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 # 11294
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Fender Electric XII Model 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 130639, Candy Apple Red lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is a truly beautiful custom-color example of a Fender Electric XII, finished in the flashy and always-popular Candy Apple Red metallic lacquer. While not one of Leo Fender's best-remembered creations the Electric XII is nonetheless is a superbly engineered, great-sounding and extremely practical 12-string. Introduced at the July 1965 NAMM Show at the dawn of the CBS/Fender era the Fender XII married the popular Jaguar/Jazzmaster style offset 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 with good reason. Custom color examples like this are fairly rare, and particularly striking looking guitars with the elongated matching headstock.

This guitar dates to late 1965 or early 1966, the peak production period for the model. The pots are coded to the 45th week of 1965; as the Candy Apple finish is undamaged in the neck pocket area we have not removed the neck, but the date would be in that late '65 or very early '66 range. The electronics are unique 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. The bridge is a marvel of Leo Fender's engineering prowess; it strings through the body with 12 staggered-height intonation-adjustable saddles and is generally considered the best unit of its kind.

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 ship in quantity by 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. This candy-colored example is about the coolest we have had, a much more dramatic looking hot rod compared to its sunburst brethren if identical sounding!
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 really superb and striking looking Electric XII, finished in one of Fender's boldest metallic paint jobs with the 3-layer white pickguard and matching red headstock. It remains all original and VERY clean showing just minor wear overall, the all-original finish has some typical lacquer checking but only some small dings, dents and handling marks. The heaviest are a few larger chips down along the lower body edge, and a couple of small chips on the top edge of the headstock. The neck is very clean with hardly any wear.

The vibrant Candy Apple red finish is still deep and bright with virtually no fade to the color. This guitar shows no alterations, and actually looks to have not really been played much since it shipped out of Fullerton in late 1965 or early 1966. The fingerboard and original frets also have very little wear. Overall this remains a lovely package of timeless 1960s jangle still residing in its original black Tolex Fender HSC. This case has minor wear overall with some repaired impact damage to the top end but is still solid and fully functional. Excellent + Condition.