Fender Electric XII

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Fender Electric XII
Fender Electric XII.jpg
Fender Electric XII
Manufacturer Fender
Period 1965–1969
Body type Solid
Neck joint Bolt-on
Body Alder
Neck Maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickup(s) 2 split single coil pickups
Colors available
Sunburst (standard), Candy Apple Red, Olympic White, Lake Placid Blue, Firemist Gold

The Fender Electric XII was a purpose-built 12-string electric guitar, designed for folk rockers. Instead of using a Stratocaster-body style, it used one similar to a Jaguar/Jazzmaster body style. It was also a departure from the typical "Stratocaster"-style headstock, instead featuring a long headstock nicknamed the "hockey-stick" headstock. The Electric XII used a unique split pickup design and had a 4 way pickup selector allowing for neck, neck & bridge in series, neck & bridge in parallel and bridge only options. It also used a string-through-body design similar to a Telecaster to help increase sustain.

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 bridge has an individual saddle for each string making precise intonation possible. The Electric XII was not particularly popular during its run, and by 1969, it was dropped from the Fender line. The body overstock was used for the Fender Custom (a.k.a. Fender Maverick).

Some notable users of the Electric XII were Pete Townshend, who used it extensively on the album Tommy, folk-rocker Tim Buckley, and Jimmy Page, who used it on Led Zeppelin's famous "Stairway to Heaven" on the studio recording and on Jeff Beck's "Beck's Bolero". Gene Clark of The Byrds was seen using one on a May 1965 television appearance. Eric Clapton used it for the recording of "Dance the Night Away" with the band Cream in 1967. Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison purchased matching Fender XIIs before the sessions for the Velvet Underground's eponymous third album in 1968. Johnny Winter also used one briefly (strung as a regular six-string) during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Also in the 1980s, Bryan Adams' hit "Summer of '69" was built around a Fender Electric XII riff. Pye Hastings used one during the early days of Caravan, notably on their album For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night in 1973. Gustavo Cerati of Soda Stereo played and recorded with a Fender XII between 1988 and 1990, notably seen in the videos of "En la ciudad de la furia" and "de Música ligera". Chad Taylor of Live prominently used a lake placid blue Fender XII both on stage and in the studio, most notably to write and record the single "Run to the Water", as well as several other tracks on the band's platinum album The Distance to Here. Krist Novoselic of Nirvana also played the Fender XII while he was in Sweet 75. The Verve guitarist Nick McCabe used a Fender Electric XII for live performances on the band's 2008 comeback tour, notably on 'Space and Time' from their 1997 album Urban Hymns. Tom Petty used a white Fender XII for the first half of his 2006 North American Tour instead of his signature Rickenbacker 12-string. John Paisano, the "official" guitarist of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass used the Fender Electric XII extensively. It is heard in the intro of their recording of "Wade in the Water". The guitar is also seen played by Steve Bartek on the Oingo Boingo Farewell DVD/video. Jason Mozersky of Relentless7 also uses an Electric XII.

See also[edit]

  • Fender Custom (a.k.a. Fender Maverick) – guitar made of overstock XII bodies


  • "Fender Electric XII". GGJaguar's Guitarium and Ampeteria 1966 Fender Electric XII. Retrieved January 18, 2006. 

External links[edit]