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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: 262
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

A deal fell through so my search for a 12'er continues 11 Replies

Started by Martin van Dooremalen. Last reply by Thom on Friday.

octave strings' height 4 Replies

Started by Robert Williamson. Last reply by Robert Williamson Apr 7.

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Comment by Robert on July 30, 2011 at 8:15am
Thanks for the input about graphite.  Replacing the nut/saddle with bone (I believe they're resin)) on my Martin isn't an option just now, but I'll take a pencil to them next time I change strings.  And to my Gretsch, which has a Bigsby
Comment by Edward Sparks on July 30, 2011 at 5:58am
Great advice John...I have been doing it for years...so simple, yet so effective.  Edward
Comment by John Gundrum on July 29, 2011 at 8:09pm

I don't think graphite isn't used so much to avoid string breakage but to help keep strings in tune.  Graphite is a lubricate (ask any locksmith) and with guitars - especially electrics with tremolo bars - it helps prevent the strings from getting caught up in the nut.

BTW, the best way to add graphite to a nut is to write in the slots of the nut with a pencil.  Pencil lead is actually graphite which will help keep you in tune.  Do this especially if you hear string creak when tuning (the 3rd/G string is usually the biggest offender).  Loosen the string enough to pull it out of the nut slot and then pencil in some graphite.

Comment by Christopher Cozad on July 29, 2011 at 2:36pm

Hey Edward,

Well, it was worth the wait! She was away for a long time, but I am so very pleased with the work. It is the best of both experiences, sitting down with a brand-new guitar and playing a well-loved and well-broken-in guitar. I believe in recycling, especially when it comes to older guitars! lol

Comment by Edward Sparks on July 29, 2011 at 2:24pm
I am with Christopher on that one...bone is the way to go! I use Martin extra lights on my 1980 Guild JF212XL and I keep them tuned to concert pitch...it feels right and sounds right to me and I don't have to have the capo on the 2nd fret all the time. I have a Martin D-28-12 in the shop right now getting a neck reset and new set of frets and I can't wait to get it back! However, I will keep it tuned down a whole step for songs I need it that low for. The previous owner used lights and kept it tuned up to pitch and really blew it. My Guild has two truss rods in the neck and so with extra lights I have no worries. Edward
Comment by Christopher Cozad on July 29, 2011 at 1:49pm
I have never used graphite for any of my guitars, instead always opting for bone. I think my Guilds originally shipped with micarta (resin) and I had issues with breaking strings. I found string breakage to be a non-issue with bone nuts and saddles. I have also had guitars outfitted with Tusq nuts and saddles and they always performed well. If not using bone, I would probably opt for Tusq over graphite for the tone considerations, not to mention I think Tusq is something like 500% "slipperier" than graphite. Check it out.
Comment by Robert on July 29, 2011 at 1:41pm
A follow-up question: what about graphite for the nut and saddle?  I have a friend who always replaces these on his electrics, supposedly because it prevents string breakage. (I have very little trouble with breaking strings, so I haven't done it on any of my instruments so far.)
Comment by Christopher Cozad on July 29, 2011 at 1:36pm

Hello, Robert,

 

I use light gauge phosphor bronze (it is the tone I prefer the most, though I blow through them rather quickly). I have not been very brand loyal in recent years, and rotate between the major brands all with about the same performance. Coated strings last longer, but begin life "duller", so I tend to avoid them when I am performing or (or just feeling really picky about the sound).

 

I prefer brass strings (80/20) on my 6 string rosewood jumbo as it really "brightens" the tone, but I am beginning to believe that is due to how flat the guitar's sound has become over the years. It is in need of a neck reset just as it's 12 string mate received. But the real distinguishing item in my recent revelation has to do with the thickness of the bridge.

 

After resetting the neck, the bridge was completely replaced on my 12 string, and the mass of that new, thick ebony beast really drives and vibrates the top resulting in unparalleled tone (I never remember this guitar sounding this good). The bridge on my 6 sting has been shaved down over the years to a mere sliver, with the saddle buried deep in it in order to keep the action playable. As a result, there is very little vibration of the top when a string is plucked. The difference between the two guitars is remarkably noticeable. Once it gets a new bridge I am fairly certain I will retire those brass strings on the 6 string.

Comment by Robert on July 29, 2011 at 1:18pm
Very, very sweet Chris.  What do you use for strings?
Comment by Christopher Cozad on July 29, 2011 at 12:48pm
So here is my 1976 F-512, just back from the shop. The guitar underwent some major surgery in the expert hands of the now defunct Guild Custom Shop / Fender Nashville Shop. These guys did a stellar job of bringing new life back to this marvelous guitar, and my hat's off to them. I am so sad to see the shop closed down, as it marks another end to another era. The guitar sounds just as good as she looks. It "rings", and the vibration felt in my hands, arms, and chest while playing it is simply indescribable.






 

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