Fender Electric XII 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966)

Fender  Electric XII 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 10384
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Fender Electric XII Model 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 154360, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell 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. 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.

The electronics are unique as well with two pickups each with two separate coil units, as pioneered by the Precision Bass but with smaller Mustang-style coils. These are mated to a 4-way lever switch allowing individual pickup selections or two different phase combinations. The bridge is a marvel of Leo Fender's engineering prowess; it strings through the body with 12 intonation-adjustable saddles and is generally considered the best unit of its kind. This guitar dates to 1966, the year the great majority of Electric XIIs were made with pots coded to the 45th week of 1965.

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 in quantity in late 1965 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. Led Zeppelin, the Velvet Underground, The Move, The Kinks, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, the Baja Marimba Band, and many others have made classic recordings with this model, and its full potential is perhaps still untapped.
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, remaining all original and showing just fairly minor wear overall with small dings, dents and handling wear. There are a couple of longer scratches to the top, some minor belt buckle and curly cord wear into but not through the finish on the back and a bit of finish worn off just the edges of the neck. The "target" sunburst finish is still bright with virtually no fade to the color. This guitar shows no alterations, and actually looks to have not really been played too much since it shipped out of Fullerton in 1966. The original frets have some very light wear. Overall just a lovely package of 1960s timeless jangle still residing in its original black Tolex Fender HSC. Excellent Condition.