12-string SG?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Phoenix59, May 8, 2015.

  1. Phoenix59

    Phoenix59 Senior Member

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    Anyone have a clue whose 12-string SG this is on display at the Denver Hard Rock Cafe? I couldn’t get close enough to read the plaque.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Got your answer.

    Read your post this morning. I was staying at a downtown Denver hotel when I read your post. As the Hard Rock was only two blocks away, went there for lunch, and the guitar was there. It is a 1968 MM 12 ( Melody Maker). It was owned, played, and modded by LES PAUL! His mods obviously included routing the pup cavities and installing uncovered buckers. Due to its placement in a frame cabinet, and my unfamiliarity with this model, I couldn't tell what other mods were done for Les. But it was in very good condition. And it retains it's MM headstock.
     
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  3. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    It's so neck heavy that the maintenance crew has occasionally found the display upside down.
     
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  4. Richard W

    Richard W Member

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  5. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Now that is interesting. Every Melody Maker with which I am familiar has some sort of single coil covered pups. If the MM 12 shown in the post above is stock, this is not true as to the MM 12. The MM12 displayed at the Denver Hard Rock had buckers that looked exactly like those. in the post above. So perhaps Les Paul did not have the pups changed out, or at least did not have to route the cavities to do so. Another strange I saw at the Hard Rock Denver was a Strat owned By Stevie Ray Vaughn that was strung (as displayed) with 9 - 42 strings. We all know that SRV used strings like 13 -56, or something like that.

    In any event, it The MM 12 was an interesting looking guitar -- one which I wish I could play.
     
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  6. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    dispelman.

    12 string solid body electrics are never a joy to play standing up with a strap. My '81 Carvin D C 120 solid body 12 string doesn't have neck dive, But it weighs over 12 pounds, so I have shoulder and neck pain if I play it standing up with a good strap after about an hour. So, if I am going to do much 12 string playing at a gig, I take a stool to sit on. As all know, the folk at Hard Rock do not allow us to play the guitars they display, Given many SG models tendency for neck dive, your comment comes as no surprise. Perhaps, that is why is is a very rare model, that wasn't made very long. But it was a very interesting guitar to see a couple of days ago. And I was surprised that Les Paul actually actually had any SG body guitar, as I understood that Les hated SGs.

    But, in any event, the dimensions of the frame case would not allow this guitar to go upside down. I could only tilt about 30 degrees to the left or the right. Whether it has ever done this, I did not ask.
     
  7. Phoenix59

    Phoenix59 Senior Member

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    Thank you for your fine forensic work. My curiosity is fulfilled. :)
     
  8. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    Nope, not always.
     
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  9. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    In an interview SRV said that he'd start a tour with a lighter gauge*, then as the tour progressed and his hands grew accustomed, he'd use heavier gauges. KWS has said the same.



    *Not light gauge, but lighter than the extreme he is legendary for using.
     
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  10. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    The strings on the SRV Strat were clearly 9-42s. Never thought SRV ever went that light, but I sure could be wrong.
     
  11. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    Did he use heavy gauge strings?

    "He did. He started with a .013 and ended with a .060. They were big, yes, but that wasn't the only thing; it was the action, the height of the strings. I used to adjust the screws down at the bridge to raise the height, and I would run out of thread - I couldn't make the strings any higher."

    A lot of this runs counter to the way many guitarists like their instruments set up, particularly players who favor bending strings. Most players would ask for slinky strings and for their action to be set low.

    "Yeah, well, it's just the way he liked to get his tone. He had very strong hands; the way he attacked the guitar, it all came from his hands. Plus, he had his guitar tuned to E-flat, which compensated for other variables. I asked him about it once and he just said, 'I can't sing in E; it's gotta be in E-flat.'

    "Even so, the guitar was hard to play, and he would literally be drawing blood from the tips of his fingers. I saw some blood on the guitar one day and I said, 'Hey, are you OK?' And he said, 'Aw, my tips are starting to get cut, you know.'"

    "I told him that we could get the same tone by setting his guitar up differently and using some different things. Once we started experimenting, he was pretty happy. He looked at me and said, 'How do you think up these things?' And I just said, 'Well, I'm your guitar tech. That's what I do.'"

    Interview: Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar tech Rene Martinez | Interview: Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar tech Rene Martinez | Guitar News | MusicRadar




    1. Stevie Ray Vaughan didn’t play just one kind of strings

    Like most guitarists, SRV experimented with different string gauges throughout the course of his career (even going as high as .017s at one point!), but for the most part, he stuck with a high E of .013
    2. He didn’t play “standard” .013s

    In most cases, a standard set of .013 gauge strings is as follows:

    .013 – .017 – .026w – .036 – .046 – .056

    Thing is, SRV didn’t play a wound third. (Could you imagine playing his licks with a wound third? You’d have to have fingers like Thor.)

    Like most pro players, SRV’s guitar tech Rene Martinez created a custom set of strings fit for his gear and his playing style. What were his actual gauges? We’re getting there, one step at a time!
    3. He didn’t play with low action

    Most solo-happy guitarists love playing with super low action, and for good reason. It’s easier to move quickly around the guitar, and it causes less fatigue. But anyone who has played heavy gauge strings will tell you that low action and heavy strings aren’t always compatible.

    Thicker strings require a greater amount of space to vibrate properly. Even if it doesn’t sound like your strings are buzzing against the frets, they can still be restricted from vibrating fully, decreasing resonance and sustain. SRV kept his action high, enabling his strings to vibrate fully, and ring out for as long as possible.
    4. He didn’t play in standard tuning

    .013s are a feat to play no matter what, but in standard tuning, on a 25.5in scale guitar, they’re especially tricky. But SRV didn’t play in standard—he opted for Eb. Many say that this was more about his voice than his guitar (Great voice though he had, his upper register wasn’t exactly the selling point).

    Still, .013s in Eb are much friendlier than in E standard, they play a lot closer to .012s (not that those are rinky dink strings in their own regard).
    So what gauge strings did Stevie Ray Vaughan play?

    According to Stevie’s tech, he most often played GHS Boomers in the following gauges:
    .013 – .015 – .019p – .028 – .038 – .058

    If his fingers were aching, he would cut back to a .012 – .058 set, but for the majority of his career, his famous Number 1 and Lenny strats were strung up like this.

    As discussed in point 2, these aren’t typical .013s—they’re lighter on the top end and a bit heavier on the bottom end. This made them easier to bend, while still giving him a hot and heavy tone when he played rhythm.

    Stevie Ray Vaughan's Guitar String Gauges | Stringjoy
     
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  12. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Thank you for this educational post. I too have always read that SRV used very heavy gauge strings. At least, that is one of the things he is known for. That is why I was surprised to see one of his Strats at the Denver Hard Rock wearing a set of 9s! I can't say he never played with 9s, but that is certainly not what he was known for.

    Of course, only a "guitar geek" like me would have noticed!:)
     
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  13. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    Trying to find the interview in which he said he'd start a tour on the lighter side (for him,) then as the tour went on, and his hands got stronger, he'd move the the ultra heavy..
     
  14. David Mccarroll

    David Mccarroll Senior Member

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  15. David Mccarroll

    David Mccarroll Senior Member

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    Definitely not 9-42s ...... speaking of odd Hard Rock Cafe axes, there is a 59 (supposed) LP in the Hard Rock Cafe in ...... hmmmm ..... Boston? (Faneuil Place? - Maybe Philadelphia, I can't remember and I'm not from round these parts pardner) that supposedly belonged to Keith Richards - I stared and stared at it for ages trying to work out what irked me about the guitar (other than everything) until I realised it was strung left handed ..... ummmmm .... I can't recall Keef ever being a Southpaw?

    Likewise, on a slightly saner level Steve Vai starts a tour using 9-42s and by halfway through he is onto 10-46s - he just toughens up as he goes. 9-42s are silly - hardly even there.
     
  16. David Mccarroll

    David Mccarroll Senior Member

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    There's no way that guitar is stock - Gibson have enormous lapses of taste, but not cream pickup rings on a black scratch plate - for that matter, not pickup rings on a scratch plate in the first place - the idea of a big scratch plate is to save time by assembling all the components and dropping it into the guitar - adding pickup rings? No logic, in fact reverse logic, especially on a bottom of the line instrument (doesn't mean I'd pass one over to buy a Les Paul Studio by the way).

    Does not compute.
     
  17. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    "LES PAUL, I had a case where they put out a guitar without my blessings and I tried to make ’em stop! The funny thing is they didn’t stop it, and it turned out to be their number-one seller. [laughs] So you can be wrong. Gibson put out an SG, and it wasn’t with my blessings at all. They put the pickup in the wrong place, they made the body too thin, and there were a lot of other things I didn’t like.

    So I said, “Clean it up a little bit, will ya, before you put my name on it.” So they took my name off of it and continued to make it, and it’s their best-sellling solid-body guitar to date. Sure, it’s a cheap guitar and it doesn’t sound as good as the others, but it’s a different thing. And it turned out I shouldn’t have said what I said."

    Les Paul's Junior: Eddie Van Halen Interviews Les Paul

    I've read in a few accounts that at that time(early 60s') his contract with Gibson was coming to an end/renewal? And that he was just about to get his divorce from Mary Ford and didn't want any $$ from that going to her..
    Who knows:dunno:
     
  18. David Mccarroll

    David Mccarroll Senior Member

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    There ya go! Les was a funny dude - apparently had a great sense of humour indeed. The split must have been awful - seems to have been incredibly acrimonious. A friend of mine dropped into the Viridium Club a few years ago on Les's night, apparently the man himself wasn't feeling the best so his dentist was filling in for him!

    Awesome! It'd be worth being there just to be able to say you'd seen Les Paul's dentist gigging!
     
  19. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Chasenblues and David,

    That is the same story I've read in a number of places about Les and the SG. So I strongly suspect it is true. I don't think Les minded the changed body shape as much as some of the technical details on which he was not consulted. As my signature indicates, I have one of the original SG Standards (called a Les Paul in those days). I agree that the body is too thin and light. No neck dive on mine, because of that hideous side-pull trem, which adds a lot of weight and subtracts much tone. As a result, tone is a bit lacking until you get to arena volumes, when the thin, light body begins to vibrate with the music. I tried out a newer SG with standard Gibson TP and bridge and the neck dive was so bad I put it up at once! Was thinking about having a luther make me an SG style guitar with a beefier body, and then I discovered PRS already made them!

    BTW, the sign by the MM 12 in the Hardrock said Les had modified that guitar, as I suspect Les did on all his guitars.
     
  20. David Mccarroll

    David Mccarroll Senior Member

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    including adding a gooseneck microphone stand sticking out of the top bout of his LP Recording!
     

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