split coil pickups and you have yourself a guitar that came to define the 12 string sound of the 70’s. Think Stairway, Tommy, Dylan, Petty the list goes on!
The body has been refinished well, the guitar evidently has had a few finishes over the years as the neck pocket will attest. Olympic White is a classic Electric XII shade and has aged well with plenty of character, the chips and dinks of a life well played.
The headstock has been refinished to match the body and has aged appropriately, lacquer on the neck itself has taken on a rich hue and seems to be original. There is very little sign of wear which is the same with the fretboard and frets, both are in great shape.
The hardware is in good condition showing very little signs of wear. The Fender ‘F style’ tuners work really well.
The tortoiseshell pickguard shows no real signs of shrinkage and is free of any cracking. Electronically everything looks correct and all the solder joint are undisturbed.
Both pots and the capacitor have been changed at some stage. All four pickups are correct as is the selector switch.
The guitar comes with a good quality, non original hardshell case
There is a good reason why this guitar was the go to studio 12 string when it was introduced. The feel of the neck and the action are just a joy and the instrument has such vibrant tone when played acoustically. The tonal scope offered by the split coil pickups is always surprising, making the job of coaxing out a variety of lush sounds a dream.
This is a lovely example of an Sunburst Electric XII. If you’ve been hankering after one or are in the market for something different you can’t go wrong with this one. It plays as good as it looks. Grab it before it gets away.