Friday, 20 November 2015

12 String Telecaster: Unboxing and Mock Build

Yet another new kit arrived today that I'm very excited about. It's a new kit from DIYGuitars - a flame maple 12 String Telecaster! Even though I can't really play one for shit, I must confess that I am in love with 12 string guitars. I love my Olson 335 12-String build, and this build looks to be just as cool.

Unboxing the Telecaster
The kit came well packaged from DIYGuitars, with all the wooden pieces snugly placed and protected by soft sheeting. The components also came well wrapped, with the chrome components (bridge, control cover) especially well looked after. The 3-piece basswood body of the guitar has no machining marks or obvious glue spots and the binding looks well done. The flame maple veneer is subtle, but should come alive with a little stain. 

Some nice Flame Maple Veneer popped with a little water.

There's a little grain to be seen on the back of the body, but not too much. About the only negative I could say is that one of the string-through holes is a little off centre, throwing all the others off too. It won't be as obvious once the ferrules go it, but I'll still know.

One ferrule hole is not quite straight.
The neck is straight and fits well in its cavity. The 12-string headstock is a new one for me - I'll have to come up with some kind of design for the top - not that there's much wood up there to work with. There's also a subtle grain to the fretboard that I really like. It's going to be a hard decision whether to give the neck a little amber dye or leave it natural. I'm leaning towards a yellow + amber + orange burst for this one so an amber neck may not be the best decision. Still thinking on that one.

Straight neck with all those tuner holes.
Some subtle grain on the fretboard.
Straight from the unboxing to the mock build, and this thing went together in no time. 6 of the strings go through the body so the string ferrule holes needed to be aligned with the bridge. The factory has even marked where the top corners holes of the bridge should be drilled so there's no wiggle room as far as bridge placement is concerned. Just drill and screw.

Bridge positioning - making sure the string-through holes line up.
It really is a matter for this build, of placing the bridge and then adjusting the neck to get the strings travelling correctly. But with no wiggle room in the neck pocket either, it's in the hands of the gods to be honest. Let's hope the factory did its job properly, especially with respect to scale length and intonation. The good news on that score is that the bridge actually has compensated saddles for the high and low strings of each pair. Pretty amazing for such a cheap kit. My 12-string 335 build had no such thing with it's cheap tune-o-matic bridge. I can't wait to see how this bad boy sounds!