Monday, July 30, 2018

2004 Fender Stratocaster XII 12-String Guitar Review


Today we are looking at something a little different – an early 2000s Fender Stratocaster XII that is a pretty neat piece of work. These guitars are somewhat based on the Electirc XII that was built back in 1965 to 1969 era and are very collectible, even in today’s slower market. Fortunately for us Fender Japan reproduced this version from 1985 to 1995 and 2004-2009 so we can achieve a similar sound and feel for a lot less cash.

This one has a Crafted in Japan Q-prefix serial number, so it was built in 2004. It has a pretty sunburst finish over its alder body, and a rosewood fretboard on its maple neck. It got a white pickguard, pickup covers and knobs, and they have a nicely aged vintage cream look to them.

The neck has a 25 ½-inch scale length with a 7.25-inch fretboard radius. There are 21 vintage style frets set into it. The profile is not much different than a 6-strint Strat, and there is a comfy C profile to the back of the neck. The headstock is quite a deviation from the usual Fender shape, so that it can accommodate those 12 tuners.

The tuners are Ping style finished in chrome, as is the hardtail bridge. The bridge is set up so the primary strings feed through the back of the body and the secondary strings are loaded from the top of the body. The electronics are standard Stratocaster fare, including 3 single coil pickups, a 5 5-way selector switch, a volume control , and two tone controls.

The guitar we are looking at here is in excellent original condition, with no repairs or modifications. It is very well built, with gorgeous paintwork and fabulous fretwork. It is a tad heavy, coming in at just under 8 pounds, but it is still 3 or 4 pounds less than my Les Paul. It is one of the easiest playing 12-strings I have ever run into, as it does not feel very lot different than the 6-string version.

Sound-wise, it is (of course) more full than a regular Strat, and probably a bit janglier than a Rickenbacker 12-string. Don't take that the wrong way – it does have a very lovely and useable tone. Pretty much, it is a winner for not a lot of dough. If you ever have the chance to try one of these out you should give it a go. See what you think!


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