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Conversion of a 12 String to a Six String. Guild Content.

#1 User is offline   bayoubengal1954 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:25 AM

I am not a luthier or even very handy, but I'm lucky to have access to two good ones here in New Orleans and I thought some on this forum might find this project interesting, even though it does not involve a Gibson. If the Mods feel this post is inappropriate, I will understand.

I was wanting to buy a 70's Guild F30 because I love the tone and body shape (mahogany b/s) and they can be bought at a pretty reasonable price compared to old Gibsons and Martins.

The problem is that the nut width on many of them them can be as tiny as 1 5/8" (the specs say 1 11/16" but in my experience they seem to really run smaller).

As luck would have it, during the same era Guild made a 12 String called the F112 which had the exact same body shape as the F30. Two main differences: a slightly heavier build (which doesn't bother me) and of course a bigger nut width (1 13/16") to accommodate 12 strings. Nice!

When I got on the Let's Talk Guild Forum forum I found that a member had converted an F112 into a six string and was very happy with the results. He had done the work himself. I found and purchased a 1972 F112 and started corresponding with the guy about his experience. He was very gracious and helpful. I do not have his skills so I enlisted Aaron and Benjamin at Strange Guitarworks here in New Orleans to do the work.

They did this:

1.) They used the tuning keys at the 2, 4 and 6 positions and filled in the unused holes at the 1, 3 and 5 on the headstock.

2.) I bought six replacement tuning machines to replace the 6 on a plate that came with the guitar.

3.) Then of course they had to cut a new nut to get the spacing correct since the old nut was for 12 strings.

4.) Since we were only using the 6 front end pin holes, they filled in the back 6 holes.

5.) They refinished the headstock to somewhat camouflage where the six holes have been plugged.

I got it back recently and I could not be happier! It looks great and sounds even better. The nut width makes it so comfortable to play and it is a fingerpicker's delight. With the heavier bracing, I have found that medium strings make it resonate better.

Here are the before and after pictures:
Before:
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After:
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1974 Martin D-28
"Frankenstein" 1948 Gibson J-50 Body/1938 L-00 Neck
1945 Epiphone Triumph Archtop
2008 Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
2013 Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy
2010 Larrivee Forum IV (00 All Mahogany 12 Fretter))
1972 Guild Killdeer F112-6 Part Deux (Name Created by adorshki on LTG)
2016 Halcyon NL-00 Lutz/Walnut
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#2 User is online   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:28 AM

Looks like a horse
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#3 User is offline   bayoubengal1954 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:29 AM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 13 June 2018 - 10:28 AM, said:

Looks like a horse

Yes, and I enjoy the ride! [flapper]
1974 Martin D-28
"Frankenstein" 1948 Gibson J-50 Body/1938 L-00 Neck
1945 Epiphone Triumph Archtop
2008 Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
2013 Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy
2010 Larrivee Forum IV (00 All Mahogany 12 Fretter))
1972 Guild Killdeer F112-6 Part Deux (Name Created by adorshki on LTG)
2016 Halcyon NL-00 Lutz/Walnut
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#4 User is offline   Dash_Starkiller 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:14 PM

Thatís awesome and something Iíve thought about doing many times! How is the bridge area? Any bellying? Iím guessing since thereís less tension, if it was flat before with a straight neck it should be really good now.
2012 Gibson J45 "68" Ebony
1991 Gibson Southern Jumbo
1977 Ventura V 1588
Homebuilt Tele-monster
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#5 User is offline   bayoubengal1954 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:24 PM

 Dash_Starkiller, on 13 June 2018 - 01:14 PM, said:

Thatís awesome and something Iíve thought about doing many times! How is the bridge area? Any bellying? Iím guessing since thereís less tension, if it was flat before with a straight neck it should be really good now.

Thanks! The bridge area is good and the seller (a guitar shop) had recently reset the neck. The project ended up running me $1214.70 ($712 for the guitar and $502.70 for the work which included the purchase and installation of a K&K pickup...that was $150 for that), so I was satisfied.
1974 Martin D-28
"Frankenstein" 1948 Gibson J-50 Body/1938 L-00 Neck
1945 Epiphone Triumph Archtop
2008 Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
2013 Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy
2010 Larrivee Forum IV (00 All Mahogany 12 Fretter))
1972 Guild Killdeer F112-6 Part Deux (Name Created by adorshki on LTG)
2016 Halcyon NL-00 Lutz/Walnut
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#6 User is offline   LP Trad Pro II 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:28 PM

Why not just string it with six strings and leave the rest alone. You may need to take 6 of the tuners off so they don't rattle, and then if you want to go back you can, but its not mine.
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#7 User is offline   Dash_Starkiller 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:28 PM

 bayoubengal1954, on 13 June 2018 - 01:24 PM, said:

Thanks! The bridge area is good and the seller (a guitar shop) had recently reset the neck. The project ended up running me $1214.70 ($712 for the guitar and $502.70 for the work which included the purchase and installation of a K&K pickup...that was $150 for that), so I was satisfied.


Right on man. Good price for a great unique guitar. I bet the nut width is a dream. I once had a little 63 Gibson f25 and it had a 2in nut width. I loved it. So Iím def a fan of that wide spacing.
2012 Gibson J45 "68" Ebony
1991 Gibson Southern Jumbo
1977 Ventura V 1588
Homebuilt Tele-monster
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#8 User is offline   bayoubengal1954 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:33 PM

 LP Trad Pro II, on 13 June 2018 - 01:28 PM, said:

Why not just string it with six strings and leave the rest alone. You may need to take 6 of the tuners off so they don't rattle, and then if you want to go back you can, but its not mine.

I tried that, but the spacing at the nut was funky since it is made to accommodate 12 strings. You would have to experience it, and maybe it wouldn't bother you. To me, a new nut had to be made. The original tuners were on a plate, so removal of individual tuners was not an option.

I previously owned a 12 String and didn't enjoy it, so I don't need to go back. :)
1974 Martin D-28
"Frankenstein" 1948 Gibson J-50 Body/1938 L-00 Neck
1945 Epiphone Triumph Archtop
2008 Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
2013 Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy
2010 Larrivee Forum IV (00 All Mahogany 12 Fretter))
1972 Guild Killdeer F112-6 Part Deux (Name Created by adorshki on LTG)
2016 Halcyon NL-00 Lutz/Walnut
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#9 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:47 PM

What a great idea and a unique result! I love the feel of Guild 12er necks, I bet thatís roomy and silky on the left hand.

The other beauty of it is that the bespoke conversion more or less forces you to keep the guitar as a lifer because itís an entirely ďyouĒ thing and not something youíre going to be tempted to trade away, as Iíd imagine the trade value of a converted 12 would be largely unknown.

Iíd love to do a project like this, itís a real signature instrument that will undoubtedly become uniquely associated with you as a performer.
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2016 Custom Shop Advanced Jumbo Maple (Ltd to 65)
2015 SJ200 Standard
2014 Custom Shop J180 Everly (Ltd to 65)
2005 Custom Shop Hummingbird 12 String (Ltd to 12)
1990 Hummingbird (Fullerplast and Paddle neck joint. Yuck...My favourite 6 string ever!)
1968 F25
1967 J45
1935 Dobro M32
2017 Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe Archtop
2003 Takamine EAN20C
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster
1988 Fender Strat Plus

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#10 User is offline   bayoubengal1954 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:51 PM

 Jinder, on 13 June 2018 - 02:47 PM, said:

What a great idea and a unique result! I love the feel of Guild 12er necks, I bet thatís roomy and silky on the left hand.

The other beauty of it is that the bespoke conversion more or less forces you to keep the guitar as a lifer because itís an entirely ďyouĒ thing and not something youíre going to be tempted to trade away, as Iíd imagine the trade value of a converted 12 would be largely unknown.

Iíd love to do a project like this, itís a real signature instrument that will undoubtedly become uniquely associated with you as a performer.


Thanks, Jinder! Yeah, I knew doing this would destroy any resale value. It's definitely a "Me Guitar", for better or worse!
1974 Martin D-28
"Frankenstein" 1948 Gibson J-50 Body/1938 L-00 Neck
1945 Epiphone Triumph Archtop
2008 Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
2013 Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy
2010 Larrivee Forum IV (00 All Mahogany 12 Fretter))
1972 Guild Killdeer F112-6 Part Deux (Name Created by adorshki on LTG)
2016 Halcyon NL-00 Lutz/Walnut
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#11 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 04:00 PM

.
The work looks well done. Glad you're so happy with your mods. Congrats! . B)


Just to add to the options for those that might consider this type of mod:

Martin's 7-String Roger McGuinn D7 Sig Model #121 - McGuinn is going for a little more fullness and shimmer with an octave pair at G. . Link

Taylor 8-String "Baritone" 326 - Taylor is after a little more shimmer and high end to go with the low tunings with octave pairs at D and G. . Link

Ibanez's 8-String AEL108TDNT. Ibanez is going for more jangle with octave pairs at B and high E. . Link

Taylor Custom 9-String. Here Taylor is going for more jangle with octave pairs at G, B and high E, but leaving single strings at low E, A and D for more clear bass notes. . Audio Link

Michael Kelly 10-String Triad 10E. Kelly is going for more or a 12-string jangle with octave pairs at D, G, B and high E, but leaving single strings at low E, and A for more clear bass notes. . Link


.

This post has been edited by BigKahune: 13 June 2018 - 04:01 PM

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#12 User is offline   Dave F 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:21 PM

Looks real good, plus if you ever get a wild hair, drill out the plugs, put the old nut and tuners back on.
I had a 60's twelve string Hagstrom that I only strung up as a 6-string and I really liked the wide neck.
They did a real good job on it.
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#13 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:54 PM

Congrats on creating something to suit your needs and imagination.


View PostDave F, on 13 June 2018 - 05:21 PM, said:

Looks real good, plus if you ever get a wild hair, drill out the plugs, put the old nut and tuners back on.


This is also what crossed my mind- a totally reversible experiment. . . you or the guitar's next keeper can always go back to twelve- you might've just bought it another fifty years of trouble-free life.

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