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Epiphone's EJ212 jumbo 12-string EDIT includes customer service info + new pics

#1 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 01:54 PM

Can any one tell me anything about the Epiphone EJ 212?

Epiphone does not even mention it on their website. I got the most info from Wiki(yikes).

I have seen several posts on it and oldest was '09. Sadly, they all have more questions than answers.

Most of those who have/had one seem to like them very much, myself included. Mine needs a good setup though.
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#2 User is offline   TommyK 

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 06:27 PM

Epiphone has offered 12 string versions of many of it's models; Hummingbird, J200, etc.
The 12 string is kind of a niche market, so there are not a lot of them around of any variation. 12's have a bad habit of imploding. I'm not sure if it's due to the basic design of the acoustic guitar not being conducive to applying upwards of 8 or 9 strings. or just being less forgiving for being misused or abused. True there have been harp guitars with a gazillion strings, but they were built like battleships. Today's demanding guitarist expects a certain volume and tone in modern guitars which demands they be lightly built.

Congrats on your 12. I've often thought of procuring one, but never have had the opportunity to purchase whilest having the finances to afford one.
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#3 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:02 PM

View PostTommyK, on 12 July 2014 - 06:27 PM, said:

Epiphone has offered 12 string versions of many of it's models; Hummingbird, J200, etc.
The 12 string is kind of a niche market, so there are not a lot of them around of any variation. 12's have a bad habit of imploding. I'm not sure if it's due to the basic design of the acoustic guitar not being conducive to applying upwards of 8 or 9 strings. or just being less forgiving for being misused or abused. True there have been harp guitars with a gazillion strings, but they were built like battleships. Today's demanding guitarist expects a certain volume and tone in modern guitars which demands they be lightly built.

Congrats on your 12. I've often thought of procuring one, but never have had the opportunity to purchase whilest having the finances to afford one.


Thanks, I got it to replace an Ovation 12string Electric Pacemaker(acoustic) I let go of years before. It is Samick made and very well crafted.
I am using Martin XLs and am afraid I might lose too much volume if I go even lighter. May try some John Pearse Silks.
Action seems high at the nut. Even so it is easier to play than I remember the other one being.

The main questions I have about it are the years it was manufactured and price range when new. I know from other posts it at least spanned 1994-1999.
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#4 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 01:02 AM

If anyone has questions about the Epiphone EJ212 - Jumbo 12-string, I've gotten some info on this lesser-known guitar.

According to a source at Customer Service this model was produced from 1994 to 1998... although I have seen another owner's post who says his is a 1999. 1999 EJ212

This is to a different post for a 1994 model which was made with a plain(no inlay) bridge. 1994 EJ212

MSRP for the 1997 model, the one I picked up at a pawn shop, was $879. I have wondered if I paid too much but this is no longer a concern as it seems to be one of Epi's rarer models.

I do not know the total production numbers but the few serial numbers I have seen are very low - 0001, 0002, etc., which leads me to believe there may have been only a few made each month.

Serial numbers read: S 9xxx00xx - where S=Samick(Korea), 1st 2 digits=year, next 2 digits=month, last 4 digits=production for that month.
It may be suffixed with CE which denotes models with cutaway and electronics, which would be likely to increase its value.

Here is some additional info I found on Wikipedia which lists available colors as Ebony, Natural or Vintage Sunburst which may add an additional E or VS to the serial number. The Natural is not specified in the serial number.
Epiphone EJ Series Guitars

I trust this info may be useful to anyone interested in one of these guitars and am happy to post it. I love my EJ212!
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#5 User is offline   Bender 4 Life 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:11 AM

i WANT one......never knew such an animal even existed!

as far as needing a setup....PLEASE go a page or 3 back in this forum and check out my topic on the "JDL (JLD?) Bridge Dr." device.
this little $22 unit saved my EJ200.....has the strings as low as on an American Deluxe Strat, with NO buzz.....and actually improved the sound, just like the ad said it would.

it's an easy install (no hatchets involved [biggrin]) and it absolutely WORKS !

Edit.....found & bumped the old thread...

guess that makes me a , necrobumper!

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#6 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 10:24 AM

I've played 12 strings of one sort or another for around 50 years - but seldom as a "main" guitar.

Usually I'd de-tune it to D (standard) 'stedda E (standard). Worked well capo up 2 frets. And I still used the lightest strings I could find.

Some of the older 12s had a floating bridge and tailpiece as on an archtop. I tended to trust that more than the prettier pin bridge, but...

Down to 2 12s now, one a standard AE with solid top and lam back and sides, and one an all-lam acoustic I added a mag pup to. Both pretty well built cheapies - and I bought cheapies on the assumption that something's likely to go wrong. I've a hunch that especially the lam top may last better.

Thing with detuning a bit, regardless of string gauge, is that to keep any decent action I think you're going to want to ensure your technique is more parallel to the top, and that keeps the buzz down. Back in the mid '70s I almost could have been said to be playing mine more as an autoharp where there's no choice but to play parallel to the plane of the strings.

My understanding is that Kottke plays with his 12s detuned one way or another, and I figure he's pretty good at playing the thing.

BTW, sometimes I envy guys in more crowded areas where there are more guitar options. Then again, I'd probably not have the cash for gasoline were I to have those options - and instruments. <grin>

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#7 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 12:49 PM

I literally could not help myself. I walked in and there she was sitting on a stand in the middle of the aisle saying, "Take me, take me!" What else could I do? [love]

The real attraction is it seems, to me anyway, to be somewhat more substantial than the Alvarez or Takemine and other stuff you usually see and the jumbo size and shape has some projection.


Play on fellas folks!
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#8 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 12:47 AM

Finally got some good pics.
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Needs a good cleaning... next string change.

Now the only question left unanswered is how many were produced in total?

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#9 User is offline   DennisB643 

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 08:19 PM

View Postmilod, on 08 August 2014 - 10:24 AM, said:

I've played 12 strings of one sort or another for around 50 years - but seldom as a "main" guitar.

Usually I'd de-tune it to D (standard) 'stedda E (standard). Worked well capo up 2 frets. And I still used the lightest strings I could find.

Some of the older 12s had a floating bridge and tailpiece as on an archtop. I tended to trust that more than the prettier pin bridge, but...

Down to 2 12s now, one a standard AE with solid top and lam back and sides, and one an all-lam acoustic I added a mag pup to. Both pretty well built cheapies - and I bought cheapies on the assumption that something's likely to go wrong. I've a hunch that especially the lam top may last better.

Thing with detuning a bit, regardless of string gauge, is that to keep any decent action I think you're going to want to ensure your technique is more parallel to the top, and that keeps the buzz down. Back in the mid '70s I almost could have been said to be playing mine more as an autoharp where there's no choice but to play parallel to the plane of the strings.

My understanding is that Kottke plays with his 12s detuned one way or another, and I figure he's pretty good at playing the thing.

BTW, sometimes I envy guys in more crowded areas where there are more guitar options. Then again, I'd probably not have the cash for gasoline were I to have those options - and instruments. <grin>

m


I played them back in the 70's and yes we would always tune them down a step to D and then capo at the 2nd fret. I could be wrong about this but the Taylor Kottke model (which I've heard him play several times in concert) is recommended to be tuned down to C#...that's how he got that low rumbling sound. I see so many on Ebay with imploded bodies where the neck joins and it's a shame. I have been looking to add one again (sold my Guild F412 in 83') but I just can't trust the ones on ebay.
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#10 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 08:54 PM

View PostDennisB643, on 28 October 2014 - 08:19 PM, said:

I played them back in the 70's and yes we would always tune them down a step to D and then capo at the 2nd fret. I could be wrong about this but the Taylor Kottke model (which I've heard him play several times in concert) is recommended to be tuned down to C#...that's how he got that low rumbling sound. I see so many on Ebay with imploded bodies where the neck joins and it's a shame. I have been looking to add one again (sold my Guild F412 in 83') but I just can't trust the ones on ebay.

This thing is built. Take a close look at the last photo, especially just inside the sound hole and you'll see what looks like part of a 2x4.
I included the side and 3/4 shots to show there is absolutely no belly bulge and no bridge separation.
I have it tuned to standard pitch and it has been since the day I got it. I have no doubt it will hold up well. [thumbup]

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#11 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:55 PM

I does look well-designed and crafted.

So, I'd add, was the old Stella available in the early '60s. That was my first 12. Trapeze tailpiece stedda a bridge/tailpiece that would by nature have a degree of torque to exert on the top.

12s are interesting creatures. Yeah, I think too many were under-engineered at the time when there was a lot of demand.

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#12 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:57 AM

View PostL8_4thesh0w, on 08 August 2014 - 12:49 PM, said:

I literally could not help myself. I walked in and there she was sitting on a stand in the middle of the aisle saying, "Take me, take me!"


From your photos, that's quite understandable. [thumbup]
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#13 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 07:17 AM

View PostL8_4thesh0w, on 08 August 2014 - 12:49 PM, said:

I literally could not help myself.


No kiddin! I don't even want a 12 string and I want that thing!

rct
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#14 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 04:05 PM

Yeah... I look at it and think... Wow.

Then I think, "I wonder what Gary Davis would have thought of it..."

Too big a box for me to be comfortable with but then... so are my two dread 12s. This ... wow.

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#15 User is offline   cliffmac 

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 09:11 PM

I saw the pics and wow truly never wanted one till now
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#16 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:39 AM

Thanks all for your wonderful comments! [biggrin] She is a bit on the ample side so I do "choke up" a little from the back end. Just let it hang off my right side a bit more.

One thing I definitely prefer over the old Pacemaker is the balance. The roundback bowl just makes them really neck heavy. The Epi is much better in that respect.

Actually tuned it down to D today. A first for me on any guitar. Still trying to get used to it but thought I might as well try. The old fingers are getting a little stiff these days.

Wouldn't mind trying out the CE model with the cutaway and electronics maybe sometime if one popped up. Looking into getting an under saddle type pup for this one.

Thanks again! [smile] [thumbup]

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#17 User is offline   DennisB643 

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 06:38 AM

View PostTommyK, on 12 July 2014 - 06:27 PM, said:

Epiphone has offered 12 string versions of many of it's models; Hummingbird, J200, etc.
The 12 string is kind of a niche market, so there are not a lot of them around of any variation. 12's have a bad habit of imploding. I'm not sure if it's due to the basic design of the acoustic guitar not being conducive to applying upwards of 8 or 9 strings. or just being less forgiving for being misused or abused. True there have been harp guitars with a gazillion strings, but they were built like battleships. Today's demanding guitarist expects a certain volume and tone in modern guitars which demands they be lightly built.

Congrats on your 12. I've often thought of procuring one, but never have had the opportunity to purchase whilest having the finances to afford one.


I think you hit the nail on the head. I played 12 string exclusively in the 70's and we used to tune them down a step, but even then they have to be properly cared for (humidified). Unfortunately some of the Epi 12's I see on Ebay have imploded or the neck is severely bowed resulting in lousy action which may (or may not) be able to be corrected by a couple of turns on the truss rod(s). Most are just two risky to buy....that's my take on it anyway...
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#18 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 08:15 AM

View PostL8_4thesh0w, on 08 August 2014 - 01:02 AM, said:

I love my EJ212!


Here's an early 70s Epiphone FT-160 Texan. Probably has about 2 hours of play on it. Bolt-on neck (my luthier/tech says that makes for an easy setup). Anyway, after a setup and new strings, this thing really projects! I love playing this FT-160!

Posted Image
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Posted Image
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Posted Image
2008 Epiphone Masterbilt spruce/rosewood EF-500RAVS

2011 Guild F50R burst
2002 Guild JF30-12 burst 

1939 Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

2014 Epiphone FT-79 IB-64 Texan cherryburst

2012 Epiphone Lennon EJ-160E VS

2011 Epiphone Performer ME TBK

2013 Epiphone EL-00 Pro VS

1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string sunburst

2012 Epiphone Dot CH

2010 Epiphone Les Paul Standard trans amber 

Yamaha Motif XS7

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#19 User is offline   L8_4thesh0w 

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 12:23 PM

View PostCougar, on 06 November 2014 - 08:15 AM, said:

Here's an early 70s Epiphone FT-160 Texan. Probably has about 2 hours of play on it. Bolt-on neck (my luthier/tech says that makes for an easy setup). Anyway, after a setup and new strings, this thing really projects! I love playing this FT-160!


Very nice! Looks like it has a good strong neck as well. I love the color and the nickel hardware. [thumbup]

'70s weren't all bad like some tend to think. [wink]

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#20 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 12:25 PM

Cupla points...

First: http://www.jldguitar...ops/fixtop.html

Second... I'm not so sure that a laminate top on 12s may not be a better idea than solid wood, especially if they're not engineered much better than the six-string designs they're modeled after. I have a really cheapie Rogue 12 I added a mag pup to soon after I got it, and it's tuned to standard pitch. Lousy piece in some ways, but played through an amp it does fine, and the neck actually ain't bad at all.

Third... I've never had that good luck with silk and steels on a 12 even though my preferences are for very light strings.

Finally, IMHO anyone who gets a decently engineered 12 may want to consider mostly playing it either as an electric with an add-on soundhole mag pup, or if it's an AE, as an AE. I think it allows a bit more flexibility of playing, tunings, etc. I do tend to detune a 12 to D standard 'stedda E standard.

One of my "trade regrets" is a Hagstrom solidbody 12 I had back in the '70s, purchased used but... far better than it was credited to be.

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