Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: 12-string (3 each) mandolin extant?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    16

    Post

    I was listening to John Denver at the Five Seasons Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa--oh, lessee, about 23 years ago. He was pattering before kicking into "Bells Of Rhymney" on a big ol' Gibson 12-string. Doing the usual banter about how it was never in tune, blah, and he said he on occasion would play an 18-stringer. Any 12-string mandos out there? Sounds weird enough that one of you dingbats would build one.
    It would be nice to see a photo.
    Jonathan, who isn't going to build one, but wonders.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Lemme know.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
    Posts
    582

    Default

    I play an acoustic 12-string. Pictures

    Vendor link is in my signature.
    Affordable lots in the Dutch Caribbean
    http://www.bellavistabonaire.com
    Bought a tricordia

  4. #4
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    928

    Default

    From Musikalia-
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	16String.jpg 
Views:	1142 
Size:	39.6 KB 
ID:	19147  

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    24,172

    Default

    12 strings were quite common in the teens of the last century. Very common ones were made by the Oscar Schmidt Company. There seem to be many of these bolwbacks cropping up on eBay, tho susally the seller has no clue as top the maker it is a giveaway since the monogram "OS" is inlaid into the pickguard.

    I have a Lyon & healy catalog from 1912 with a page of 12 string mandolins listed under the American Conservatory brand.

    Years ago, in a music store in NY I actually saw a Gibson A that was made as a 12-string.

    Frankly, I would think that they would be harder to play than a regular mandolin in terms of melody. However, it might be fun to set one up with ocatve strings on the lower courses.

    Jim
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior

  6. #6
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,134

    Default

    But has anyone built an electric one?

    (Why was this question posed in this topic?)

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    1,878

    Default

    Yeah. I built a carved, not sawn, solid walnut body twelve string four course electric about 30 years ago out of some very old "pegged" barn timbers. The barn was over a hundred years old, and the trees it was made of were well over hundred years old when the barn was built. It was always a hoot to play. I'll try to remember to take a picture of it to post.

    Ron



    My wife says I don't pay enough attention to what she says....
    (Or something like that...)

  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    24,172

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by (jefflester @ Oct. 20 2006, 12:56)
    But has anyone built an electric one?
    Why would you want that? I thought the main reason for multiple-stringed courses would be for acoustic volume. The 12-string would be quite hard to play, I would think.

    Jim
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior

  9. #9
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by (jgarber @ Oct. 23 2006, 19:08)
    Quote Originally Posted by (jefflester @ Oct. 20 2006, 12:56)
    But has anyone built an electric one?
    Why would you want that?
    My point being I think this was incorrectly posted here in the electric category.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
    Posts
    582

    Default

    To be perfectly honest, I've never played an 8-string mando. Maybe a 12-string is really hard to play, and I can blame my crummy playing on that, but I doubt it. The only thing I can point at as being difficult because of the triple-stringing is fretting notes on the G course with my pinky. It is really easy to mute one of the strings instead of fretting it. Other than that, I suspect any 8-string player could pick up my 12-string and be going in 10 minutes.
    Affordable lots in the Dutch Caribbean
    http://www.bellavistabonaire.com
    Bought a tricordia

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    16
    My post was the original, and it was concerning triple string instruments. Electric, acoustic, or anything between. Tom Petersson, from right over in St. Louis Park, MN, plays a hamer 12-string bass in Cheap Trick. His technique is basically a downstroke mandolin/lute/etc. technique--no to mention that his left hand gets pretty durn tired!
    Anyway, I want to see anything with groups of three strings--but something electric would be nice.
    Jonathan

  12. #12

  13. #13
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Orcas Island, Washington
    Posts
    6,172

    Default

    Here's a Givens 12-String....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	givens.jpg 
Views:	123 
Size:	135.9 KB 
ID:	19266  

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    1,878

    Default

    I'd forgot all about saying I'd take pictures and ran across this tonight.

    OK, it's maybe kind of a hokey design by some folks standards, but in fact, it's really nice playing. As far as problems with 12 strings instead of 8, I don't even notice the extras. It was all cabbaged out of old guitar parts and some ancient barn beams of walnut, and worked out just fine. Everything is stable enough that staying in tune has never been much of a problem.

    The only thing is, I've just noticed that after 30 some years of being strung to pitch, the headstock is beginning to lean ever so slightly to the bass side. Should be good for another 30 at least.

    By then, it will be someone else's problem.

    Ron



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	12strng2.jpg 
Views:	84 
Size:	143.4 KB 
ID:	26309  
    My wife says I don't pay enough attention to what she says....
    (Or something like that...)

  15. #15
    ISO TEKNO delsbrother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Caulifonya
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    OK, that may be one of the coolest instruments in the history of this topic! Thanks for posting - now how 'bout a sound clip?

    A bunch of twelve strings have popped up in photographs on the 'bay lately, too:


  16. #16
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    24,172

    Default

    delsbrother:
    That mandolinist is holding a Bruno 12 string. I can easily tell by the "bluto" pickguard.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hull, UK
    Posts
    116

    Default

    There was a 12 string mandolin banjo on e-bay (UK) a couple of weeks back.

    All the best

    Steve

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    71

    Default

    I have and Play occasionally a 12 string bowl back. I have owned this mandolin for over 30 years and usually just have it hanging on the wall as a conversation piece. It has a all together different sound and good for chording and singing older gospel and folk songs. It is a little difficult to tuneand of course the bowl back and my round front don't match too well.
    Lee

  19. #19
    ISO TEKNO delsbrother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Caulifonya
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    Some other 12 string photographs from the 'bay...

    With Gibson (?) mando-banjo? Or banjo-tiple?





    Great shot (must be a story behind this group); more tassles:





    And then there was this one, that looks very much like a Gibson A to me:


Similar Threads

  1. Ten String Mandolin
    By dave42 in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 59
    Last Post: May-30-2017, 11:57am
  2. 10-string mandolin
    By seanonabutton in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jan-20-2008, 8:16pm
  3. 12 string mandolin
    By glenngtar in forum Looking for Information About Mandolins
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Jul-22-2007, 11:15am
  4. 12 string mandolin
    By woody0222 in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Apr-06-2005, 10:01pm
  5. 4 string mandolin?
    By Fred_Murtz in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: May-03-2004, 3:07pm

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •