12 strings to heaven...
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White Fender, what more do you want? A 1966 Olympic White Fender 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 characteristicly brilliant design decsions (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!
A common feature with all nitrocellulose clear coats is the yellowing that occurs when its exposed to UV light. This can vary depending on year of manufacture and to what extent the finish is exposed to these environmental factors. In this case, what was once white is now more akin to a cream or butterscotch. You can see the difference under the tortoiseshell pickguard. Having said this, the finish is still glossy and apart form some nice checking and a few minor dinks the finish is fantastic.
The headstock has also changed colour to match and the lacquer on the neck itself has taken on a slightly richer hue. Again, this is as glossy as the body with very little sign of wear. The fretboard and fresh are in great shape too. At some stage the nut has been replaced. As you might imagine they can be notoriously fragile with such close string spacing. The new replacement has been well made and cut beautifully.
The hardware is in good condition showing very little signs of wear. The Fender ‘F style’ tuners work really well. It has had an expertly made and fitted new nut to it which is often the weakest part of the originals.
The tortoiseshell pickguard shows no real signs of shrinkage and is free of any cracking and electronically everything looks correct and all the solder joint as undisturbed.
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 Olympic White custom colour 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.
We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed, tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers and purchased, by appointment at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.
ATB Guitars (By appointment please) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
Mobile (please try landline first): 07842 001007
Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607