1976 Gibson L-6S Custom, 1978 Guild B302F bass, 1967 Fender Coronado guitar
1976 Gibson L-6S Custom1978 Guild B-302F1967 Fender Coronado
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Fender 12-String

12 string solid body electric guitar

Fender Electric XII

Timeline

1965 Fender catalogue

1965 Fender Facts 9, June '65 announces the new model, with a suggested price of $349.50.
Dec '65 price listed at $339 with a sunburst finish, or $356 for blond or DuPont custom finish.

1966 Fender catalogue

1966 Prices unchanged. The 1966 Catalogue shows two examples, one with sunburst and one with custom DuPont finish.

1967 June '67 price: $349 with a sunburst finish, or $367 for blond/custom.

1968 Fender catalogue

1968 March '68 price: $329.50 with a sunburst finish, or $346 for blond/custom.
July '68, prices unchanged but no neck width options offered.

1969 Fender catalogue

1969 The Fender 12-string is included in the 1969 catalogue, but is missing from the US price list dated 15th May.

Fender Facts 9

The Electric XII was announced in mid 1965 in the Fender newsletter Fender Facts.
The most recent addition to the Fender line of Fine Electric Instruments to be introduced is the 12-String Electric Guitar. Fender has built into this new guitar what is believed to be a tone versatility that is unmatched by any other 12-String

Fender Electric XII advertisement from 1965

The Electric XII appeared in one mid 1960s Fender advertisement, one of the many You Wont Part With Yours Either series, showing young people performing acts likely to break a guitar, but still keeping their Fender close anyway!

see also
Electric XII tech info
 1968 parts list
 1969 parts list

The Fender Electric XII was introduced in mid 1965 as a response to the growing popularity of twelve string guitars produced by the likes of Gibson and Rickenbacker, and was the company's first twelve-string electric - soon to be followed by the semi-acoustic Fender Coronado XII. Interestingly, all Fender literature describing this guitar use the name '12-String electric guitar' however the headstock decals use 'Electric XII' - either name is appropriate.

It was a solid body, with offset waist, and characteristic "hockey stick" bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fretboard. The standard narrow neck had a nut width of just 1 1/2", but for an additional 5% on the base price, two wider necks were available, with nut widths of 1 3/4" or 1 7/8". The majority had dot neck position inlays and no binding, but some necks were bound, with blocks. This is not mentioned as an option in price lists, and whether there is a correlation to neck width is unclear. The pickups are split single coil units, similar in style to the Precision bass.

The following description is taken from the 1969 Fender lovin' care catalogue

1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalogue

Changing moods - heavy to delicate to rich and smooth; that's the Fender Electric 12-string. Fender has built unmatched versatility into the 12-string to correspond to full needs of musicians. The first two pair of strings are tuned in unison and the remaining four pairs in octaves. Two wide range split pickups are designed to give maximum effectiveness of the 12 strings. A four way tone selector switch allows the player to select either of the two pickups, both or a separate wide range effect. In addition, a tone control placed immediately below the volume control enables sound flexibility.

Twelve individual barrel type bridges, carefully graduated in size to follow the contour of the fingerboard are adjustable for length. The entire bridge channel may be raised or lowered at either end of the channel. The slim neck of the 12-string contains an adjustable truss-rod which maintains perfect alignment. It has 21 frets and may be ordered with a size narrower or a size wider than standard width at the nut. It is bound and has inlaid position markers for easier fretting and added beauty. The "off-set" waist body design is another Fender first. This unique design places the player's arm in a natural position over the strings.

The 12-string features the finest workmanship and components, and all metal parts subject to wear are case hardened and heavily plated to retain their beauty even after long use. It is finished in shaded Sunburst or may be ordered in selected custom finishes. Left-hand models available by special order.

The 12-String did not do as well as Fender had hoped; list prices were cut in March 1968 (a sure sign of a model failing to sell), and although it did appear one final time in the 1969 Fender catalogue, it was not listed in Fender pricing of May 1969.

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There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
spyros Comment left 5th February 2015 16:04:40
How does this guitar compare to a Rickenbacker?
Poppa Comment left 6th February 2015 15:03:02
Need a hard case for a XII. Where can I get something that works? Help me out guys

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