Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Vintage, Modern, V & C Series, Signature & Special Editions

Moderators: rickenbrother, ajish4

Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (Kyle) » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:53 pm

I have noticed a few people on here and some artists string their Rickenbacker 12-strings by doing it the traditional way, with the octave-above string on the top, not the bottom like Rickenbackers way of doing it.

Whats the difference, and does it affect the sound all that much?
User avatar
(Kyle)
New member
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:23 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (fireglo67) » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:58 pm

Rickenbacker style.
I had to change my strumming style to get the most out of my first Ric 12 string, but the rewards were great! :D
Last edited by fireglo67 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
(fireglo67)
 

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (kennyhowes) » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:34 pm

Ric-style. It's the only way that makes any freaking sense.
User avatar
(kennyhowes)
Veteran RRF member
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 1:03 am
Location: Atlanta, GA USA

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (jimk) » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:18 pm

Put me in the Rick style column. And if I had an acoustic 12 string, I'd have a new nut installed so that guitar could be strung Rick style, too. And the reason is that you can really get that octave string to ring out on an upstroke of the pick.
JimK
User avatar
(jimk)
RRF Consultant
 
Posts: 5352
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (teb) » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:34 pm

My Rickenbacker twelves have all been strung Rick-style and sound like they're supposed to sound. I can't believe messing with it would improve anything. My acoustic twelves over the years (Framus, Guild, Martin, Takamine, Takamine and the current Martin) have all be strung the traditional way. It might be interesting to see what the current one might sound like strung Rick-style, but again, it sounds awfully good as is and I doubt I'd gain much for all the hassle it would be. If it ain't broke...... My Hagstrom 8-string bass is strung octave-up which works out really well. It has a really nice woody tone as a four-string, so I can flat-pick it for eight-string parts and carefully play four-string finger-style on just the primary strings for different sections of the same tune.

In general though, I certainly haven't ever heard sound samples of any Rickenbacker twelve that would give me the slightest reason to even consider flipping the strings.
User avatar
(teb)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:39 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (jdogric12) » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:57 am

I like my electrics Rick-way and my acoustics old-way.
(jdogric12)
Rick-a-holic
 
Posts: 10313
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:00 am

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (Clint) » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:05 am

I like the Ric way. With the fat strings on top, the guitar is more versatile. When I comp or play down strokes on power chords, it sounds like a chunky 6 string with a little something extra. Then toss in some open chords and arpeggios and I can sound like a choir of angels. It's really the best of both worlds. The only thing I miss on the 12 are bends. I love me some twangy string-bending.
Jangle, Chime & Twang.
(Clint)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 727
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:03 pm
Location: High in the middle and round on both ends.

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (iiipopes) » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:22 am

Clint wrote:The only thing I miss on the 12 are bends. I love me some twangy string-bending.

I set my 12-string up as follows with custom gauges:
9-9; 11 1/2-11 1/2; 18w-8; 24w-10; 32w-14; 42w-22w (with custom double-beveled saddle to aid intonation). With this slightly lighter setup, I can bend as desired. Unfortunately over the years, my fingerboard CV finish does show that a little. But as you say, it's worth it.
User avatar
(iiipopes)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1295
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:02 pm

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (Folkie) » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:20 pm

Kyle,

You're correct that several famous Rick players initially had their 12-strings strung with the high octaves struck first on downstrokes. But this is considered heresy in the Rick community and will void your guitar's factory warranty if you have it done.

One important factor in getting THAT Rickenbacker sound is choosing the right compressor. In my opinion there's only one on the market that does the job, and I'm sure you've read about it on this forum. I'm referring to the Janglebox. Without compression, a conventionally-strung Rick can sound "dull and thuddy," as Roger McGuinn once put it. I also strongly recommend installing scatterwound pickups and using flatwound strings (TI's are the best). On a Rick 12, the flats will dull the sound of the low courses and accentuate the sound of the octave strings. This will create that signature ring you hear on the early Beatles and Byrds recordings. It also helps to use the thinnest picks you're comfortable with (I use a Dunlop .50mm on mine) to create a little extra chime and sparkle.

If you're dead set on having your electric 12 set up with the high octaves struck first on downstrokes, I would recommend you try out some other 12-string models. Fender and Danelectro both make excellent ones.

I hope this post has been helpful. Ultimately you'll have to trust your own ears.

Robert
(Folkie)
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1605
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:23 pm

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (buchrob) » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:13 pm

Other electrics, such as Dean Boca, re-strung Ric-way = +++++, much more jangle.
Acoustic, re-strung Ric-way = +/-. Not worth the effort of having to change out the nut.
Ric re-strung "classical" way: why do you want to kill the unique tone?
(buchrob)
Junior Member
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:14 pm

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (Ric_MEL) » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:58 am

I would have figured the RIC way was the only way..

but that's before I learned two of the biggest RIC endorsers ( right up there with the Beatles and Byrds as far as making use of Rickenbacker guitars.. ) : Tom Petty and Mike Campbell... string their arsenal of Rickenbackers.. the traditional way. ..

so I guess it's to each his / her own. ! If it sounds good to you .. then that's the right way.
(Ric_MEL)
Member
 
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (Folkie) » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:39 pm

Mark,

You can add the young Roger McGuinn to that list. In a May 1997 "Guitar Player" interview entitled "Chimes of Freedom: Ringing Up the Byrds' Jangle Guitar Sound," McGuinn revealed that, at least in the beginning, he had his Rick 360 strung like a conventional acoustic 12. But, as we all know, he is now one of the biggest proponents of the factory low/high configuration (and every one of his guitars on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here in Cleveland is strung traditional Rick-style). He said in a more recent interview that he had done an A/B comparison between his and Tom Petty's 360/12's (his being strung Rick-style and Petty's strung with the high octaves first) and that he liked his much better. Even when he designed his Martin 7-string acoustic (which is like a regular 6-string with an octave on the G) he placed the octave after the low course--ie. Rick-style. Also, you should note that, although Tom Petty may string his 360 with the octave strings struck first on downstrokes, Tom Petty's signature model comes from the factory with the standard Rick low/high configuration.

One thing to consider if you want to reverse the octaves on a Rick is that you'll not only have to replace the nut, but you'll also have to renotch the bridge saddles. As I said, I believe this kind of mod may void your warranty. But if you're willing to take the risk, and the difference in sound is that important to you, don't be afraid to go against the trend on this forum. It's entirely a matter of personal preference. In the end you have to trust your ears.

Robert
(Folkie)
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1605
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:23 pm

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (iiipopes) » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:18 pm

Folkie wrote:One thing to consider if you want to reverse the octaves on a Rick is that you'll not only have to replace the nut, but you'll also have to renotch the bridge saddles.

This must be emphasized. It's not a simple switch. It's a complete re-engineering of the guitar.
User avatar
(iiipopes)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1295
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:02 pm

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (Folkie) » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:48 pm

To call an octave reversal a "complete re-engineering" of the guitar is an exaggeration. There are respected luthiers who do this job and it's not as major (or as expensive) as it might sound. The question is whether to purchase (and modify) a Rick, or to get yourself a conventionally-strung electric 12, like a Danalectro or a Fender. I would lean toward the second option.

Robert
(Folkie)
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1605
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:23 pm

Re: Traditional or Rickenbacker 12 string setup

Postby (harry) » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:10 pm

It seems like it isn't a 'one or the other' proposition... both ways have advantages and disadvantages. I have traditional strung 12's (albiet they are acoustic) and now have a 12 stirng Ric strung Ric-fashion. I find each style to lend to inspiration to play them according to their nuances in their own unique ways.
User avatar
(harry)
New member
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:06 pm
Location: San Clemente, CA

Next

Return to Rickenbacker Guitars: by John Simmons

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: drumbob and 3 guests