Tuning the twelve string

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Tuning the twelve string

Postby (thark) » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:24 pm

Hi all. Apologies if this has been asked before. I did bit of a search but found nothing.

I've had my 370/12 for about 6 weeks now and have twice broken the G octave string while tuning it to pitch. Is this because I'm tuning it too high? Is it supposed to be tuned in unison with the G fundamental string?

Cheers,

Keith
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (jdogric12) » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:54 pm

It's definitely an octave.. using a 10? 8s break too easily. The Daddario set is garbage, you need the Rick gauges, like in the Curt Mangan Pick of the Ricks set. 10 G octave, and wound 20s for G and octave A.
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (thark) » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:01 pm

Yes, I was pretty sure it is an octave. I'm currently using a Pick of the Ricks compressed set with the octave G being a 10p and the fundamental is a 20w. Guess I'll have to break into another set for a 10p. Hate to do that as I have order them in and wait for them. I just wanna play!

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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (admin) » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:08 pm

Can you not just purchase a single 10p locally and keep on playing? For the most part, at least in my experience, plain steel is plain steel regardless of reputable manufacturers. :)
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (thark) » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:44 pm

Good point. I've never purchased single strings at a local store. I don't even know if they sell them that way but I will find out shortly.

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Keith
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (jdogric12) » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:23 am

I always keep a stock of singles of 10, 13, and 20w for replacements. I think GC stopped doing singles. Try the Fret Nation website.
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (thark) » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:07 am

Found some singles at L&M! I've been there a million times and never seen them before.

This time I'll try bringing the string to pitch slowly. Don't know if that will help but ...

Keith
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (libratune) » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:16 am

Where is your string breaking? If at the bridge, you may want to check and see if the bridge saddle slot is "smooth" and there isn't a burr there that's cutting into the string.

If breaking at the tuner post, would suggest a number of winds around the post.

You should be able to tune that G octave 0.010 gauge string properly. It's not breaking because it can't go to standard pitch.
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (jdogric12) » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:27 pm

Yep, what Ron said. 2 or 3 wraps ought to be good. Proper stretching as well, gently.
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (thark) » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:42 pm

The string seems to be breaking at the tuning machine, definitely not at the bridge. I usually try to get a number of winds around the post.

I put a 0.010 gauge string on yesterday and tuned it up very slowly and was able to get it to pitch without breaking it.

When I broke the two strings, I could sort of tell it was coming ... kind of like the string was complaining "too much, too much" and then ... snap! But not this time.

I'm a relative newcomer to the Rickenbacker 12-string world, having played pretty much exclusively 6-strings for the last 50 or so years. It seems to my 6-string lizard brain that tuning a 0.010 string to G above high E is pushing it a bit. Guess I'll get used to it. Sounds good. :)

BTW, I just installed a RickySounds wide nut on my 12-string. It was waaaay to high at first so I had to sand it down about 0.040" or so. Works fine now. Strings are now playable with my big fingers.

Cheers,

Keith
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (jps) » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:10 pm

Check for any sharp edges/burrs on that tuning key post, and also, check if the string is binding in the nut slot.
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (iiipopes) » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:45 pm

admin wrote:Can you not just purchase a single 10p locally and keep on playing? For the most part, at least in my experience, plain steel is plain steel regardless of reputable manufacturers. :)

This ^
I have used 8's, 9's, and 10's for the octave G. The trick, as Ron and Jeffrey posted, is to make sure the bridge saddle, nut, and tuner posts have the proper witness points and are burnished. I use an 8 octave G with no issues.

Also...make sure the set has a wound G unison, because compensation is based on string stretch, which is related to core diameter. So use a wound unison G string so that the core is a similar diameter to the octave G string so the pair will intonate on a six-saddle bridge.
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (drumbob) » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:53 am

jdogric12 wrote:It's definitely an octave.. using a 10? 8s break too easily. The Daddario set is garbage, you need the Rick gauges, like in the Curt Mangan Pick of the Ricks set. 10 G octave, and wound 20s for G and octave A.


I hate to say it too, but don't use D'Addario 12 string sets on a Rick. I use their strings on everything else, but the Curt Mangan Pick Of The Ricks work best for me too. Never an issue, never break any, and they sound fine and last a long time. I have the strings changed on my 12s only once a year and that's sufficient. I have never tried changing the strings and probably never will. I take the guitars to my tech, he does it for me and tweaks the necks, intonation, etc.
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Re: Tuning the twelve string

Postby (iiipopes) » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:24 am

jdogric12 wrote:It's definitely an octave.. using a 10? 8s break too easily. The Daddario set is garbage, you need the Rick gauges, like in the Curt Mangan Pick of the Ricks set. 10 G octave, and wound 20s for G and octave A.

I respectfully disagree. I use D'Addario strings in the following gauges, and have for the last over twenty years, and never had a breakage, because I follow the advice previously given: burnish the tuning posts, nut, and bridge saddles, make sure the witness points are good, and carefully string the guitar so that there are no kinks or excessive twisting of the strings:

9p, 11½p 18w, 24w, 32w, 42w
9p, 11½p 8p, 10½p 14p, 22w

The main point is that a player, especially on a six-saddle bridge, MUST use a wound 3rd G unison string so it will intonate properly with the octave G string, whatever gauge.

D'Addario has really upped its QC and consistency in the last few years. I encourage jdogric12 to give them another chance, but with singles, as the D'Addario electric 12-string set has a unison plain G which will not intonate.

One other trick: Since a player must use a wound string on the low E string, I ordered a saddle blank from RIC, and custom filed it so the unison E string intonates off the back edge of the saddle, and the octave E string intonates off the front edge of the saddle, so the low E string will be in tune up the neck.
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