I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

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I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (georgie) » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:03 pm

hi all,

I've got a 360/12c63 which is a beautiful guitar to look at but a pig to play...

there's often a lot of sitar-ing from the bridge on the b-pair, I find the string spacing really tight and it's not a pleasure to play.

I'm debating selling it but I really want to give it one last try so I have a few questions...

If I put a 12-Saddle bridge on can I then use lighter strings and still intonate the pairings properly?

Can I get a luthier to make a new nut with overall wider string spacing and closer pair spacing? I'm an acoustic player first and foremost and my other electric is a telecaster with a wide nut so the string spacing is really difficult for me.

I'm hoping that these two changes might finally make the guitar playable for me but am I trying to make the guitar something it's not?
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (teb) » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:14 am

there's often a lot of sitar-ing from the bridge on the b-pair


This could be caused by the nut, the bridge saddle, a fret, or the neck adjustment. There is no way to tell without a hands-on investigation.

I find the string spacing really tight and it's not a pleasure to play.

Yes, it is tight, but there are some adjustments which can make a substantial difference. The best is the Mark Arnquist-style mod,where he makes a new nut and adjusts the bridge saddles (usually twelve of them) both pieces with the pairs tightened up and the nut pairs spread over a wider area. Most decent luthiers should be able to do that for you. For his full mod, they are then combined with a full re-fret job. This time, the frets extend all the way out to the edges of the neck, yielding more room. That one's pretty expensive, but makes a big difference.



If I put a 12-Saddle bridge on can I then use lighter strings and still intonate the pairings properly?


Lighter than what? I don't know how light you can go and still get the sound and intonation. A lot of us use Thomastic Infeld Jazz Flats, which are pretty good for generating vintage RIC 12 tone and are easy on the guitar's neck and your fingers. This would be a pretty typical set.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (jdogric12) » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:49 am

Todd's right, I don't think lighter strings will change any of your problems. You might really want a 660/12 or a 1993 Plus (1993+) with their wider necks. Welcome though, and good luck getting it sorted out.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (iiipopes) » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:47 pm

I use a custom set with a traditional 6-saddle bridge with no issues:
9, 11 1/2, 18w, 24, 32, 42
9, 11 1/2, 8, 10 1/2, 14, 22w
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (Tommy) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:22 am

Hope you get it sorted out.

I know this ain't going to help you, but your "problems" are not major. Some sitar-ing? That's a relatively minor problem on a guitar and easily fixed at low cost (if any). You know things could be far worse on guitars.

As for string spacing. That is the nature of the beast. You either live with it or just come to the conclusion that a 12 string Ric isn't for you. And you know you can (like most Ric 12 players) make adjustments to the way you finger chords.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (teb) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:43 am

As for string spacing. That is the nature of the beast. You either live with it or just come to the conclusion that a 12 string Ric isn't for you.


This simply is not true. The difference in playability when done by someone who knows what they are doing is quite substantial. Just the act of tightening the pairs and maximizing the spread across the nut alone can be the difference between keeping the guitar or selling it and buying some other brand. For those of us with big hands, you will still need to learn the two finger A chord, one finger Em, two finger Am or E, etc. but you may be quite surprised at how much your playing instantly improves after the mods.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (jdogric12) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:59 am

Yep. The best string spacing on a 12 I have is my PRS 22/12. I had my guy make a nut for my Hohner TE Custom XII that matches it.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (Tommy) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:44 pm

teb wrote:This simply is not true. The difference in playability when done by someone who knows what they are doing is quite substantial.

Yes, I understand the mods that can be done in order to improve string spacing/playability. But I am talking about the stock 12 string. The string spacing there is the nature of the beast. We learn to live with it and play around it.

Many people buy 12 string Rics because of George. We don't want to alter the guitar to something that George didn't play. Hey, one could put a Seymour Duncan High Output Humbucker in the 12 string Ric, no? But we don't because we want the guitar to be like the ones used by our favorite players from the past. If that quirky string spacing was good enough for the guys back in the day, then it can be good enough for us, too.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (teb) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:56 pm

So only people with tiny hands and skinny little fingers really deserve to pay a RIC twelve, because anything else would violate the purity of the instrument and the memory of George?
Horsehockey! While you're indulging your little fetish, some of us are making some really nice music on customized twelves. I've owned three of them and thoroughly enjoy them. I'd much rather be an original than worry about trying to be an imitation of somebody who went before.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (georgie) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:57 pm

Thanks for the replies folks, my 12 string bridge arrived today and I'm taking the guitar to my setup guys tomorrow...

In terms of 'lighter' strings, I wanted to just use the regular daddario exl150 sets because they're readily available, cheap and I trust daddario strings having used them on my telecaster and my acoustics for years - I know this set has a plain G 17 and lots of people go for a wound third, but I can change that out later if I so want.

Despite the fact I mainly bought the guitar for the GH connection, I'm actually wanting to use it in a alternative folk band (think wilco meets fairport convention) so I'm not too fussed about getting the exact vintage tone (my current favourite 12 string player is William Tyler - check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdsQ-xTbKPA) so I'm ok with using roundwounds.

In terms of the spacing I think I want the overall spacing to be as wide as possible at both the nut and the bridge, but the 'pair' spacing to be as close as it can - I understand that I could invest time in getting used to the current spacing and, with concentration, I can play the guitar as it is, but I would say 90% of my time playing is spent on 1 3/4" spaced acoustics and most of the other time is spent on my Tele which has the vintage spacing at the nut and bridge so I'm used to wider spacing and I know what I like and I'd rather get the guitar set up to my liking - it could always go back to spec if needs be.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (jdogric12) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:16 pm

Cool, Ben. I think you'll find that if the plain 17's aren't to your liking, wound 20's will indeed fit the bill.

Sorry you had to see a couple of otherwise good regulars here get into a snit over something that's ultimately so silly and small. Weird week on RRF... this, and also that Turkish rando who cursed me out for lord knows why. This place is usually much nicer!
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:44 pm

The best Rickenbacker 12-string I ever played was 1980 620/12 that Mark Arnquist had worked his magic on. And I do mean magic - Rick 12-string guitars from this era had the most ludicrously tight string spacing of any era that I am aware of.

It can be done, and you should definitely do it.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (teb) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:11 pm

Here is the nutshell version of the Arnquist bridge installation and some photos he sent me when he worked on my 370/12. After reassembly, the saddles were adjusted by eye and then strobe tuned once the bridge and strings were installed on the guitar to a "sweetened intonation". I don't know exactly what the details of that are, I just know it works. Throughout the process he will frequently mention bringing a part or operation up to "vintage" specs, as he was there at the time and doing those steps to some of the guitars various artists were playing.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (Tommy) » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:46 pm

teb wrote:So only people with tiny hands and skinny little fingers really deserve to pay a RIC twelve, because anything else would violate the purity of the instrument and the memory of George?
Horsehockey! While you're indulging your little fetish, some of us are making some really nice music on customized twelves. I've owned three of them and thoroughly enjoy them. I'd much rather be an original than worry about trying to be an imitation of somebody who went before.

Well, yeah, that is the way things are in life.

Guess what? Little children with short arms and stubby little fingers can not play a full scale electric bass. Oh, they can try, but the point is it is not for them. People who are short of breath can not play the tuba. People who are tone deaf can not play any instrument. You really think everything in this world is for everybody? You know Lost Horizon Shangri-La is not real. I don't know if you know that.

A 12 string Ric is a difficult guitar to play. Sure you can mod it, but then it really is no longer the famed 12 string Ric. (And your logic is flawed. My hands and fingers are on the large size, yet I can play a Ric 12. As I noted above, you simply make adjustments in how you play.)

As to your notion about be an original rather than an imitation? Uhh, the guy we are speaking of on this thread -- George Harrison -- was more an imitation than an original. Read interviews with him. Everything he did he was imitating others. Eddie Cochrane, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Roger McGuinn, Carl Perkins, George Formby, Scotty Moore, Duane Eddy, Chuck Berry, Ravi Shakar, the Everly Brothers...George has stated he was trying to be them. Or do you really think George was being an original on sitar? He was breaking new ground with his technique on sitar, that's what you think? Man, he was just being an imitation of others. We all are. Very few originals on planet Earth. Even Shakespeare was a imitator of others.
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Re: I need to sort out the setup on my 360/12c63

Postby (teb) » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:33 am

You really think everything in this world is for everybody? You know Lost Horizon Shangri-La is not real. I don't know if you know that.


You don't seem to know much at all of what I know.

Sure you can mod it, but then it really is no longer the famed 12 string Ric.

What a ridiculous notion. Not even worth discussing.
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