Fender Electric XII Owned and used by Elliott Sharp 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966)

Fender  Electric XII Owned and used by Elliott Sharp 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 10180
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Fender Electric XII Owned and used by Elliott Sharp Model 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 149340, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black gig bag case.



The "Electric XII" is perhaps not one of Fender's best-remembered creations but nonetheless is a superbly engineered, great-sounding and extremely practical guitar. This one has a unique provenance, has been for some years a gigging and recording instrument of amazingly prolific New York guitarist/composer Elliott Sharp, used on a number of his projects.

Introduced at the 1965 NAMM Show at the dawn of the CBS/Fender era the Fender 12-string married the popular Jaguar/Jazzmaster style body to a new 12-string neck with a distinctive extended "hockey stick" headstock. The neck itself is typically Fender; slim and very comfortable. These are often considered the best-playing electric 12s of the 1960s, and certainly one of the most practical such design.

The electronics are unique as well with two pickups each with two separate coil units, as pioneered by the Precision Bass, mated to a 4-way selector setup allowing different phase combinations. The bridge is a marvel of Leo Fender's engineering prowess, with 12 intonation-adjustable saddles and must be considered the best unit of its kind ever attempted. This guitar dates to 1966, the year the great majority of Electric XIIs were made. The original pots are coded to the 17th week of that year.

With all this original engineering, Fender somewhat missed the boat a bit on the electric 12-string fad and by the time the "Electric XII" was ready to market Rickenbacker had already reaped the bulk of benefit of the Byrds' and Beatles' popularization of the sound. For all that, the guitar is a very good design and an excellent-sounding stage or recording instrument, albeit without exactly capturing the Rick's trademark jangle. Besides Elliott, many classic acts including Led Zeppelin, the Velvet Underground, The Move, The Kinks, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, the Baja Marimba Band, and others have made many classic recordings with this model.

This particular instrument has been played by Elliott Sharp on a number of his projects including albums by Mofungo, God Is My Co-Pilot and Chansons du Crepuscule along with various soundtracks and many improvising sessions. The following specific examples are available for listening on YouTube:

The Soundtrack "Commune" (zOaR 2015)) track: "Setting Forth"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2TYZ6rkgz0&ab_channel=ElliottSharp-Topic

Terraplane: "Kick It Six" (zOaR 2020) "Slant Six"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZRFcXo1C6I&ab_channel=ElliottSharp-Topic
 
Overall length is 42 7/8 in. (108.9 cm.), 14 in. (35.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a very nice example of this relatively unsung Fender gem, all original without any heavy wear, repair or alterations. The finish shows just small dings, dents, and handling wear, mostly on the bottom edge. There are a few scratches and dings on the top and some buckle wear into but not through the lacquer on the back. The sunburst finish is still bright without too much fade to the color.

This guitar remains all original with no alterations, and actually looks to have not been played all that much before Elliott acquired it some time ago. It comes in an original period 1960s Manny's Music heavy vinyl gig bag that is something of a NYC collectible in itself. While normally we clean, re-string and set up all out instruments this one has been left exactly as it came from Elliott Sharp, an excellent playing instrument as it stands. Overall Excellent Condition.