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FACTOIDS & TRIVIA

Designed by Leo Fender, the Fender Electric XII was introduced in late 1965 with the bulk of the production taking place in 1966 before it was discontinued around 1970.  Unlike its competitors’ electric 12-string models which were simply existing 6-string guitars with six extra strings, the Fender Electric XII was a purpose-built 12-string designed to capture a part of the folk-rock market.   The headstock was a departure from Fender’s usual Stratocaster-style shape and is sometimes referred to as the “hockey stick” headstock.  Leo Fender’s bridge design for this model is elegantly simple, works extremely well, and is regarded by many as one of his best designs of the 1960s.  The bridge has an individual saddle for each string making precise intonation possible.  The design is also string-through-body which helps to increase sustain.  The guitar shown here has factory "jumbo" frets which Fender was using on some guitars made during the late-1965 to mid-1966 period.  It is embossed “Special” on the back of the headstock and on the body indicating it may have been a sales representative’s demo guitar.  It’s also unusual because it has a nitrate (“green”) pickguard and the nitrate guards were pretty much discontinued in 1964.  Perhaps the most famous user of the Fender Electric XII was Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page who used one to record “Stairway to Heaven.”
 

FENDER ELECTRIC XII  (January 1966)

Body:  Solid, 3-piece alder

Finish:  Sunburst, nitrocelluslose lacquer

Neck:  1-piece maple, bolt-on

Fingerboard:  Brazilian rosewood, pearloid dot markers

Number of Frets:  21

Pickguard:  Tortoise/white/black/white nitrocellulose laminate

Bridge:  Fender steel, chrome

Nut:  Plastic

Tuners:  Fender, enclosed, chrome

Pickups:  Two, Fender split coil

Controls:  Master tone, master volume, 4-way rotary pick-up selector

Scale Length:  25 1/2 inches

Neck Width at Nut:  1 5/8 inches

Body Width at Lower Bout:  14 inches

Body Depth:  1 5/8 inches

Weight:  8.5 lb.










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