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Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Hewesy » Sun May 17, 2020 9:59 pm

Hi all, hope everyones keeping safe and well.

A few years back I bought a Revelation RJT60/12 - basically I'd always wanted an Fender XII 12 string and for the relatively cheap cost (I paid £240 new I think) it seemed to scratch the itch. offset body and sunburst, close enough.

Sadly it's taken some tweaking to become playable, the selling point of Revelation seems to be the pickups and electronics but mine died within a month of purchase. I binned them off entirely and fitted some Bareknuckle P90's and new pots etc. It now does sound lovely and very flexible.

The downside now is the neck, I've just never bonded with it and part of that I'm sure is the fact it was a 50mm nut width(!) and a very odd flat back to the neck.

So, having a nose around the Warmoth site they do a '65 XII replacement neck, ok so it's a few more quid spent on a budget guitar but compared to an actual XII it's worth it.

Where I'm stuck is neck radius. My favourite neck is on my Blacktop Strat, which is a 9.5" radius. However looking at the ready made Warmoth necks they seem to standardise on their 10-16" compound radius.

So, noting it is a 12 string and a little more space might be useful (but still less than 50mm!) Do I go 10-16" or stick with copying my Strat neck?

Ok its fully subjective I know but I'm curious as to what I might have missed, if anything.

Hewesy
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby zenguitar » Sun May 17, 2020 10:24 pm

All I can suggest is that you try and get the opportunity to try one or more guitars with the Warmoth compound radius and see how it feels to you.

If it helps, my view has always been to approach each guitar on it's own merits and see how I get on with it rather than choosing on specs. And remember that your Strat profile/radius would feel different on a slightly wider neck anyway.

But as you say, these things are all subjective. :headbang:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Wonks » Mon May 18, 2020 8:01 am

I had a Warmoth 10-16" radius neck on a Tele and didn't like it much. It didn't seem to set up any better than a 9.5" radius neck, and of course it's almost impossible to fret level it properly yourself.

Warmoth will make a neck to your specs (limited by having to fit in the existing neck pocket) , though you'll have to wait for it to be made - which will be quite a while with their Covid-19 backlog. Don't forget VAT+duty on top of the cost+shipping when pricing it up.

Is 50mm too wide for you? 12-strings need to be a bit wider or they get very cramped and unplayable. You'd certainly want something wider than a more standard 43mm.

If it wasn't a bound neck, it would be a lot simpler to remove the frets, sand the neck to a thinner profile and refret. You could still do something similar but replace the whole fretboard at the same time. It's less work than you'd think, and you don't need too many specialised tools. It would certainly be cheaper than a Warmoth neck!
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Hewesy » Mon May 18, 2020 5:46 pm

Thanks folks, a lot of food for thought for sure.

I've seen the Warmoth Covid warning for delays, I'm not in a huge rush really but it is worth considering.

50mm and the odd profile is definitely not working for me, I have a Washburn 12 string acoustic which is 1 7/8 (47.6mm I think) which is very comfy to play so that might be more sensible.

Good call on 9.5" neck radius being a tad cramped, is there a similar standard for 12 strings as there is for Strat, Les Paul, PRS etc?

I may try and track down a few 12 strings when things reopen - see if I can find something nice to copy. I do like tone of the Revelation now it has Bareknuckles and it seems sensible to tweak further now I've made this investment....

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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Wonks » Mon May 18, 2020 6:55 pm

Most acoustics tend to have a 12" radius fretboard, some even flatter. There are always exceptions, but I think 90% at least are 12".
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Hewesy » Tue May 19, 2020 9:37 pm

Cheers Wonks, Reverend use a 12" for theirs with a 1.75" nut width but a shorter 24 3/4 scale. Rickies seem to be 41mm and 10" which is probably why they feel cramped.

My local dealer might have a Reverend in so I'll head there for a test I think when I can.

I like the idea of having a go at the neck, once the pressure is off, what would be involved in reprofiling?

Something you've done before?

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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby innerchord » Tue May 19, 2020 10:31 pm

Wonks wrote:Most acoustics tend to have a 12" radius fretboard, some even flatter. There are always exceptions, but I think 90% at least are 12".

Is this for far-east guitars? It's certainly not the case for Martin and Taylor instruments. In fact, I think that most acoustics are 14-16 inches.
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Wonks » Wed May 20, 2020 7:15 am

Hewesy wrote:I like the idea of having a go at the neck, once the pressure is off, what would be involved in reprofiling?

Something you've done before?

I've certainly reprofiled one neck, my Jap Fender Strat when I refinished it last year, from a full D to a gentle V section. I didn't need to narrow the neck at all.

It seems you won't need to take much width off the overall neck if aiming for 47mm at the nut. Which means there's no real need to move the tuners inwards, you'll just get slightly more sideways strings pull on the outer strings. The tuners aren't aligned for a straight string pull to start with (always hard to do on a 12 string with all those tuners).

Innerchord, you are right. I had 12" radius on the brain. Martin and Gibson normally 16", so a lot of the other makes copying those styles of guitar do the same. But looking round, there are a wide range of radii used, from 12" up to 20", though 16" seems to be most popular. My latest acoustic, a Maton, has a 12" radius, and my Japanese Takamine also has a 12" radius, as did my Gibson Country Western, which probably skewed my brain. Only my Martin DR has a 16" radius.
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby innerchord » Wed May 20, 2020 8:05 am

Wonks wrote:My latest acoustic, a Maton, has a 12" radius, and my Japanese Takamine also has a 12" radius, as did my Gibson Country Western, which probably skewed my brain. Only my Martin DR has a 16" radius.

That's an unusually large proportion with the smaller radius. I'm guessing you like them that way? :)
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Wonks » Wed May 20, 2020 8:19 am

I don't really notice any difference. I have so many guitars with all different neck profiles. The neck profile itself is more important to me in playing feel than the neck radius, which to me, only has an effect on upper fret string bending. Not a major issue for me on my acoustics!
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Hewesy » Thu May 21, 2020 9:24 pm

Interesting guys - out of interest which DR have you got Wonks and which Martin profile is that?

My DRS1 has a Performing Artist shape and a High Performance Taper which is about as far as I'd go neck wise.

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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Wonks » Thu May 21, 2020 9:48 pm

It's a 2007 Martin DR. Solid spruce top, laminated rosewood back/sides, rosewood board. There is a current DR Centennial model, which is not the same thing.

https://www.guitar-list.com/martin/acou ... oad-series
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Hewesy » Sat May 23, 2020 11:14 am

Cheers Wonks, lovely looking guitar.

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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Wonks » Tue May 26, 2020 9:25 am

Converting the other way, from a 6 string to a 12 sting is very easy. Look :D

Image
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Re: Replacement 12 String necks

Postby Hewesy » Wed May 27, 2020 6:59 pm

Woah!

I can't recall the player now but I remember an old jazz guy modding his Jazzmaster to a 7 string by boring through the headstock with a hot iron and screwing in a new tuner.

I'll see if I can track him down...

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