I have a Takamine Ef341SC (my fourth 12 string over the years) and for the first time I tuned it all down a step to try and ease the action and to not encourage a slight bridge lift before I get it properly fixed (on some advice on this forum) - Previously the action was really nice, low, no buzzing, but I wanted to ease the tension a bit. At the Music store I was buying some lighter gauge Elixers (10's). The guy at the counter suggested taking it down. I didn't end up replacing the strings.
It took a while to settle and with a slight truss adjustment it was fine, albiet a little less 'bright'. I used a Shubb to capo up a step bringing it to E, and another Kyser to go up one more (most of the songs I play in farmers corner capo'ed to F# - it just suits my voice better).
What a fantastic revelation! - no arm fatigue, Bar chords (even F) and finger style is now a breeze, I haven't put it down in hours.
However now I have to do slight adjustment tuning when I take the second capo on and off on the low E and A, when I didn't have to before
Why haven't they made a shorter scale 12 string to ease the string tension? does such a guitar exist? It makes incredible sense to me.
The Seagull Coastline Cedar 12 is a short scale (24.84 inch) dreadnought size 12-string. It's a fantastic bargain for around $500+/- !!
My Takamine says the fretboard is 25.5", yet shortening the neck by 2 frets at the nut would be 2 3/4 " less real estate. I rarely play above the 8th fret, have slender hands so the lack of space wouldn't be an issue.
I'm going to google the Seagull.
I love those Hammertone Octave 12's - but that's a big price point for a Mandolin sounding thing.
I assume the advice you received about getting it 'properly fixed' is referring to removing the bridge and regluing it properly. I've had this done to my Vantage12-string which had the bridge pull away from the body. It's been fine ever since.
There are a combination of factors involved here. One is the tension. Twelve-strings will exert a lot of tension. The guitar has to be engineered to handle it. And I believe manufacturers do this. The next factor is putting all the pieces together. There is less control over a production line than if it were a 12-string made by an individual. The production line is designed to meet certain time frames. While it's admirable the devil is in the details. Flaws will get through.
A quality assurance department is there to help eliminate flaws. But that cannot always be the case. Something will always get through. This is not anyone's fault - it nature.
Another factor is care. I admit the failure of the bridge on my 12-string was my fault (as well as the crack in my classical). Up to that point I really didn't have an understanding of how to care for an acoustic guitar. The problem was climate and where I was storing them. Basically, low-humidity and varying temperatures (winter - summer) caused the woods to shrink, crack and the bridge glue joints to fail in the case of the 12-string.
I found a good luthier (extraordinary IMO) who explained all this to me and more. I've been diligent ever since in keeping Damp-Its in each and every guitar and checking them regularly. I've not had a problem since. Even with the 12-strings (the original Vantage and an Ovation) being tuned to pitch.
As for why not make a shorter scale 12-string? A shorter scale is going to decrease the tension. But it also is going to shorten the distance between frets. This might be an issue depending on the player. Someone with large hands may not like this very much. Here's a good article on scale length.
I looked at the Seagull Coastline Cedar - that looks about perfect - are there any other folks who make 12 string short scale's.
I tried a Seagull Coastline Cedar 12 on the weekend - it's not really a short scale - 24.8 rather than 25. The guy at the Music store said they don't make anything shorter than that. I'm going to stay with the stepped down Tak.
I just got a 12 string and keep it tuned down a 1/2 step and it plays and sounds great. If I need to play in standard tuning I just capo at the 1st fret. I will use your idea using a secondary capo since I also have both a Shubb and Kyser one.