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RE: [Acoustic Guitarist Guild] Tuning a 12-string

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  • Vince Pawless
    LOTS of great responses. It comes down to a 12-string is just a big pain in the butt when it comes down to consistency between each one. SO many variables
    Message 1 of 6 , May 8, 2005
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      LOTS of great responses. It comes down to a 12-string is just a big
      pain in the butt when it comes down to consistency between each one. SO
      many variables with all that tension from one guitar to the next.
      Soundboard bracing plays an important role in the sound of a guitar, and
      when you're dealing with the high tension of a "12", it's almost like
      taking a blind shot for the builder on the amount of bracing to use.

      The best sounding 12 I ever played was an early 70's Yamaha (I think
      FG260). It had a terribly high action, but wow what a sound. Of course
      if the top bracing was stronger to "hold" down the top from coming up so
      much, it probably wouldn't have sounded so good. The 12 string I played
      with the best action was a 69 Martin dread. It only had the support rod
      system and nothing adjustable in the neck, and after 30+ years the
      action was still great. The bracing was dead on so the top didn't move
      much, but it didn't sound as good as the Yamaha though.

      They're a nightmare in trying to get action right from the stress load
      the strings pull. Intonation is another issue all together due to
      substantially different size guage strings riding at the same point on
      the saddle (most made that way), so that's another issue.

      If you have a high action, you're going to have intonation problems.
      Any "12" I would have... I would take it for what it is. Probably work
      the "tuning" to make a nice fit to get the guitar to it's "peak". There
      are some that take standard tuning well.

      vp
    • Trevor Raggatt
      Reminds me of a joke I once heard ace jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor tell. When they re about to take you out to face the firing squad and ask you for your
      Message 2 of 6 , May 9, 2005
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        Reminds me of a joke I once heard ace jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor
        tell. When they're about to take you out to face the firing squad and
        ask you for your last request what's the best thing to say? "Err...
        just let me get this 12-string nicely in tune..."

        --- In acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com, "Vince Pawless"
        <vince@p...> wrote:
        >
        > LOTS of great responses. It comes down to a 12-string is just a big
        > pain in the butt when it comes down to consistency between each
        one. SO
        > many variables with all that tension from one guitar to the next.
        > Soundboard bracing plays an important role in the sound of a guitar,
        and
        > when you're dealing with the high tension of a "12", it's almost like
        > taking a blind shot for the builder on the amount of bracing to use.
        >
      • Vince Pawless
        that s funny. That d keep you alive a long time. vp ... From: acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com [mailto:acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Message 3 of 6 , May 9, 2005
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          that's funny. That'd keep you alive a long time.
          vp

          -----Original Message-----
          From: acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Trevor
          Raggatt
          Sent: 05/09/2005 10:22 AM
          To: acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [Acoustic Guitarist Guild] Tuning a 12-string


          Reminds me of a joke I once heard ace jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor
          tell. When they're about to take you out to face the firing squad and
          ask you for your last request what's the best thing to say? "Err...
          just let me get this 12-string nicely in tune..."

          --- In acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com, "Vince Pawless"
          <vince@p...> wrote:
          >
          > LOTS of great responses. It comes down to a 12-string is just a big
          > pain in the butt when it comes down to consistency between each
          one. SO
          > many variables with all that tension from one guitar to the next.
          > Soundboard bracing plays an important role in the sound of a guitar,
          and
          > when you're dealing with the high tension of a "12", it's almost like
          > taking a blind shot for the builder on the amount of bracing to use.
          >







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        • Sam Baker
          Hello; I have a Martin 12 that I have struggled with for several years. Finally found a Luthier here in Dallas with some great information. 1. Use a light
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 13, 2005
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            Hello;

            I have a Martin 12 that I have struggled with for several years.
            Finally found a Luthier here in Dallas with some great information.

            1. Use a light string
            2. Adjust the neck for proper action: Too high and it goes sharp as
            you work up the neck.
            3. Keep the humidity as evenly regulated as possible
            4. TUNERS!.... are not all as accurate as you think. I use a Boss TU
            15. I used to use Intillituner but they were not sensitive enough.
            Also, since I have pick up.. I only tune "hard wired"

            Also, much of the variation in tuning comes from the disparity in
            string guage. The lighter the set of strings, but closer the string
            guage is between strings.

            Finally, if and when I capo up the neck. You must re-tune everytime
            you apply the capo.

            So, it is a lot of work to keep it right, but when on key, the sound
            is wonderful.







            --- In acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com, "Vince Pawless"
            <vince@p...> wrote:
            > that's funny. That'd keep you alive a long time.
            > vp
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com
            > [mailto:acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Trevor
            > Raggatt
            > Sent: 05/09/2005 10:22 AM
            > To: acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [Acoustic Guitarist Guild] Tuning a 12-string
            >
            >
            > Reminds me of a joke I once heard ace jazz guitarist, Martin
            Taylor
            > tell. When they're about to take you out to face the firing squad
            and
            > ask you for your last request what's the best thing to
            say? "Err...
            > just let me get this 12-string nicely in tune..."
            >
            > --- In acousticguitaristguild@yahoogroups.com, "Vince Pawless"
            > <vince@p...> wrote:
            > >
            > > LOTS of great responses. It comes down to a 12-string is just a
            big
            > > pain in the butt when it comes down to consistency between each
            > one. SO
            > > many variables with all that tension from one guitar to the
            next.
            > > Soundboard bracing plays an important role in the sound of a
            guitar,
            > and
            > > when you're dealing with the high tension of a "12", it's almost
            like
            > > taking a blind shot for the builder on the amount of bracing to
            use.
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
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