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12-String Guitar

A meeting place to discuss playing styles, favorite players, set-ups, and anything else about this wonderful instrument.

Members: 274
Latest Activity: Dec 31, 2015

Discussion Forum

Your FIRST 12 string guitar hero or heroine ... what's your story? 14 Replies

Started by Alan Sturgess. Last reply by Tom Riccardi Dec 10, 2015.

Any try or use Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze .010-.047 yet? If so, opinions? 3 Replies

Started by Martin van Dooremalen. Last reply by Dave Fengler Sep 1, 2015.

Hummingbird 12 string and Gibson Restoration 3 Replies

Started by TheValleyGirl. Last reply by Jim Yates Jul 6, 2015.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Downtown Freddy Brown on November 4, 2009 at 6:08am
My Yamaha 12 string is an FG 720 S. I think I paid around $400 CDN. It was new when I bought it but it has a small chip at the top corner of the headstock which I touched up and would only be noticeable if I pointed it out.
Comment by Antonio Cotichini on October 31, 2009 at 10:03am
That's for sure, Freddy! I've an FG 460S 12A probably built in 1992. Solid spruce top and laminate rosewood b/s and sounds like a piano! Now I need another one, and I'm interested in that LL16-12 that I find for little more than 1000$. All solid wood (spruce-rosewood), three pieces neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge. Let me know about your one.
Comment by Downtown Freddy Brown on October 31, 2009 at 9:18am
Hey Antonio. I'll have to check the model# of my Yamaha 12 string but I am really impressed with the quality and sound for the few shekels I paid. Yamaha has some pretty fine instruments in their line rivaling many of the higher priced lines like Martin, Taylor and Gibson.
Comment by Rick Heenan on October 18, 2009 at 10:18am
A little trick for isolating buzzes and noises that I used working in an anechoic chamber (sound room). I used a two foot length of clear plastic tubing. I would put one end near my ear and use the other to search for the noise. Worked great, I eventually used a single headphone muff with a hole drilled into it and the tubing inserted, much more comfortable and looked more professional too.
Comment by Antonio Cotichini on October 18, 2009 at 5:45am
Do anyone of you have, or have played, the actual top-of-the-line Yamaha 12 string LL16?
I read all I found about it. It intrigues me for it's prize/quality ratio. Thoughts?
Comment by Steve Kline on September 16, 2009 at 11:57pm
Good luck, Edward, you have a lot of suggestions to go through.
Comment by Edward Sparks on September 15, 2009 at 2:49pm
Thanks Gentle,man for all of the advice...I think I'll try it all! I should repeat thought that this is a pre-90's Martin...there is no adjustable truss rod...Edward

Comment by Antonio Cotichini on September 15, 2009 at 10:49am
In my experience, splitting to heavier strings, the buzzing problem decreases.
Obviously, a nut slots re-dimension is needed, but just in the width, not the depth, because the under-side of the string lies in the same place of the preceding lighter one. Also a truss-rod adjustment is required. All the other parameters are the same. If a guitar is well built it doesn't need to be tuned so low; one step is enough. The more you low the tuning, the more it will buzz.
I reached very low action on 12 strings. Lower than in 6 strings.
I'm using mediums since ten years ago. Never felt the need to go back to lights. Much more power, volume and general tone.
Comment by John Bjorkman on September 15, 2009 at 8:36am
The good thing about heavier gauge strings is that they're better at both tone and volume production. If your instrument can take the extra strain, it's just your hands that will have to adjust. I've spoken with guys from Martin, Taylor, Guild and a couple of custom shops, and they all say that, on a 12-string, a heavier gauge string demands a lower tuning of at least three half-steps (E down to a C#). Not just for the neck, but also the bridge glue, and even the top itself. They all had confidence in *their* instruments, but were leery about giving generic advice.

In addition to the nut slot depth and bridge height, another thing to note is that the extra tension of a heavier gauge string will modify the action. Most likely, it will raise the action a bit. This will eliminate some buzzing, but you may have to tweak the truss rods to get everything just right.

As Robert points out, a heavier gauge string is capable of buzzing more. But this can be offset with a lighter touch, since the heavier gauge strings naturally produce more volume.

You might try this experiment: measure your current action and carefully inspect the bow of the top, and the top-contact of the bridge. Then, leave everything adjusted as is and put on a set of mediums. Tune them down, say, to a B. Measure the action and reinspect. (keep written notes) If all looks and sounds good, give it an hour or so to "settle in" and remeasure. (you can play it during this time) Then, tune up to a C and repeat. If all is going well, continue to C#. As the action increases, note the feel and buzzing (if any). Make sure the bridge isn't lifting.

You should find a comfortable feel and sound along the way, with tweaks to the truss rod, saddle and string slots being all that you might need to be concerned with.
Comment by Robert Hancox on September 15, 2009 at 7:13am
It's not the width of the nut slots it's the depth. It the nut slots were cut specifically for lights, they'd be too deep for a larger gauge. Though I'm no expert, that just sounds logical to me. Do you know where the buzzing is originating from?

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